Understanding how you and those around you feel allows you to successfully handle relationships says DR VASILIOS SILIVISTRIS

We all have different personalities, different wants and needs, and different ways of showing our emotions. Navigating through this all takes tact and cleverness, especially if we hope to succeed in life.

This is where Emotional Intelligence becomes important.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognise your emotions, understand what they are telling you, and realise how your emotions affect people around you. It also involves your perception of others: when you understand how they feel and how this allows you to manage relationships more effectively.

People with high Emotional Intelligence are usually successful in most things they do.

Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence.

People with high Emotional Intelligence are usually very self-aware. They understand their emotions, and because of this, they do not let their feelings rule them.

They are confident because they trust their intuition and do not let their emotions get out of control.

They are also willing to take an honest look at themselves.

They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they work in these areas so they can perform better. Many people believe that this self-awareness is the most important part of Emotional Intelligence.


This is the ability to control emotions and impulses. People who self-regulate typically do not allow themselves to become too angry or jealous, and they do not make impulsive, careless decisions.

They think before they act. Characteristics of self-regulation are thoughtfulness, comfort with change, integrity and the ability to say no.


People with a high degree of Emotional Intelligence are usually motivated. They are willing to defer immediate results for long-term success. They are highly productive, love a challenge and are very effective in whatever they do.


This is perhaps the second-most important element of Emotional Intelligence. Empathy is the ability to identify with and understand the wants, needs and viewpoints of those around you.

People with empathy are good at recognising the feelings of others, even when those feelings may not be obvious.

As a result, empathetic people are usually excellent at managing relationships, listening and relating to others. They avoid stereotyping and judging too quickly, and they live their lives in a very open, honest way.

Social Skills

It is usually easy to talk to and like people with good social skills, another sign of high Emotional Intelligence.

Those with strong social skills are typically team players.

Rather than focus on their success first, they help others develop and shine. They can manage disputes, are excellent communicators and are masters at building and maintaining relationships.

Although intelligence is important to success in life, Emotional Intelligence is key to relating well to others and achieving your goals.

Many people believe that it is at least as important as regular intelligence, and many companies now use Emotional Intelligence testing to hire new staff.

Emotional Intelligence is an awareness of your actions and feelings and how they affect those around you. It also means that you value others, listen to their wants and needs, and can empathise or identify with them on many different levels.

Dr Vasilios Silivistris (Vasos) is a psychotherapist, counselling practitioner psychotherapycounselling.uk/