Glossary of Emotional Intelligence Terms

Defining concepts. Putting emotions and experiences into words.
When we know the lingo, discussing our emotions (and figuring out what causes them) gets significantly easier. This glossary was written to open up the conversation around emotional intelligence.

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Terms marked “©EQ” are original terms created by EQnow.

Terms marked “⚓️” are known with an EQnow original definition.

Terms marked “🦉” are from other sources. (links provided)


abusive distorted reality ©EQ | a belief system created and held by abusers that helps them to justify abuse or feel entitled to be abusive. An abusive distorted reality may explain why someone is abusive but does not excuse it.

anxportunist ©EQ | an opportunist who exploits the anxieties of others, typically by promising “quick fixes” or “miracle cures” that do not work.


blaming the victim (aka victim blaming) 🦉 | The tendency of people to find fault with the weaker party in a dispute even or especially if the weaker party would not normally be held to have moral guilt for the occurrence. This has been widely noted in cases of rape, racial conflicts, and international aggression. (Source: Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology)

bonding 🦉 | The process of creating and strengthening close personal relationships, especially between infants and their caregivers. (Source: Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology)


cognitive dissonance ⚓️ | taking initiate and continually working towards goals by utilizing an internal drive.

comparative guilt ©EQ | feeling(s) of guilt for not being content because another person (known or unknown) may: 1) love to be in your situation; or 2) are in a worse situation than you.


EQ (Emotional Quotient) a.k.a emotional intelligence ⚓️ | the ability to: 1) acknowledge, assess, understand and manage emotions of oneself, and; 2) identify the emotions of others.


flow ⚓️ |


halo effect 🦉 | the tendency for positive impressions of a person, company, brand or product in one area to positively influence one’s opinion or feelings in other areas. Halo effect is “the name given to the phenomenon whereby evaluators tend to be influenced by their previous judgments of performance or personality.” Wikipedia


imposter syndrome ⚓️ | feelings of inadequacy or that one will be exposed as a fraud. Typically derived from low self-esteem and an inability to acknowledge ones own accomplishments. Originally considered a psychological phenomenon attributed mainly to women, it has been found to affect both sexes equally.

internal distraction ⚓️ | an internal event or occurrence, such as daydreaming or looping thoughts, that interfere with focus, attention or concentration.

internal motivation ⚓️ | is an internal drive to do something that gives us joy and produces flow. A desire that goes beyond external rewards such as money or status and relates to doing something because we genuinely enjoy the activity.


limiting belief ⚓️ | when we accept a thought or belief that limits us.

low vibrational thought ©EQ | a thought produced from and linked to fear, anxiety or depression.


productive shame ©EQ | utilizing feelings of shame for personal growth and development.


self-awareness ⚓️ | the ability to recognize and take an objective view of ones internal dialogue, emotions thoughts and feelings.

self-control ⚓️ | the ability to regulate impulses, thoughts and feelings.

self-justification 🦉 | 1) the justification or excusing of oneself or one’s actions. (Source: Google) 2) describes how, when a person encounters cognitive dissonance, or a situation in which a person’s behavior is inconsistent with their beliefs, that person tends to justify the behavior and deny any negative feedback associated with the behavior. (Source: Wikipedia)

self-motivation ⚓️ | taking initiate and continually working towards goals by utilizing an internal drive.

self-regulation ⚓️ | is the ability to regulate and manage emotions, thoughts and feelings in order to obtain desired, positive results that benefit overall well-being as well as internal and external relationships.


toxic shame ⚓️ | feelings of shame that lead someone to conclude they are bad, less than, unworthy, undeserving or unlovable. These feeling may be deep set, long-lasting and negatively affect someone’s core beliefs, automatic thoughts and overall identity.


unconscious behavior ⚓️ | a made up “psychological” concept that wrongfully suggests people have the ability the act unconsciously, or perform certain behaviors without being aware of the behaviors they are performing. While unconscious thought processes may lead to impulses towards certain behaviors, no behavior (except for natural bodily functions like breathing) is inherently unconscious. The concept of unconscious behavior is typically used as an excuse for treating others poorly or acting in bad faith.


victim 🦉 | 1) a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action. 2) a person who is tricked or duped. 3) a living creature killed as a religious sacrifice. (Source: Google)

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