Book Summary: The Language of Emotional Intelligence by Jeanne Segal

Emotional intelligence has been shown to outperform cognitive intelligence in predicting success in many aspects of life, both at home and work.

We've gained a lot of knowledge about how emotional intelligence works over the years.

We know that one person's stress can stymie communication until both parties feel comfortable and focus on each other. Those basic feelings, such as anger, sadness, and joy, are essential to strong relationships.

We can thrive in the face of adversity because of our playful nature. And, if handled correctly, conflict can become a trust-building experience.

Join us for the next ten minutes as we look at the five fundamental abilities that define, empower, and lead your emotional intelligence in communication, allowing you to build and maintain secure, successful, long-term relationships.

Skill #1 - The Elastic: high safety and low stress

A male individual doing meditation to find calmness, only by being calm we can achieve emotional intelligence.

The ability to be emotionally open and involved is dependent on our ability to manage stress. When we're anxious, we become stuck within our own thoughts and can't see what's right in front of us.

Recognize when your stress levels are out of control as the first step toward stress management. This necessitates an understanding of your stressors. Perhaps it's certain.

When you're anxious, pay attention to what's going on around you, and you'll notice certain trends.

We may employ two fundamental sorts of measures to return to a balanced state once we become stressed: social interactions and private acts.

If you enjoy interacting with people, finding a balance may be as simple as looking for someone calm, attentive, and makes you feel comfortable.

Let that individual know what you're going through and ask for their assistance in getting you back on track.

You may do things on your own to regain equilibrium if you are a more private person.

Focusing on deep breaths is one of the simplest and most effective ways. This not only slows you down but also increases oxygen flow to your brain, making it easier to think properly.

Being present needs to be your beginning point for emotional intelligence as we deal with a culture that is constantly on, and dare we say always stressed. Only if you are calm and concentrated will you be able to accomplish this.

Skill #2 - The Glue: exchange based on primary emotions

A hand releasing a bird, showing a sign of peace and tranquility. Reconnect with your calm emotion.

Our emotions are at the heart of emotional intelligence, which should come as no surprise. They're the glue that binds the communication process together, and they're required to persuade people to join in an emotional exchange.

Segal says we need to recover and restore our primordial emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, joy, and contempt, if we want to make that connection.

Most individuals lose touch with their emotions somewhere between childhood and adulthood.

This is due to our preference for thinking over feeling, which has existed for millennia but was not always the case.

When we are confronted with overwhelming, difficult, or unwanted events, we develop coping strategies such as compulsive thoughts and actions, which can lead to addiction in severe cases. Alternatively, some people may fully shut off.

The difficulty with this strategy is that you can't get rid of the negative primal emotions without simultaneously getting rid of the positive primal feelings like happiness.

Reclaiming these basic emotions in our life will require some effort, as the author points out. To get there, they recommend performing four portions of the workout.

To begin, locate a secluded location that you love being in. Make sure you're feeling protected and secure. Play some music that conjures the basic emotion you're trying to understand.

Second, we'll try to link moderately with a powerful feeling. Begin by tensing and then releasing all of your body parts. Remove any distracting thoughts from your head.

Then, locate an emotional trigger of anything that had an emotional impact on you, such as a minor annoyance.

Then scan your physique to see if you see any changes. Then, once you've discovered where you're different, direct your breath to that spot.

Third, once you've mastered the second phase, go through the procedure again, but this time with considerably more powerful emotions.

Finally, when the time allocated for the exercise is over, stand up and concentrate your energy on your regular daily tasks.

This phase is designed to help you reconnect with your emotions. Rinse, wash, and rinse again as required.

Skill #3 - The Pulley: wordless communication

A female making a peace sign showing a nonverbal clue of peace.

Nonverbal communication is an emotionally savvy language that maintains relationships on track and draws people's attention.

Eye contact, facial expressions, tone of voice, posture and gestures, touch, intensity, timing, and communication velocity are all factors.

Nonverbal communication is made up of two parts: your nonverbal clues and reading other people's nonverbal signs.

It would help if you rid your thoughts of all distractions to accomplish both of these things properly.

