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  • Vanessa Nixon, MA, RP

Trauma & Emotional Intelligence

Updated: Apr 4

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one's own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. It involves skills such as empathy, self-awareness, and social awareness. Research has shown that emotional intelligence can be a key factor in personal and professional success, as it can help individuals navigate social situations, build strong relationships, and make effective decisions.

Trauma can have a significant impact on emotional intelligence, as it can lead to difficulties in recognizing and regulating emotions. Research has shown that individuals who have experienced trauma often struggle with emotional regulation, empathy, and social skills. They can have difficulty noticing and understanding the emotions of others. This can lead to difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships, as well as in managing stress and coping with challenging situations. An example of low emotional intelligence could be someone who frequently reacts impulsively and emotionally without considering the impact of their actions on others or themselves. Specifically that can look like someone who yells at people without considering the distress that might cause the other person. In some cases this can be severe enough to have traits of narcissism which is a personality disorder characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and a need for admiration.

There are several strategies that can help increase emotional intelligence, even in the face of trauma. These include mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, seeking feedback from others, as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy and other forms of talk therapy. Additionally, practicing self-care and engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfillment can help build emotional resilience and increase overall emotional intelligence.

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