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  • Writer's pictureJustin Tilghman, Ph.D.

Emotional Intelligence: A Key to Freedom and Fulfillment

Emotional intelligence is a concept has garnered significant attention for its profound impact on our success and fulfillment, touching the very essence of what it means to live freely and flourish, just as intended. This post is all about why EQ is important and how to develop it.

Man thinking deeply

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence, or EQ for brevity, stands as our capability to comprehend, utilize, and manage our emotions in positive ways. It helps in alleviating stress, communicating effectively, empathizing with others, overcoming challenges, and diffusing conflicts. EQ is not just about recognizing our own emotions but also understanding and respecting the feelings of others, fostering interactions marked by wisdom and compassion.

Why Does EQ Matter?

The significance of EQ cannot be overstated. It goes beyond mere intellectual capabilities or technical skills, reaching into the heart of our relationships. Our ability to navigate emotions, ours and those of others, plays a crucial role in shaping the quality of these connections. Research consistently shows that emotional intelligence is a more reliable predictor of success than IQ, influencing everything from work performance to personal relationships. In essence, the strength of our bonds with others mirrors the depth of our emotional intelligence.

Developing Your EQ: Practical Steps

  • Enhancing your EQ begins with self-awareness. Recognizing how your emotions influence your thoughts and actions is fundamental. A practical step towards this awareness is maintaining a journal to track emotional reactions and their triggers. This introspection aids in understanding our responses to various situations.

  • Following self-awareness, self-regulation is crucial. It involves managing your emotions responsibly, choosing responses rather than reacting impulsively. Techniques like deep breathing, counting to ten, or taking a walk can be immensely helpful in regaining emotional control.

  • Empathy is another pillar of EQ, essential for building strong, understanding relationships. It's about genuinely listening and trying to perceive things from another's perspective, distinguishing empathy from sympathy.

  • Social skills, particularly effective communication, leverage your EQ in interactions. Being clear, concise, and considerate can enhance the clarity and reception of your messages. Active listening ensures that you fully comprehend others and respond thoughtfully, fostering mutual understanding.

  • Lastly, motivation driven by internal values rather than external rewards marks a high EQ. Aligning your goals with your core values can significantly boost your motivation and satisfaction in life.

A Lifelong Journey

Developing emotional intelligence is an ongoing process, a journey rather than a destination. It requires commitment, introspection, and practice. The benefits of this journey are profound, including improved relationships, career success, personal satisfaction, and better mental health.

Remember that the path to enhancing your emotional intelligence starts with a willingness to be honest with yourself and a dedication to continual improvement. Start small, celebrate your progress, and be patient with yourself. Each step forward is a move towards becoming a more understanding, compassionate, and effective individual.


Dr. Justin Tilghman is a board-certified life and master mental health coach and certified NeuroMindfuless® Practitioner who specializes in helping clients live purposeful, meaningful, fulfilling, and balanced lives that make the most of their God-given potential. He is also a Fellow Member of the Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate.


Justin is a Board Certified Advanced Life Coach with the Board of Christian Life Coaching, a division of the International Board of Christian Care and the American Association of Christian Counselors. He has demonstrated knowledge and application of biblical integration in coaching, the ICCA and ICF Core Competencies, the Code of Ethics, and the ICF definition of coaching.


Justin is a Board Certified Master Mental Health Coach with the Board of Mental Health Coaching, a division of the International Board of Christian Care and the American Association of Christian Counselors. He has demonstrated knowledge and application of biblical integration in providing ethical and competent mental health coaching.

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