Expressing our emotions has
an effect in all aspects of our lives. Thus our emotional intelligence is of utmost
importance in each individuals life. Emotional intelligence means our capacity to deal
with our feelings wisely as well as have the ability to reason for our vital well being.
It deals with our self-concepts, to social skills, creativity, and our ability to
understand our emotions as well of others.
"Emotional intelligence" does it strike a cord! Probably not as we are use to
thinking about intelligence as reasoning & logic while we tend to ignore our emotions.
However intelligence & emotions are very closely interrelated. For example people who
are unable to understand their own emotions could get into situations where they may not
know how to handle their feelings & thus feel distressed. Where as people who have a
good balance of IQ & EQ are often more successful in their life. EQ is not about
tactics or diplomacy. It deals with how we learn, acknowledge & express our feelings,
but also how we effectively respond to others when it comes to dealing with their
Emotional intelligence is the ability to know ones inner world and be comfortable with it.
It is a set of skills that not only leads to better academic and professional functioning,
but also good social interactions and a healthy living which leads to personal
We can say that fifty percent of our EQ is inherited through our genes & and the other
fifty percent is obtained from our interaction with the environment. There is a difference
between EQ & IQ. IQ can be defined as individual competence to perform in his/her
academic work, where as EQ indicates an individuals ability to get along with other people
and handle social situations. Thus both our of equal importance.
Abuse is a behavior through which a person may control or manipulate people, this could be
done through fear, coercion humiliation, dominance, guilt, etc. Emotional abuse may
include anything from verbal abuse to name calling, constant criticism or demeaning the
other person's self-esteem. The effects of emotional abuse are drastic it takes away a
child's self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in one's own decision. However it may
be done ultimately the victim self- worth and personal value. It creates scars that remain
forever and never heal. It finally creates a person who is blame themselves for their
abuse. Children with emotional abuse may feel worthless and scared to be left alone
because of which they continue to stay in the same abusive situation. There are various
kinds of emotional abuses, Abusive Expectations, in this a parent / child may make
unreasonable demands on the child / parent. However whatever one does the other is not
satisfied and continues to criticize for not fulfilling their needs. The other kind is
called Aggressing, which involves name-callings, blaming, accusing, ordering or
threatening are different types of aggressing behaviors that are usually exhibited by most
parents. There are indirect ways of aggressive abuse also this may be disguised by
criticism, advising, offering solutions, analyzing, proving, and questioning. This is
usually seen in a parent child relationship & leads to what we call "learned
helplessness" in individuals. Denying, it is when an emotional need, is not satisfied
when a child needs it the most. Only with the intention to hurt, punish or humiliate the
other child. Denying can also be expressed by withholding which includes refusing to
communicate and emotionally withdrawing as a punishment. This is called silent treatment.
This behavior is adopted by a lot of parents in order to make their children obey them.
But consequently it leads to lowering self-esteem and insecurity in the child.
Unpredictable responses is also another emotional abuse, a lot of adult's experience
frequent mood swings and sudden emotional changes. Parents at times react very differently
to the same situation or behavior. This is called unpredictable responses. This is a
rather damaging behavior for the children. It is frequently seen in alcoholic or drug
abusing parents. This creates tremendously anxiety & fear in children.
Characteristics of Emotionally Abused People
· They have trouble completing their work.
· They lie unnecessarily.
· They may be very judgmental about themselves.
· Unable to accept compliments.
· They tend to be too serious in situations or be too frivolous.
· They may exhibit difficulty with intimate relationships.
· They may be unable to express their emotions.
· They may over-react to situations.
· They may seek approval constantly from others.
· They may be very responsible or absolutely careless or indifferent.
· They may be impulsive.
