Positive and negative impact of emotional intelligence

Until a few decades back, not many had heard of emotional intelligence – psychologists had always suspected that they played a key role in human behavior and until further studies were done to validate Freud’s work on the same, emotional intelligence remained an undiscovered country. But that’s not the case any longer thanks to the pivotal role performed by Sigmund Freud and others. Today, many companies often use emotional intelligence tests to gauge the EI of all the applicants to check and see if they would be a good fit for their company. It’s time that we took a closer look at the same.

Positive and negative impact of emotional intelligence

Positive impact of emotional intelligence:

Easily learnt: The good thing about emotional intelligence is that we can pick up the same easily; it is not a genetic trait and with some time and effort we should be able to pick up the same. Some may pick it up faster but that is often a result of their childhood development and the various influences that helped to shape their personality. For example, it is more likely that a child from a middle-class background will have better emotional intelligence than an orphan.

Reduces destructive behavior: Good emotional intelligence often requires us to be emphatic towards others. You could say that empathy is an important part of emotional intelligence and therefore, the chances of anyone with good emotional intelligence taking part in any self-destructive behavior is extremely low. This is not to imply that only those with poor EI take part in self-destructive behavior but rather that the act of seeing things from the other perspective often prevents the very destructive act from taking place, as with bullying.

Social interactions: With reasonable emotional intelligence, you should be able to relate better to others. You should be able to see things from their point of view, and as a result, develop better intelligence on how that person would operate under certain circumstances. But the one thing that you can count on is an increase in social interaction with others.

Negative impact of emotional intelligence:

Manipulation: Emotion is what we use to relate to others and to similar situations; as a result, of this and our empathy for the same, we can be easily manipulated by others. For example, most of the con artists in the world are highly adept at emotional intelligence and in determining the same in others. As a result, they are able to tap into this empathy and perfect the con in the process. The fact is that while it is essential that we retain some amount of emotional intelligence, it can make us vulnerable to manipulation by others.

Limits critical thinking skills: One of the downsides to developing good emotional intelligence is that it limits your critical thinking skills. In other words, as you use your emotions to relate to the other person, you would, by default be turning off your critical thinking skills which can prove to be a handicap when important decisions have to be made.

Time-consuming: if you have the poor emotional intelligence to start with, then it is important that you develop the same at the earliest as good emotional intelligence often lies at the root of most social interactions. But the downside is that it can be time-consuming which is why you may want to pick this up early on. With a happy home and healthy development, there is no reason that you should not be equipped with the requisite emotional intelligence to help you guide through the various social interactions.

These are some of the positive and negative effects of emotional intelligence. While a few companies do pay attention to the same, emotional intelligence is yet to be widely accepted as a predefined metric for most organizations. So the next time you come across a stressed out person, you may want to tap into that emotional intelligence, relate to the person and help him in the process. Please keep in mind all the positive and negative effects listed here, review the same so that you can avoid the negative effects of emotional intelligence and in the process, lead a better-enriched life.

Travis King
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