Emotional Intelligence for Men: A Complete Guide

What is emotional intelligence? Is there emotional intelligence for men? Can a man learn how to be emotionally intelligent? How can I become emotionally intelligent as a man? These are just some of the many questions men often ask regarding emotional intelligence. If you find yourself seeking answers to these or more questions, this article is for you.  

My name is Sean Galla, a men’s group facilitator for more than ten years, and I know all about emotional intelligence for men. Part of my facilitating work involves introducing men to emotional intelligence, which is vital in everyday life. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about emotional intelligence for men, including how to become an emotionally intelligent man.  

Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

What is Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) is a person’s ability to control, perceive and evaluate own emotions. Wikipedia defined emotional intelligence as ‘the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions.’ 

People who exhibit high emotional intelligence can recognize the emotions and emotions of others. They often see emotional information as a guide to their thinking and behavior, discerning different feelings and labeling them appropriately, as well as adjusting emotions to adapt to different environments.

While the term emotional intelligence has been them since the 60s, it became globally popular thanks to Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence. In this book, Goleman defines emotional intelligence as a range of skills and characteristics that drive performance and leadership.

It is essential for humans to master the art of emotional awareness while still possessing competencies like the ability to interpret, understand and respond to other people’s emotions. Some specialists argue that high eq is more important than IQ when it comes to leading a successful life.

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Emotional Intelligence and Men

Emotional intelligence is a key component for success in life and works for every person. Unfair gender differences and stereotypes have created a false belief that men have a lower EQ compared to women. This is often fueled by the fact that women find it easier to express emotions than men. Contrary to this belief, men have proven to score as well as women on IQ tests for their emotional states. This goes to show that men and women are equally endowed when it comes to emotional intelligence.

While men can become as emotionally intelligent as women, most are not as emotionally intelligent as they wound want to be. For generations, men have been taught that the only way to be a complete man is by suppressing their emotions as a way of showing strength. This emotional repression hinders a man’s ability to show empathy and care, which stands in the way of their interpersonal relationships, professional, and social life since they cannot connect emotionally with other people. 

Common clichés and stereotypes are often seen as the cause of low emotional intelligence in men. Some of these clichés include:

  • All men watch football because it is a ‘manly’ game
  • Men do not discuss or talk about their feelings
  • Men are competitive in nature and will do whatever it takes to win
  • Men are only required to show strength as the backbone of their families
  • Men are always in control of their emotions

Suppressing emotions leaves a man feeling isolated and longing for a connection. When this is not available, men find other unhealthy outlets like risky behavior. Men feel emotions and need a healthy outlet for these negative emotions. Part of becoming emotionally intelligent involves addressing your own feelings as a man to be able to understand others’ feelings.

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Why emotional intelligence for men is important  

As mentioned above, possessing high emotional intelligence is the key to a happy, fulfilled, and successful life. People with a high degree of EQ are able to leverage it and use it to better their mental health and well-being. Emotional intelligence men can inspire others and lead, making them successful leaders.

When you are an emotionally intelligent man, you are self-aware, making it easier to manage your emotions. This improves your social intelligence and other areas of your life.

Five Components of Emotional Intelligence

Five Components of Emotional Intelligence

In his Amazon bestseller book, Daniel Goleman states that emotional intelligence is made up of five important factors:

  •       Self-awareness – referring to how you understand your moods and how they affect your surroundings. Self-awareness manifests as self-control, a self-deprecating sense of humor, and realistic self-assessment.
  •       Self-regulation – the ability to redirect or control disruptive moods and impulses. It is also the inclination to think before acting.
  •       Motivation – referring to what drives a man besides status and money. A deeper motivation pushes you to continue going even when faced with challenges. It is a dedication to succeed.
  •       Empathy – the proverbial ability to walk in someone else’s shoes. Empathy allows you to see things from another’s viewpoint and emotional standpoint.
  •       Social skills – refer to your ability to meet and build relationships around you. Your ability to find common ground and motivate others to join in.

By mastering these five categories, a person can become more emotionally intelligent. Proficiency in emotional intelligence has become an important skill for people interested in working with people. Career options like social work, nursing, management roles, and service industry require candidates to exhibit high levels of emotional intelligence.

Signs of High Emotional Intelligence

You can look out for signs to tell whether one is emotionally intelligent or take an emotional intelligence test. The five common traits of emotionally intelligent men include:

Ability to self-regulate – emotionally intelligent men register their emotions and make decisions based on emotional information.

Responding and not reacting – emotionally intelligent men assess a situation and explore feelings before responding with logic.

Understanding your triggers – emotionally intelligent people have learned their triggers. This makes it easy to avoid them and learn how to overcome the triggers.

Ability to listen – emotionally intelligent people have mastered the art of listening, which helps them to read non-verbal cues to understand the message and the speaker more.

Effective communication – emotionally intelligent people are effective communicators. They can express their thoughts, emotions, and feelings articulately while maintaining appropriateness in different settings.

Low Emotional Intelligence

To improve your emotional intelligence, you first need to understand the signs of low emotional intelligence.

