How we experience our emotions determines a large part of our quality of life, our habits and our way of seeing reality.
This is normal that this is the case, because even though we call ourselves human beings, we are still animals with a lineage of hundreds of thousands of years behind us, and during this time our behavioral predispositions have emerged on the basis of emotions, long before we can use reason.
However, even though our emotional side has its roots in ancestral biological predispositions, that does not mean that we have no capacity to modulate our emotions. Indeed, we know today that there are some emotional skills which can be developed through experience and learning. Let’s see what they consist of.
What are emotional skills?
Since the 1970s and 1980s, the idea has been challenged that the performance of work and the ease with which people develop socially depend above all on what is usually called “intelligence”.
This is why psychologists such as Peter Salovey, John D. Mayer and Daniel Goleman developed and popularized the concept of “Emotional Intelligence”, a psychological construct in which they are brought together. all the skills and abilities people have to identify, manage and express emotions.
Thus, the idea that beyond conventional intelligence (based mainly on the ease of reasoning and execution of verbal or logical-mathematical skills) there is Emotional Intelligence tells us that the human mind is much more than a processor of textual and verbalizable information, but it can also handle emotional phenomena that cannot be fully embodied in words or numbers.
That is, even in people without psychopathologies and health issues related to metals in general, there will be differences in their ability to achieve their goals depending on how they are dealt with with their emotional side, their emotions and feelings.
In this context, emotional skills are different types of skills that together shape a person’s emotional intelligence. That is to say that these are skills that are partly independent of each other and partly interconnected, in any case complementary, which, depending on their degree of development, help us more or less to face the challenges of life. everyday and to feel good about our lives.
On the other hand, although emotional skills are reflected in all kinds of situations (because our emotions are always “on”, not just in certain contexts), in practice it is common to emphasize their effects on “the”. work and professional environment, within what are called “soft skills”: skills that are not acquired through formal education or memorization of theoretical information.
Types of emotional skills
Here we will look at a brief classification of types of emotional skills according to psychologist Daniel Goleman.
Self-awareness it can be summarized as the capacity of self-knowledge vis-à-vis emotions. That is, what we know about the emotions and feelings that we usually experience, the kind of situations that trigger them in us, the first signs that one of them is going to emerge in our consciousness …
Self-regulation is closely related to prior emotional competence and consists of our ability to modulate our emotions, either by doing them in a way that does not harm us or is in tune with the situation, or do whatever is necessary to maximize the chances of feeling a certain emotion that interests us and minimize the chances of feeling another that interests us at a given time.
Of course, this is not about having the ability to totally control our emotions by completely suppressing them or “invoking” them from scratch; It’s impossible
Empathy is the ability to ‘connect’ emotionally with someone and to be able to adjust our behavior to their emotional state, in order to increase the chances of establishing alliances between the two parties or of supporting each other at key moments, without depending on explicit verbal cues.
4. Personal motivation
Self-motivation is the ability to transforming our emotions into motivational fuel, so that they guide you more towards carrying out tasks that bring us closer to the objectives that we have set for you. We must not forget that emotions exist as a mechanism of adaptation to the environment.
5. Social skills
This latter emotional competence is based both on knowing and mastering the norms of socialization that prevail in the social circles in which we operate, and on the ability to generate expectations and senses through our management of emotions and their application to our way of communicating. (verbally and non-verbally).
In other words, it’s about creating a certain emotional tone in the social interactions we participate in, involving who we are and / or what we want. This is why it is a key ingredient in leadership and conflict mediation processes, as well as in dating.
Do you want to benefit from professional psychological support?
In the processes of psychotherapy, it is possible to form the emotional capacities that we have seen so far, whether or not the person who consults the psychologist has developed psychopathology. Therefore, if you are looking for professional support in this regard, please contact us.
A Advanced psychologists we have been offering our psychological therapy services for over two decades, and currently we also work in speech therapy, sexology, neuropsychology and psychiatry. Sessions can be done in person at our center in Madrid or online by video call.
- Dalgleish, T. (2004). The emotional brain. Nature Neuroscience Reviews. 5 (7): pages 583 – 589.
- Darwin, C. (1872). The expression of emotions in humans and animals. London: John Murray.
- Goleman, D. (1996). Emotional intelligence. Barcelona, Cairo.