top of page
Wall

Emotional Intelligence

"The ability to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions and handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically."

Striving for Emotional Intelligence

 

Why its important and how to do it

For centuries, traditional society has viewed emotional suppression as a sign of strength and self-control. People have been expected to maintain a stoic demeanor, particularly in times of hardship or adversity. This mindset was prevalent in various ancient philosophies and religious teachings that emphasized detachment from worldly desires and emotions. Moreover, in some cultures, expressing certain emotions like sadness or fear was considered a sign of weakness or vulnerability, leading individuals to suppress such emotions to conform to societal norms.

The term, emotional repression, was popularized during the Victorian era in Western society. Expressing emotions, especially those deemed inappropriate or unbecoming of one's social class, was heavily discouraged. People were expected to maintain a façade of composure and dignity, often suppressing their true feelings behind a veneer of polite behavior.

In today's world, societal expectations and gender norms have played a monumental role in shaping the suppression of emotions. Men, in particular, have often been encouraged to conform to stereotypes of emotional stoicism and to avoid displays of vulnerability, which can lead to a number of significant consequences, including (but not limited to):

1

Increased Stress

Suppressing emotions can lead to heightened stress levels, as the internalized emotions continue to exert their influence on the individual's psyche.

2

Emotional Dysregulation

Emotional suppression can disrupt healthy emotional processing, leading to difficulties in managing emotions effectively.

3

Negative Relationships

Emotional suppression can hinder authentic communication and emotional intimacy in personal relationships.

4

Depression & Anxiety

Prolonged emotional suppression has been linked to increased risk of depression and anxiety.

5

Physical Health Problems

Chronic emotional suppression has been associated with various physical health issues, including cardiovascular problems and weakened immune function.

6

Reduced Overall Well-Being

Inhibiting emotional expression can diminish overall life satisfaction and hinder personal growth and self-awareness.

Barriers to Emotional Intelligence 

There are many things that can hinder our ability to understand, express, and manage our emotions effectively. Some of these barriers include poor emotional regulation skills, limited empathy, cultural & gender norms, defensiveness, denial, fear of vulnerability, and a fixed mindset. It is important to overcome these barriers so that we can strengthen our emotional intelligence, and pave the way towards improved relationships, mental health, & so on, in the future.

Strategies to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

bottom of page