Emotional intelligence, or the ability to assess, control, and maneuver your emotions and those of others, is a skill all its own. While emotional health may seem like something that’s always on the back burner, what with the numerous responsibilities we take on, the deadlines we have to meet, and the rules and social constraints we must abide by, our emotions are stealthily steering the way as we go about our day. The way we feel matters and impacts all of our actions. Being emotionally intelligent is recognizing the fact that we are emotional beings and being able to understand and master the more unruly or unreasonable emotions.
The term itself reached popularity with Daniel Goleman’s best seller Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, released in 1995, and has been a popular point of discussion since. It's fascinating - not to mention useful - to know that a consciousness of the way we feel and make others feel has tangible effects. Emotional intelligence also demonstrates how well we respond to and are aware of those around us, and by extension, how well aware we are of ourselves.
Too often the term ‘emotional’ carries a negative connotation, often associated with outmoded ideas of hysteria. The reality is we’re all emotional by dint of being human. Our emotions can’t be separated from memory, sensation, or perception. In fact, the root word emo is ancient Greek for blood and motion, of course, refers to movement. Essentially, emotions are as integral to our life as our life's blood.
Ways of processing emotions - celebration, trauma, grief - vary from culture to culture. Citizens' common approach to their emotional life is a formative aspect of a society, so it's interesting to learn which nations are the most and least emotional. The 'stiff upper lip' approach to tough situations is often seen to be typically British, while fiery, extroverted emotions are commonly associated with Latin blood. Just how accurate are these perceptions?
Gallup, a global performance-management consulting company based in Washington, DC, conducted an international survey with this in mind, in order to determine which countries are the most emotional. Through asking 1,000 individuals from ages 15 and up in over 150 countries from 2009- 2011, Gallup correlated the percentages of how often people responded, “Yes” or “No” to experiencing 5 positive and 5 negative emotions the day prior.
The results of their survey are deeply revealing. Post-Soviet countries commonly feature among the least emotional. Countries in the Middle East and Africa experience negative emotions most and Latin American countries ranked highest in experiencing positive emotions overall. It's a necessarily cyclical relationship: Culture, environment, and how we communicate to others are inextricably linked to our emotional health, while our emotional habits are also formative to our culture. With that in mind, let’s take a look at which countries rank as the most emotional and examine the possible reasons behind the results.
10 Bolivia : 54%
9 Guatemala: 54%
8 Canada: 54%
7 Costa Rica: 54%
6 Chile: 54%
5 Colombia: 55%
4 Oman: 55%
3 Bahrain: 56%
2 El Salvador: 57%
1 Philippines: 60%
The Philippines makes the top of the list as the most emotional country. But it bears mentioning that only 60 percent of people surveyed experienced the full range of both negative and positive emotions based on the questionnaire. This unimpressive number shows that not many individuals (globally) are experiencing their emotions on a daily basis, or perhaps more accurately, we simply aren't fully aware of our emotional experiences.
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