Get Your Emotion On For Better Social Interactions
October 14, 2013

Get Your Emotion On For Better Social Interactions recently released data about how important Emotional Intelligence (otherwise known as EQ) is for social relationships. Before getting into the findings from, let me explain the difference between IQ and EQ.

As Discovery explains, IQ is “Short for an intelligence quotient test, an IQ test measures a person’s cognitive ability compared to the population at large. It’s a standardized test, and 100 is the median, or average, score. That means a person with an IQ within 10 points or so of 100 is of average intelligence compared to the rest of the population. A person whose score is below 70 may have developmental delays related to intelligence and a person whose score is above 130 is typically exceptionally smart.”

On the other side, Psych Central shows that EQ, otherwise called emotional intelligence, “’is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them,’ says Howard Gardner, the influential Harvard theorist.”

Right then, so IQ deals with cognitive ability whereas EQ focuses on empathizing and understanding others or the emotional abilities. In a study, found EQ is incredibly important for social relationships. Let’s look at their findings:

Those who are satisfied with their relationships significantly outscored their less satisfied counterparts on key EQ traits, such as:

  • Comfort dealing with one’s own and other people’s emotions (61 vs. 43)
  • Social insight (85 vs. 75)
  • Self-control (68 vs. 44)
  • Self-esteem (75 vs. 47)
  • Values integrity (knowing what one’s values are, and living by them) (74 vs. 65)

Those who experience very little conflict significantly outscored their counterparts on traits like:

  • Emotional problem-solving (77 vs. 65)
  • Positive mindset (69 vs. 55)
  • Impulse control (59 vs. 45)
  • Self-control (68 vs. 49)
  • Resilience/Hardiness (72 vs. 57)
  • Coping skills (69 vs. 44)
  • Conflict resolution (71 vs. 63)
  • Flexibility (59 vs. 43)
  • Rumination is the only exception – those who argue more and also more likely to ruminate (45 vs. 64)

Those who are popular in their social circle significantly outscored their less popular counterparts on traits like:

  • Emotional self-awareness (ability to recognize and identify one’s own emotions) (59 vs. 48)
  • Awareness of one’s strengths and limitations (73 vs. 63)
  • Positive mindset (69 vs. 55)
  • Self-control (66 vs. 54)
  • Self-esteem (75 vs. 56)

When incorporating relationships status in their analysis, Queendom’s data also reveal that, compared to married people, single people:

  • Tend to be uncomfortable with emotions – both their own and other people’s
  • Have higher tendency to ruminate
  • Have more difficulty with emotional problem-solving
  • Tend to have a more negative mindset
  • Are less effective at resolving conflict
  • Have lower self-esteem
  • Are less content with their life in general
  • May know what their values are, but don’t live in accordance with them
  • Are actually less independent

I would say that these findings certainly are convincing. Now, it is not that IQ is unimportant in social relationships; rather, higher EQ seems to help social relationships. I am sure that part of this comes from the fact that those with high EQ relate more to others. They connect, understand, and empathize. Emotions often are seen as weaknesses, but this study shows that emotions equal good social relationships.

Perhaps we misrepresent our feelings on emotions. We obviously value emotions intensely but for some reason do not want to share that value with others. We do not want others to know we value emotions. What a contradiction. Empathy and emotions are important, and this study supports that.

Maybe we, as a society, need to stop putting emotions down since we clearly like them. So let’s start by each getting some emotion on!

Interested to find out what your emotional intelligence score is? You can take the Emotional Intelligence Test at:

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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