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The benefits of possessing Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Decades after Psychologists argued about the benefits of possessing Emotional Intelligence (EI), there still exists a general understanding that emotions matter and can serve people’s goal. Parents today more than ever, want their children to have emotional intelligence, and the new field of social and emotional learning is helping teachers bring it into classrooms. Adults understand the importance of EI in relationships and consider it a desirable quality in a partner. CEOs see it as essential to the 21st-century workplace, a plus for good decision making, inspiring others, team building, and general productivity; head hunters purposely ask interview questions to assess it in future workers.

Some research suggests that people who have Emotional intelligence skills are healthier, happier, more effective, and more productive. EI predicts things of importance for children and adults. And if the importance of EI wasn’t clear before 2020, the pandemic stopped so much social interaction that just about everyone hungered for human contact and stumbled in their social and emotional well-being.

As it stands today, people are quick to claim how important EI is but don’t necessarily devote effort to gaining the skills. You can’t hold a one-hour workshop or put kids in a circle to talk about their feelings and call it EI. Emotional intelligence consists of a set of skills that advance day by day. Just being aware of emotions is not enough. And you can’t teach EI to children unless you teach adults first; parents have to live it at home, teachers have to model it in school. Thus, becoming emotionally healthy and emotionally intelligent is hard work. 

Emotional intelligence supports mental health, but it isn’t the complete part of mental health. People get anxious or depressed for many reasons: Their biology may incline them to it. A partner suffers a debilitating experience or a breadwinner gets fired. The faster a person can recognize and name their emotional responses to life’s roller coaster, the better they will be able to address those feelings while experiencing them, so as not to be overwhelmed by them.

Emotional granularity, or the ability to precisely name a wide range of emotions and, it plays a critical role in psychological wellness. 

We’ve all felt it—the nagging of an unpleasant emotion that is difficult to name or explain. Maybe you chalk it up to feeling “off” or “upset.”

But finding more precise labels for our emotions can help us feel better, both in the moment and over the long term. This precise labelling of emotions is called emotional granularity.


Author: Catherine Perri – JUMP Trainer