stripped bare

Rate your EQ

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Answer yes or no, as honestly as you can, to the short quiz below:

  • Can you clearly express your feelings with the three-word sentence “I feel…”?
  • Can you differentiate various feelings?
  • Can you identify why you feel the way you do?
  • Do you respect and accept yourself the way you are?
  • Do others know you have a good sense of yourself?
  • Are you living up to your potential?
  • Do you feel satisfied with your accomplishments?
  • Are you able to let go of regrets and grudges?
  • Do you feel in control and consistent in the way you act?
  • Are you emotionally independent from others?

Emotionally smart people will answer “yes” to 8 to 10 of these questions. How did you do?

Unlike IQ, EQ can be significantly raised. But it takes effort and a great deal of introspection. You need to be willing to rewire your brain and how you perceive and react to situations.

Here’s a rough beginner’s guide to becoming emotionally savvy.


1- Identify your feelings. Constantly tell yourself how you feel, with the three-word sentence “I feel…” If you feel mixed emotions, try to single them out, and rate their intensity (“I feel disturbed” or “I feel enraged”). Don’t exaggerate or minimize them.

2- Take responsibility for your feelings. Don’t look for external explanations for how you feel or make yourself the victim. Recognize that they’re your feelings and try to understand why you feel this way.

3- Anticipate your feelings. Learn to recognize how you will feel after a certain event or action. Avoid doing things that you know will inspire negative feelings. Do this not only for yourself, but for others.

4- Ask people how they feel. You want to be able to tell how people feel without asking them. However, you have to first understand them before you can empathize with them. Listen to them without making judgments. Don’t try to dismiss or invalidate their feelings.

5- Be less defensive. If someone says something about you that you disagree with, don’t get defensive or attack them back — these kinds of reactions demonstrate that you can’t handle criticism. Instead, thank them for their honesty and focus on the validity of their comments.

6- Put problems into perspective. When setbacks happen and you feel the urge to get angry, think about how serious the setback really is. How much will the issue matter in 10 years? In 10 weeks? In 10 minutes?

Master, but follow, your emotions.

While having a good handle on your emotions is a great tool for success, in the end, it’s just another way in which you can improve yourself. People are quirky and unpredictable by nature, so having a complete mastery of your feelings may not be possible. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Written by smudgi3

September 24, 2004, Friday at 23:50

Posted in Uncategorized

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