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Here's Something Just As Important As Your IQ Score

We’ve all heard about IQ or intelligence quotient, but today I would like to bring your attention to a new concept that I have recently been introduced to called an emotional intelligence quotient or EQ.  Emotional intelligence is being able to manage one’s own emotions and also recognize and empathize with others’ emotions.

Now this may seem like a throw away skill, especially as I am coming to you on a platform that will mostly be read by athletes. As an athlete myself, I recognize that often times we are pushed by our coaches, parents, and maybe even our teammates to stop complaining, push through, and work harder. However, I think we can all agree that at a certain point, holding it all in just makes everything harder and increases the chances of a mental breakdown in the future. Emotional intelligence is important in dealing with your own mental well-being and the relationships you hold and will hold in the future.

At a certain point, holding it all in just makes everything harder and increases the chances of a mental breakdown in the future.

People always like to emphasize the importance of being smart and flaunt their IQs as a symbol of success, but when it comes down to it, you can’t lead a well-balanced, happy life without having some emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence entails a couple of skills. You need to be able to firstly recognize emotions (be emotionally aware), manage through your emotions, and manage through others’ emotions. Being emotionally aware is vastly important because you need to be able to identify what emotion you or your peer is dealing with to be able to work through it. It is the most basic and yet necessary skill to have because emotions are not something you can ignore. You need to be able to deal with them on a case by case basis.

This brings me to the next skill mentioned: managing your emotions. This is something that we all struggle with. It is easy to flip out when you are mad and scream and yell at whatever it is that is making you angry. However what many people fail to realize is that there are a million different things that will happen to you, good and bad. You cannot control these things, no matter how hard you try. However one thing that you can learn to control is how to react to it. In the moment, we react what we feel, but looking back, a lot of times we realize it was not what was needed in that situation. It is difficult to think before you react and it takes a lot of practice, but you’ll find it is incredibly useful and a skill not a lot of people have.

Lastly, emotional intelligence is not just about yourself, which puts it apart from IQ. Emotional intelligence means that you are also able to empathize with others and help others with their emotions. You’ll find that you have probably practiced this skill before when you cheer up your friend or calm them down. Those are examples of using your emotional intelligence to better your life and others.

One great thing about EQ is that it can improve and change unlike your IQ score. Your IQ score is a set number from the moment you are born. Your EQ on the other hand is growing and evolving from the moment you are born. The world requires us to engage and interact with each other. Humans are naturally a very social species, so though it is difficult to come to terms with emotions and to really acknowledge them, I cannot stress enough how much it will help in both your professional and personal life. You cannot get to the top and sustain the spot based on isolation and intelligence alone. Sooner or later, it becomes clear that we have to be able to rely on each other to be happy and successful. Society should put less stress on encouraging people to be smarter than everyone else because the ability to truly connect with others is a much rarer and noteworthy trait. In the end, people won’t always remember what you say or what you do, but they won’t ever forget how you have made them feel.