Knowing Yourself: The Basics of Emotional Intelligence Explained

Knowing Yourself: The Basics of Emotional Intelligence Explained

Emotional intelligence is based on your intelligence about yourself. With this excessive use of the word ‘intelligence’, you must be wondering the knowledge is the key to best knowing yourself and to the highest emotional caliber.

Ironically, these bits of intelligence have more to do with commitment, communication, and efforts than knowledge. But I won’t undermine the importance of knowledge in building your knowledge about (and your relationship with) your inner child, your strengths, weaknesses, and your reach.

8 Ingredients of knowing yourself

Ingredients of knowing yourself

Let’s see the 8 ingredients of knowing yourself (aka emotional intelligence).

Know Your Rules

The first (and easiest) step towards knowing yourself is knowing your rules. We know what we like and dislike in moral attributes.

Stephen R . Covey defines focus on rules one crucial habit of highly effective people in his famous book, ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. But that declaration is just the tip of the iceberg. To be focused on our rules, we much acknowledge that rules can have variations.

For example, some of us like to feed hungry; while others want them to stand on their feet and be independent.

Rules, unlike laws, are pragmatic; thus vary from person to person.

Know your rules of life before you start knowing why you acknowledge or don’t acknowledge them.

Test Happiness

For most of us, happiness comes as a natural emotion. A few of us, however, are not that lucky. Those people who are by-products of toxic environments, families, and cults, stop remembering happiness and its actual appearance.

If you are one of such people, stop blaming yourself for your less than adequate emotional decision. Instead, forgive yourself, cut ties (with toxicity and toxic environment), and experience happiness.

Know Your Triggers

Emotional intelligence is all about not getting triggered by artificial triggers.

When we pursue a healthy social and mental lifestyle, we understand the meaning of healthy boundaries and choices. We can easily use mindfulness meditation to know the external and internal factors eating our happiness.

Ask your body about its pains and displeasure to know what emotions are hidden in these pains.

Regularly reflect on your emotions. Try to spend most of your time in the emotion of gratitude and love. You may also opt for joy.

Invest time in experimenting with different situations so you know which types of situations would result in what emotions.

Allow Yourself

Life is easy!

At least it is easier than how we perceive it to be.

No one is out there trying to catch us and punish us for our smaller mistakes. We can make wrong decisions, realize the mistake, and come back.

Life hasn’t made a prison for us. Don’t make one for yourself.

That said, one biggest step you have to make to better knowing yourselves is allowing yourself to follow our intuition.

Most people don’t follow their intuition because they think they would make mistakes while following their hearts than their societies. It’s okay! Mistakes are allowed.

Know Your Lessons

But, then, you would fall and get bruised.

These falls are welcomed because they carry a lesson. Sometimes, the lesson is just that that time, person or situation was not the right one. Other times, the lesson is that you needed a different level of self-compassion and belief in God to get through.

Don’t ever let your mind tell you that the lesson was that that feat was impossible. Because no feat was, and will ever be, impossible.

Let life take some time to ingrain that message within you.

Believe me, life’s lessons are not engraved in intellect; they are written in emotions.


Keep forgiving yourself and those who wronged you.

Keep moving. Life depends on movement, so does your inner self. And the best movement is burden-free movement. Forgiveness allows you to shed off your burden and go with the flow.

And remember, you can only forgive those mistakes you know were mistakes. So, acknowledge your, and others’, mistakes as a tool to open your intuition. Don’t block them out of your knowledge. Else, your mind will start differentiating between right and wrong and stop showing you the other angle (wrong angle).

Accept Greed and Fear

Robert Kiyosaki terms desires and fears to be the two enemies of financial emotional intelligence.

If we look closely at his theories, we find that greed is raw, unprocessed desires. Such desires are plain enemies of emotional intelligence in every field of our life.

The same goes for fears. When fears are intense, we start fearing the fear itself rather than fearing the worst outcomes to which this fear relates.

The best way to stop these, notoriously negative, emotions from negatively impacting you is to acknowledge and accept them. Treat them with respect. Why wouldn’t you? After all, they are just a part of you. Disrespecting these emotions, ignoring them, and hating them is like doing the same with you.

So, accept your emotions whether they are positive or negative. Talk to them like a human would talk to another human. And gather the best insights from them.

They will lead you to emotionally healthy and prosperous decisions.

Commit to Growth

Again, keep moving and growing. Make a conscious effort to keep growing. And the best method to make this commitment is to emotionally grow.

Choose lighter emotions. Stop judging your emotions as bad or negative (because they are not!).

Knowing yourself is a constant feat. It’s because being a form of energy we all are constantly changing. You have no benefit to knowing yourself for what you were yesterday.

You have grown today. So, begin learning about yourself from scratch today.

Take Away

Emotional intelligence comes from the knowledge we keep within ourselves. How we interact with ourselves, and our environment mirrors how everybody around us behaves socially.

If we know who we are at emotional levels, then we know the emotions of other people. This knowledge allows us to better understand and respond to the signals we receive from the people around us.

But emotional intelligence is not just about knowledge; it also takes input from practice and commitment. This article discussed how’s of knowing yourself.

Written by Aruba Arif

Aruba Arif, Msc Psychology, is a freelance blogger who is passionate about understanding people, writing, and connecting with herself. When she is not writing she is playing Mommy to her beloved son.

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