EQ – The Holidays – and You

What would it take to successfully get you through the looming holiday season. The perfect gift? The best turkey? The ability to be in two places at the same time? Instead of looking for outer solutions (or impossible ones) what about inner ones. Exploring your EQ might just give you the skills you need. Emotional quotient or EQ is a term used to gage one’s emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence covers key aspects in personal and inter-person skills. Just the thing you might need to foster healthy happy relationships. And isn’t that what the holidays should be about?

So what exactly are the characteristics of emotional intelligence?


In the heat of the moment are you capable of determining what has set your blood to boil? Can you pin-point the reasons behind feelings of frustration or anxiety?  Are you able to step back and analyze what you are feeling and why you are feeling it?  This is often the most emotionally charged time of the year. We are fraught with worry and anticipation about plans to come and burdened with an over-packed Louis Vuitton set of baggage from our past. Being able to sort through your jumble of emotions and accurately evaluate the feelings you are experiencing may help you to deal with them in a more constructive manner.


Are you able to stay in control when you are angry or jealous? Do you become overwhelmed, caught up in your intense emotions, or can you pause and think before you react? The ability to self-manage your emotions means that you are not at their mercy. For instance, instead of lashing out at your significant other because they haven’t wrapped the presents yet, can you acknowledge that you might actually be feeling frustration and inadequacy that yet again here’s another Christmas and you are overwhelmed?  At this time of year when the pressure comes from so many angles, it’s important to work toward equilibrium for your sanity and for the sanity of everyone around you.


Do you easily get stalled or de-railed? Are you filled with anxiety when tasked with something new? Can you step back and see a set-back as momentary, a problem as an opportunity and a challenge as a chance for personal growth? Can you stay focused on the goal through the difficulties? Keeping motivated for the long-haul, and deferring immediate results for long-term success is another indicator of emotional intelligence. The last point may be the most important one to keep in mind in the next few weeks of holiday shopping. You might try reminding yourself that, though that sweater looks really great on you, it pales in comparison to the peace of mind you’ll get paying off all your bills come January.


Do people say you are a good listener? Perceptive? Understanding? If you engage in active listening and observe body language well, you are on your way to honing your empathetic abilities. These skills enable you to get out of your head and into the heart of the person in front of you. Being able to imagine, understand and empathize with other’s feelings is a fundamental people skill and an important step toward emotional intelligence. And at this time of year, here’s an opportunity to see if you’ve been paying attention to the people in your life. After all, the present you’re buying isn’t for you. It’s for someone else. Being empathetic and getting someone a gift that speaks only to them is the greatest sign that you truly care.

Social Skills

The previous four elements culminate nicely in the final category of social management. If one can recognize the emotions in themselves, and regulate them, that person becomes more appealing, approachable, and amenable to others. If they can see your positive outlook and motivation, you can better inspire. If you can recognize the emotions in others, being empathetic to their situation, you can better relate. Strong social skills of rapport, effective communication and developing trust are all signs of emotional intelligence. These, hopefully, can lead to better relationships with loved ones throughout the rest of the year.

By these indicators, the development of your emotional intelligence would go a long way to making you a happier and more productive person in all facets of your life, but especially at this time of year, when you might need it the most.

Want to take steps towards being more emotionally intelligent? Perhaps start here at MindTools. You might have noticed it over on my blog roll. They have a great quiz to test your EQ.

Or get yourself (or perhaps someone who you think might benefit) the book by Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence. Check out his site for more information.

I’m wishing you all peace and joy!


One thought on “EQ – The Holidays – and You

  1. Pingback: Holiday Traditions – The Gift of Time – Michelle F Goddard

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