What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include 3 skills:

1. Emotional awareness, including the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others;

2. The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problems solving;

3. The ability to manage emotions, including the ability to regulate your own emotions, and the ability to cheer up or calm down another person.

Recent Posts on Emotional Intelligence

Developmental Psychology and Environmental Sustainability

By Sandy Olliges M.A. on June 29, 2015 in EcoMind
In a new book, A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership: The Hidden Power of Ecological Worldviews, Steven Schein used the lens of developmental psychology to view the motivation of sustainability leaders, and he posits that sustainability leaders have developed an ecological self, a postconventional worldview, and an enhanced systems consciousness.

Revolutionary: the Pressure-Less Diet

If you feel like you are burdened daily, have trouble sleeping, and going nowhere fast, it's time to start the pressure-less diet.

Myths and Facts About Psychopaths

Psychopaths have gotten popular, but where can we find info we can trust?

Inside Out—A Major Emotional IQ Picture

The voices in our heads are real—and these distinct personalities can learn to get along.

5 Difficult Concepts Made Easier by Disney's "Inside Out"

Disney's "Inside Out" provides an accessible and memorable framework for understanding some rather complex ideas. Allow me to outline 5 difficult concepts this movie makes easier to explain.

What It Means to Truly Honor Ourselves

While maintaining a delicate sense of pride for our achievements in not necessarily a bad thing, it can easily solidify into an arrogant pride that distances us from others. We might do well to get clearer about what we're really wanting. Differentiating pride from dignity can help orient us toward what really nourishes and sustains us.

Inside Out—And Beyond

It could have been awful. A movie that teaches kids about emotions could have been dry and preachy. Instead, Pixar’s Inside Out is an exciting and compelling tour of inner life that’s grounded in science plus an authentic understanding of how kids feel. Here are three lessons about emotions from the movie--plus one more.

"Inside Out": Emotional Truths by Way of Pixar

Pixar's "Inside Out" proves to be impressivley accurate to cognitive, developmental, and clinical psychology. Five of the six scientifically validated universal emotions demonstrate what it might be like in the mind of an 11-year-old girl who struggles with having to move away from her friends and to a different city. The film sends a message and has therapeutic value.

Put on a Happy Face at Your Own Risk

Trying to be happy all the time is bad for our bodies and relationships. Here's what to do if you habitually hide your real feelings behind a smile.

Why I’m Recommending a Kids Movie to Adults

By Erin Olivo Ph.D. on June 23, 2015 in Wise Mind Living
Want to improve your emotional intelligence? Go see Inside Out.

9 Ways to Handle Nosy People

Some questions are just too personal, but you’re worried that if you don’t answer them, you’ll seem rude. These 9 tips will give you a graceful way to duck the question and help you protect you from future, similar, assaults on your privacy. You'll also gain important insight into yourself and your sensitivities in the process.

Cupid at the Office

Many of us would like to think that our personal and professional lives are separate. Our work life seems to be a parallel universe filled with coworkers and casual relationships with acquaintances.

What Disney Pixar's New Film Teaches Us About Emotions

What if we were able to stay in a permanent state of joy and elation? While this may initially seem appealing, even difficult emotions, like sorrow, disgust and fear can be beneficial. Disney Pixar's new "emotion" picture, Inside Out, teaches some valuable lessons on embracing all sides of our emotions.

Play-Acting for Real

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on June 21, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
In photos, Dylann Roof, who murdered 9 black churchgoers, reveals a child captured by heroic fantasies, and unexpectedly illuminates the fantasies in the air around him. We need to learn to recognize the cues.

“Two-ness:” the Mind’s Binary Code

The earliest roots of what is recognized as “envy” in later life emerge from the normal sense of “two-ness.” In Envy Theory, this "two-ness" is the mind's innate binary code: envy’s mode of operating. Modulating “two-ness” early in life decreases emotional dysregulation. From the healthy maturation of envy, admiration, emulation, gratitude, and empathy are born.

Powerful Way to Raise Kids Focuses on the Strong

By Jason Powers M.D. on June 20, 2015 in Beyond Abstinence
Strength-based parenting is a powerful way to raise children. It involves identifying and fostering their positive personality traits, which provides them with the inner resources to deal with the stress of everyday life. The field of positive psychology calls these “signature strengths.”

Inside Out: Emotional Intelligence Made (Maybe Too) Easy

This movie makes it fun to ponder emotional conflict, but it needs a sequel on the risk of using sadness as a way to get love. Til then, we can learn more about our inner conflicts from gorgeous graphics than boring buzzwords.

Holy Heisenberg!

By David Ludden Ph.D. on June 19, 2015 in Talking Apes
Evolution has crafted human brains to be efficient processors of social information, and our intuitions aren’t nearly as illogical as many psychologists have portrayed them.

Can a Leopard Change its Spots?

You have the power to change; thoughts, feelings and behaviours are under your control, so learn to use them wisely.

How Do You Handle Money?

By Michael F. Kay on June 18, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
Do you get your financial information from the ACME School of Investing and Planning?

Wednesday's Child

Wednesdays Child is a weekly feature that brings conversations about positive psychology in the classroom to life! Join us or start your own conversation today!

Fetishism and the Thirst for More Life

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on June 16, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
Fetishism feels that certain people and things have power to protect us. Big money and big shots exert an uncanny fascination, so do lovers and religious symbols. Whether you call it fetishism, transference, or fandom, it’s magic and shapes us. The psychology of abandon investigates fetishism because our idols seem larger than life and beyond everyday constraints.

What It Really Means To Humanize Work

By Tim Leberecht on June 14, 2015 in The Romance of Work
Digital technologies have fomented a stressful culture of extreme connectivity, employee monitoring, and relentless efficiency pressures at work. Software is not only “eating the world,” it is also eating our spirits. And now the robots are coming....What can be done to unlock the future of the human workplace?

Tongue Juts

By Joe Navarro M.A. on June 13, 2015 in Spycatcher
Why do we do tongue juts - they don't really benefit us? Perhaps there is a benefit - honesty.

The 8 Biggest Myths About Lying

Sometimes we make ourselves believe a lie because the truth is too painful.

How Do You Make Up Your Mind?

Do you jump in trying to solve problems or take time to think them through?

Reflections on Therapeutic Mastery, Part 2

Excerpts from a personal interview, continued

4 Traps to Avoid When You're Filled with Anxiety

In today's breakneck world, anxiety has become the "new normal", trapping us into all kinds of inaccurate judgments of ourselves. Our capacity to navigate the slippery slopes of anxiety can be improved through careful attention to thinking and relating patterns. Instead of hiding anxiety, finding ways to acknowledge it and regroup can leave us more surefooted and at ease.

The Invention of Bedside Manner

By Hugh Aldersey-Williams on June 08, 2015 in A Curious Mind
Medical students were not given much exposure to actual patients until William Osler introduced the idea of the teaching hospital at Johns Hopkins in the 1890s. Osler was inspired in his humanistic approach to medical care by the 17th century English writer and physician Sir Thomas Browne. Browne debunked the foolish beliefs of his day and coined many words we still use.

Why Pride Is Nothing to Be Proud Of

We may pride ourselves on our achievements and accomplishments, but clinging to pride can become a trap that disconnects us from ourselves and others. In contrast, cultivating a sense of dignity can free us to honor and be ourselves just as we are. We create suffering for ourselves when cling to a sense of superiority. Dignity allows us to more more freely through life.