You can't concentrate on what you're going to say next while also paying attention to nonverbal signals. Instead, focus on what you hear, feel, see, smell, taste, and other people's reactions.

Once you've cleared your thoughts, here are some instances of nonverbal signs to look for:

  • Even if most individuals would never come out and say it, if you observe someone tilting their head to one side and see small changes in the expressive lines surrounding their eyes, they are likely saying, "I don't understand."
  • If you observe someone with their shoulders hunched up and their voice increased in tone, they're probably expressing, "What you're communicating is upsetting me."
  • Someone leaning forward with a smile on their lips and a look in their eyes is probably expressing, "I enjoy being here with you."

It takes experience to interpret nonverbal cues, so set aside time in your calendar to be present and analyze the nonverbal signs that occur around you daily.

It will, however, be time well spent. Emotional intelligence offers you interpersonal abilities that only a few individuals have.

You'll be able to read others' emotional signs properly, reply with nonverbal clues that show you're aware of and concerned about how they're feeling, and avoid confusing people with words that contradict your real sentiments.

Skill #4: The ladder: pleasure in interactive play

Friends walking together and joking around, having fun. This shows that they are having a shared experience.

You may occasionally find yourself in an embarrassing position that necessitates using all of your emotional intelligence. If used appropriately, playfulness and humor are among the most powerful weapons you have at your disposal.

Conflict and stress may degrade even the finest linguistic abilities, but fun communication builds, repairs, and restores relationships, as the author points out.

When it comes to playing in a relationship, it should always be a shared experience. It's a technique for cultivating spontaneity, letting go of defensiveness, releasing inhibitions, calming and energizing oneself, and becoming emotionally honest.

Joking about our grievances, creating a game out of pretending to enjoy things we don't like, spoofing and playfully exaggerating difficulties, and making up amusing games to assist us in getting our views through are some specific examples.

The play can uncover solutions to difficult and embarrassing situations. However, whenever you use this instrument, make sure to step gently. Make sure you can respond yes to the following questions to avoid exacerbating a poor situation:

  • Do you sense a peaceful, energizing, and warm connection with your spouse or coworker?
  • Is it truly your aim to convey good emotions?
  • Are you confident that your witty gesture will be recognized and appreciated?
  • Are you conscious of the emotional tone of your nonverbal messages?
  • Are you aware of your partner's or coworker's nonverbal communication?
  • Do you take a step back if your spouse or coworker appears to be upset or angry?
  • Is it simple for you to apologize right away if you say or do something that offends someone?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then go for it!

Skill #5 - The velvet hammer: conflict as an opportunity for trust-building

A female in a bad mood with an angry face and smoke coming out from her ears. When resolved properly, conflict can be an opportunity for trust-building.

Conflict is a chance for the emotionally savvy to establish trust. Of course, conflict is what it has always been in the hands of the less competent - an opportunity to generate enmity or irreparable rifts in relationships.

You'll be able to resolve the disagreement in various ways if you use the abilities we've already covered up to this point.

  • You'll be able to correctly understand and comprehend both verbal and nonverbal communication if you don't get emotionally overwhelmed.
  • You'll be able to convey what you want without endangering others if you can both express and regulate your emotions.
  • You'll access the most information possible (both from the cues you're experiencing in the moment and from your thinking) if you're present, so you can effectively navigate the situation.
  • In tight situations, you'll be able to provide alternatives to knee-jerk reactions.

Your concerns will be resolved swiftly and easily when you accomplish these things, and your trust will develop.


Because the other person now knows that you'll be a calm and ready collaborator in finding a solution when additional sticky circumstances arise. People like that we like and trust.


That's all there is to it. You may use these five techniques to improve your emotional intelligence and achieve more of what you want out of life.

Before leaving this summary and going back to whatever you were doing, answer the following questions to ensure that what you learned sticks.

  1. What tasks will you start using the skills for?
  2. Who will you practice with? It's best to find a willing partner who'll be able and eager to join you on your journey.
  3. Where will you put these skills to the test?
  4. When are you going to put these talents to use?

You'll be well on your way to becoming an emotional intelligence powerhouse if you can answer those four questions.

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