Emotional intelligence in children
Rahul a four year old boy, snapped at his mother saying, "go away!" as she
refused to buy him a toy. It was his way of expressing his feelings of anger towards his
mother. But this age is not when a child develops emotional intelligence. Even before
children develop language, emotional intelligence exists. This can be seen in most cases
before sleeping babies want to have a physical contact with either of their parent to feel
secure. Although language makes it easier to express ones feelings. One can help their
child to talk about their emotions by labeling their feelings such as angry, sad, happy,
excited, afraid and so on. The earlier a child learns to label his feelings the sooner
he/she starts developing his / her emotional intelligence.
Language is an important part of EQ. It is a very powerful way to put forth ones feelings.
It is important for children as well as adults to recognize & manage emotions not only
for themselves but also for people around them. This may seem difficult, as one is not
inclined to always understand the other person's emotions. In order to create emotional
intelligence in children parents must create pleasant emotional climates at home. Children
who are exposed to physical or emotional abuse tend to have more emotional problems. They
also have weak language skills in expressing their feelings.
Anita, a thirteen-year-old girl was referred to a school counselor for her poor
performance in her academics & her sudden withdrawn behavior. Since Anita did not open
up in any of the sessions her mother was called to find out the problem. It was discovered
that Anita had been like this not due to any developmental problem but due to the physical
violence by her father towards her mother & her.
Parth, a five year old boy, was shown a picture which depicted different emotions such as
joy, anger, fear , etc . He was then asked to what he was feeling on that day. But parth
was unable to distinguish or describe his feelings correctly. This was because he was not
aware of different feelings and the way to express them. Due to an unstable environment at
home. By a safe emotional climate it does not mean that the child must be protected from
any kind of conflict or struggle always. Stress and conflict till a certain level helps in
developing emotional intelligence but if it goes beyond that it could have a negative
Labeling feelings by the parents and teachers makes a child more sensitive towards his
emotional needs. We all tend to use similar words for the different emotions we feel when
we want to express them. We need to be more specific about the words we use to express
what we exactly feel. It is important for parents to reflect to their children the
importance of emotional intelligence by being emotionally expressive themselves.
Supriya was very upset since she had very bad day at work. When she came home her son
Shantanu was being very mischievous. He broke a very expensive vase, which aggravated her
anger further. As a reaction to this she didn't tell him a word instead she hit him and
locked him in the bathroom. Instead of behaving in this manner if she had calmed herself
down after coming back from work by taking a few deep relaxing breaths and comforting
herself. She would have reacted differently towards Shantanu. A couple of days later
Shantanu reacted to his younger sister the same way his mother had before.
It is usually seen that children use the same techniques as the parents do to express
their emotions. Parents must talk about their feelings to their children as well as be
good listeners to their children's feelings. Children should be allowed to handle their
emotions with their friends, family & others independently. This will help them to
gain emotional intelligence & work as a strong foundation for them.
Hereditary and environmental factors both play a very important role in the development of
EQ. Some children are more emotionally gifted from infancy as they are able to understand
others emotions as well as theirs rather easily. While others may find it quite difficult.
In certain disorders, such as autism, attention deficient disorder, childhood depression,
etc, a child may not be able to deal with his/her or others emotions. In such cases having
an emotionally stimulating environment can help the child.
Parents' and teachers' play the most essential role in developing a child's EQ. They need
to provide opportunities where a child can express and deal with his/her emotions. They
should be willing to listen to them, have realistic expectations and not compare them to
other children. Parents and teachers should not only encourage the child's abilities and
interaction but also their sensitivity. They should model social behaviors appropriately.
This can be done by taking in some of the following tips:
· Labeling your feelings. Being descriptive & expressive about ones
· Discriminate between thoughts and feelings.
· Being able to accept positive as well as negative feelings.
· Acknowledge others feelings.
· Talk about different kind of feelings.
Emotional Intelligence plays a very important role in our emotional, social and personal
life. It includes ones ability to manage stressful situations & solve day-to-day
problems. Emotional intelligence is influenced by the experiences which an individual
encounters thus it is not a fixed, but dynamic.