Low emotional intelligence is the inability to perceive emotions accurately in yourself and others. People who can sense their feelings and others’ but do not know how to use the emotional information to guide their actions and thinking can also have a low emotional quotient or EQ.

Signs of low EQ include:

  • The need to always be right – people with low EQ always want to be right and refuse to listen to conflicting ideas even when confronted with proof.
  • Being oblivious to the feelings of others – inability to recognize other people’s feelings or emotions.
  • Insensitive behavior – lack of understanding appropriate and inappropriate timing.
  • Blaming others for their shortcomings – lack of holding yourself accountable for your deeds and instead preferring to blame others for your actions
  • Poor coping skills – inability to cope with emotional situations and preferring to hide emotions to avoid confrontation or addressing an issue.
  • Emotional outbursts – struggling to understand or control emotions leading to regular outbursts as a way of coping.
  • Struggles with relationships – inability to form bonds and strong relationships caused by emotional unavailability
  • Self-centeredness – wanting to dominate conversations while making everything about themselves.

Low emotional intelligence can cause numerous issues in a person’s life. If you feel that you may have low emotional intelligence. There are skills and behaviors you can adopt to increase your EQ.

How to Improve Emotional Intelligence for Men

A low emotional IQ is not set in stone. according to Salovey p, it is possible to grow your emotional intelligence the same way people grow knowledge. Developing a higher EQ is like working on a muscle; the more it is used, the stronger it gets.

Practice assertive communication

Assertive communication is the ideal way of earning respect without coming off as passive or aggressive. Emotionally intelligent people can effectively communicate their opinions while maintaining respect for others.

Learn to respond and not react

Emotionally intelligent people have mastered the art of remaining calm even in stressful situations. The best way to learn this skill is to practice assessing situations. This will allow you to understand other people’s perspectives and make problem-solving easier.

Become an active listener

Emotionally intelligent people listen for clarity while waiting for their turn to speak. They take time to understand what is being communicated before responding while paying attention to the nonverbal details of a conversation like facial expressions. Active listening prevents misunderstandings and shows respect for the person speaking.

Cultivate a positive attitude

Emotionally intelligent people are mindful of their attitudes. A negative attitude is infectious and dangerous. To become emotionally intelligent, you need to start practicing mindfulness when it comes to the emotions and moods of those around you. Learn how to ensure you have a good day and an optimistic outlook. Little steps like having a great meal, engaging in meditation every day, reading books, or listening to uplifting music can make a significant difference. 

Be open to constructive criticism

Part of growing your emotional intelligence is learning how to take a critique. While most people would get offended or defensive, high EQ people strive to understand where the issue is coming from and how it affects others. This way, they are able to constructively resolve issues.

Learn to empathize with others

People with high EQ have mastered the skill of empathizing. To them, empathy is a trait that displays emotional strength, not weakness. By being empathetic, high EQ individuals are able to relate to others on a basic human level. Empathy is the gateway to mutual respect and understanding for people with differing opinions and situations.

Learn to empathize with others

Utilize your leadership skills

Emotional intelligence goes hand in hand with excellent leadership skills. People with high emotional intelligence set high standards for themselves and strive to be a good example for others. Learn how to take initiative and cultivate great problem-solving and decision-making skills. This will propel you to a higher and more productive level of performance in life and at work.

Be sociable and approachable

People with high emotional intelligence are approachable. They often smile at others and give a positive presence. They make use of appropriate social skills to make whomever they around feel comfortable. They also possess great interpersonal skills and have mastered the art of proper communication, whether verbal or nonverbal.

While many of these skills may seem suited for people who understand basic human psychology, they can be cultivated by anyone.

While high EQ skills seem to come more naturally to empathetic people, anyone can develop them. If you consider yourself a less empathetic person, you only need to practice becoming more self-aware and conscious of how you interact with others.

Practiced the five categories of emotional intelligence

The five categories of emotional intelligence are the roots on which the whole practice is based. To improve your emotional intelligence, you need to work on your self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Join a Support Group

Sometimes the best way to cultivate new skills is to have someone holding you accountable. To master emotional intelligence for men, you can consider joining a support group like mesgroup.com. This group is made up of like-minded men interested in self-improvement and personal growth. By joining a support group, you can work on your communication and social skills while making new friends in an all-male environment.

Conclusion

There are numerous benefits associated with having a high emotional intelligence as a man. This article highlights all the critical aspects of emotional intelligence for men, including how to cultivate the skills. By utilizing the steps highlighted, you will be on the right path to higher emotional intelligence. If you feel like you need an accountability partner, MensGroup is one of the best support and accountability forums available for men today. The support and push you get from being part of a group will ensure you attain your goal in no time while making new male friends.

*Sources:
1. Are Men And Women Equally Emotionally Intelligent?
2. What People (Still) Get Wrong About Emotional Intelligence
3. Sex differences in emotional intelligence
4. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND GENDER DIFFERENCES
5. The Measurement of Emotional Intelligence: A Critical Review of the Literature and Recommendations for Researchers and Practitioners

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