Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize and understand our emotions (as well as emotions of those around us) and of managing how we react to them. The basic idea is, rather than letting our emotions control us, we instead learn to identify them when they arise, recognize their causes and outcomes, and as best we can control them – or at least our reactions to them. Emotional intelligence also involves the perception of other people’s emotions: when you understand how they feel, this allows you to manage relationships more effectively. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic.
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