In my opinion, intelligence manifests itself in people in many different ways. There are several forms of intelligence, including but not limited to academic, musical, and spatial. It wasn't until very recently that I realized the importance of having emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is defined as "the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically."
Honestly, after Googling the definition of emotional intelligence, I was surprised to see that the requirements were so extensive and specific. I realized that my understanding of emotions was so surface-level and that truly having emotional intelligence requires a lot more complex understanding and behaviors.
While the topic of emotional intelligence, amongst other forms, would pop up in my psychology classes, it was never fully taught or put into practice as a part of my academic education. Where exactly was I supposed to learn this form of intelligence then? I can learn to solve math problems, navigate directions in an unknown place, and even learn how to shoot a basketball. Where am I supposed to learn how to be emotionally stable and wise?
It dawned on me that some things can't be taught in a classroom setting. Intelligence is acquired through practice as well as trial and error. Being emotionally stable and secure takes time and a lot of effort. Taking a step beyond that, it's also really difficult to master the technique of understanding how other people are feeling and being able to communicate or even reciprocate those emotions. It takes a lot of understanding of all the complexities of emotions, especially factoring in their meanings, motives, and intensities.
After a pretty deep conversation with a friend, I began to realize that even emotions can be analyzed differently by everyone, based on their experiences. People internalize and externalize feelings differently, and it's hard to know exactly how certain events can trigger certain emotions. I think with time and experience, it gets easier to define and distinguish between different emotions.
During this conversation with my friend, it occurred to me that I have a long way to go before I achieve emotional intelligence. Quite frankly, I think I won't ever be able to fully have it, just because human emotions are quick to change and diversify. But, I think it's crucial to feel comfortable and stable with my emotions and feelings. Going forward, I want to be more cognizant of where and how I place my emotions as well as those of other people around me.