Psychological Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents

Improving Your Emotional Intelligence

Published on: September 20, 2015  

Improving Your Emotional Intelligence

Intelligence is often measured by a cognitive evaluation that measure one’s nonverbal abilities, verbal ability, working memory, and how quickly one processes information. Test these skills, compare abilities to other children/teens from across the country and you get a number. This number is placed on a scale to measure one’s Intelligence Quotient or IQ. Range to one’s IQ is from Extremely Low to Superior. The test gives general information about a student’s strengths and areas that are more challenging compared to others.


Measuring one’s intelligence provides just one portion of a child’s abilities. A child’s ability to recognize, tone, rhythm and create music, a natural ability to see how things work mechanically, and many other natural gifts can be considered personal strengths and relative challenges. I know some people who are able to take a number of ingredients and create a series of dishes that are simply amazing and electricians who are able to diagnose an electrical problem and take tactical and creative steps to optimize the system.

When thinking about emotional intelligence, the ability to express and control our emotions is essential, but so is our ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others. What it boils down to is our ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. A number of instruments have been developed by researchers to assess your emotional intelligence. Here’s a quick instrument to assess where your emotional intelligence.

People with strong emotional intelligence find it easy to establish and maintain meaningful relationships, make good choices most of the time, and manage challenging personal and interpersonal situations and circumstances.

There are four separate branches to emotional intelligence:

Perceiving Emotions – understanding nonverbal communication like body language and facial expressions

Reasoning with Emotions – using our emotions to evoke thought and stimulate cognitive activity.

Understanding Emotions – interpreting why you or someone else is having an emotion and interpret what they might mean.

Managing Emotions – Managing emotions is the key component to emotional intelligence. Having good emotional management means that you can regulate the way you feel and your response to the emotions of others (e.g., empathy).

The payoff is that understanding and getting along with others helps us to be successful in almost any area of our life. People are often the gateway to new and diverse experiences, opportunities, activities, academic and vocational opportunities, and broader experiences. Making and maintaining those connecting, resolving conflicts all while making good choices helps to move us forward socially and move forward with opportunities when they arise.

Improving Your Emotional Intelligence

Increase your emotional awareness — Simply noticing your emotions is the first step in developing emotional intelligence. Notice how you body changes when feeling certain emotions, what you’r thinking about and how you behave. Label them in your own way and take pause to recognize how you feel and why. Increasing your awareness of emotions will serve you well a you work toward understanding “how you work” (like an operating manual) and will to improving your understanding of others.

Improve your understanding of how others feel– Being able to imagine what others might be feeling, even if you’re not actually sure, is called empathy. Being empathetic helps others know that you are paying attention to them, their personal response to situations and circumstances, and communicates that you value their experience and their emotional reaction to it.

Managing your emotional reactions- Managing your reactions involves being aware of your feelings, reflecting on why you might be feeling the way you do and then choosing how to express yourself. This ability will serve you well as you can temper a reaction, take time to think the situation through and then choose the right time and circumstance to communicate what you think and feel. If feelings are not tempered you run the risk of allowing your emotions to take over and express yourself in a way that can be perceived as disrespectful, impulsive, and even harmful.

Choose how YOU want to feel- That’s right, you have complete control over how you want to feel in any given situation. You can choose to feel confident and motivate yourself to complete a task and turn feeling disappointed into feeling inspired just by changing the way we think about any given situation. Mastering this ability will benefit you in many wonderful ways.

Please give us a call if your child or teen has difficulty managing their reactions to social and other situations, has difficulty forming and maintaining meaningful relationships, and problem solving, 360-236-0206. We’re here to help!

With Warmest Regards,

Dave Callies, Psy.D.
Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychologist
Gyro Psychology Services
866-616-GYRO (4976)

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