New research by PsychTests.com indicates that there are certain facets of emotional intelligence that can strongly influence a person’s level of happiness and contentment.
“Emotional intelligence” may have only became a hot buzzword in recent decades, but over 2,300 years ago, Aristotle had already grasped the importance of emotional awareness and the ability to apply this knowledge: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
If it’s not enough that EQ has been linked to job performance, leadership ability, and relationship satisfaction, research from PsychTests indicates that people with high emotional intelligence also tend to be happier and more content with their lives.
After collecting data from 824 people using their most recent version of the Emotional Intelligence Test (and over 3 million test-takers since the test’s inception in 1996), researchers at PsychTests focused their analyses on two distinct groups: Those who are completely satisfied with their life and those who are not.
The satisfied group not only displayed higher emotional intelligence, they also outscored their discontent counterparts on 14 EQ competencies by at least 10 points – traits and skills that researchers at PsychTests consider essential to happiness and life satisfaction.
Some of the largest gaps in scores were found among the following key competencies:
- Resilience/Hardiness: Encompasses the ability to bounce back from failure and hardship. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 80 to 44 (on a scale from 0 to 100).
- Problem-solving: Assesses the willingness to face problems head-on and proactively search for solutions. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 84 to 51.
- Positive Mindset: Ability to see the silver lining; a hopeful yet realistic point of view. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 78 to 49.
- Self-Motivation: Ability to inspire and encourage oneself to engage in goal-oriented behavior. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 72 to 44.
- Self-Control: Ability to soothe oneself and to express negative emotions in a healthy manner. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 70 to 45.
- Coping Skills: Tendency to use healthy techniques to cope with stress, like seeking emotional support from others, changing the way a problem is viewed, or seeking out information to better deal with a problem or stressor. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 72 to 49.
- Striving: Desire for increased knowledge and skills; always wanting to go further, become better, and learn more. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 84 to 69.
- Comfort with Emotions: General sense of comfort dealing with one’s emotions and those of others, or emotionally charged situations, like conflict. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 63 to 42.
“It isn’t that happy, content people don’t experience bad days, or don’t get sad, angry, or worried,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “They very much do – the difference is in how they deal with these emotions, and this is where emotional intelligence plays a role. People who are satisfied with their life are very much in touch with their emotions; they are honest with others about how they feel, and they accept responsibility for their feelings … such as, ‘This person makes me angry’ vs. ‘I allow myself to become angry when I see this person do such-and-such’. Most importantly, they do not deny that they are emotional beings and don’t see feelings as either good or bad. Our feelings are simply a message our body send us to alert us to issues, and to provide us with information that our rational, conscious mind doesn’t have access to.”
The researchers at PsychTests offered a few tips on how to further develop one’s emotional intelligence:
- Take small steps if you’re not used to expressing your emotions. Start with those that are the least intimidating and you will surely find that it’s not as bad as you think. On the positive side, begin with genuine compliments and then take it further to an expression of appreciation. When you need to communicate a negative feeling, try writing it if you feel too intimidated to say it. Like learning any new skill, it will get easier with practice.
- Accept the good and the bad. Both good and bad feelings facilitate the thinking process by allowing us to view things from different perspectives. Did you ever notice how, when thinking pessimistically about a problem, you come up with solutions that are in line with that thinking, and when you think positively, the perspective and solutions change? Our feelings, good and bad, offer us different views on the world. While one perspective may be more beneficial than the other, both angles offer us valuable information about others and ourselves.
- Don’t brush aside your gut instinct or intuition. Gut instinct is that voice in your head or that feeling of foreboding that’s trying to tell you something isn’t right. Some refer to it as a sixth sense. Whatever the label, it can offer us valuable information if we take a moment to listen. Those who ignore this inner voice can often end up regretting it. This doesn’t mean that logic has no benefits. The perfect balance, in fact, would be to think a situation through, and then going with what feels right.
- Take a time out. “When angry count to ten; when very angry count to 100.” It’s not always easy to maintain your composure when you feel like your “buttons” are being pushed, but it is essential that you make an effort to do so. It’s important to cool down emotionally when a situation makes you upset or stressed. As time passes, you will be able to be more objective about the issues and to sort out the situation more clearly. Count for as long as it takes for you to reach a state of mind conducive to the cool, rational consideration of possible consequences of your actions. This counting technique can be used no matter what the intense feeling is.
Want to assess your EQ? Go to http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3038
Professional users of this assessment (therapists, life coaches and counselors) can request a free demo of this or any other tests from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1
To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr
PsychTests.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. PsychTests.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com). The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.