The ability to manage emotions in other people is in the essence of relationships. On the pathway to this mastery, you first need to reach a benchmark of self-control by managing your own impulses, emotions and feelings. Social emotional skills allow to inspire others, to succeed in intimate relationships, to influence and calm others down.
The ability to properly express feelings is a key social competency. Different cultures express their emotions differently:
- Minimizing the emotional expression. Japanese tend to mask the feelings of distress in the presence of someone in authority.
- Exaggerating the feeling. A kid complaining his mother about being teased at school would more likely exaggerate his emotions.
- Substituting one feeling for another. In Asian culture, when its impolite to say no, people may give a faulty assurance instead.
Employing these strategies and knowing when it’s appropriate to do so is another skill of emotional intelligence.
Emotions are Contagious
We send emotional signals in every interaction and those signals affect people on receiving side. We pick up one another’s emotions so easily as they were a virus. There are some people whom we just like to be with. Not necessarily the person himself, but his emotional skills make them “popular”, “charming” or charismatic. People who are able to help others to manage their hard feelings are highly valued in society.
We unconsciously imitate the emotions we read in other people. Science shows that when we see a smiling or angry face, unconsciously our own facial expressions change accordingly, mimicking the perceived emotional message. This changes are evident through slight changes in facial muscles, monitored by electronic sensors, and invisible to the naked eye. Just seeing someone expressing particular emotion can initiate that mood in you, wether you realize it or not. It’s a dance, a synchrony, a transmission of emotions. The more you engaged with the partner, the more synchronized you are with his or hers mood, whether positive or negative. Powerful leaders and performers have the ability to more thousands of people in their audience this way.
The skill of interpersonal intelligence includes the following qualifications:
- Organizing groups. This is essential skill of a good leader. Organizing and coordinating people is essential for people working as military officers, business owners, producers etc.
- Negotiating solutions. People with this ability are great at preventing or resolving problems and conflicts. These people often work as diplomats, lawyers, managers, etc.
- Personal connection. This skill helps to predict and recognize other people’s feelings and concerns. People with this ability get along well with everyone, they are good team players, dependable partners and good friends.
- Social analysis. The ability to recognize and understand the feelings in other people make one’s good therapists, counselors, dramatists or novelists.
To make an excellent social impression, you have to be able to monitor your own emotional expressions, which should be appropriate to situation and the ways others perceive them. In a sense, you got to be an actor. People who’s social skills help them to make an excellent impression, usually see themselves differently from what they project in the minds of others.
The studies done on school kids, particularly on “popular” and not popular children have shown that unpopular kids usually push their way into a group, trying to change the rules of the game or subject too soon. Right away, they don’t hesitate to offer their opinions, or simply disagreeing with others, trying to get all the attention to themselves. As a result they’re being ignored or rejected. Popular kids, as the opposite, take time to observe the group at first, trying to understand who is who and what’s going on before engaging. They follow the rules and wait to offer suggestions or take initiative until their status get confirmed by the group.