5 Simple Lessons of Emotional Intelligence Pets Teach Us

Recent studies have shown that emotional intelligence is a more accurate predictor of success than intelligence quotient of a person. Emotional quotient includes 54% of the various dimensions of success, that is, effectiveness, relationships, quality of life, health.

Children raised in pet-friendly homes are emotionally intelligent, reveals the latest research. They equally benefit us by teaching some life lessons in emotional intelligence. With greater emotional intelligence, we attain a balanced and poised personality.

5 Simple Lessons of Emotional Intelligence Pets Teach Us

What’s Emotional Intelligence?

If you’re still unsure about the concept of emotional intelligence, let me explain it to you here. Emotional intelligence is another way of saying management of emotions at the workplace, home, and other social and non-social environments. Emotionally intelligent people know how to best channelize their energies to achieve positive outcomes.

The identification, understanding, and regulations of emotions define emotional intelligence. Emotionally intelligent people give positive vibes and positive visions even in the most stressful situation. They understand how to handle tough situations and how to creatively make a way out of them.

Pets Teach Us Lessons on Emotional Intelligence:

Here are 5 simple ways that pets teach us to act emotionally intelligent:

EI Lesson #1: Woof and Meow out Your Emotions:

Identification and expression of emotions are considered an essential part of regulating one’s emotions. Studies mentioned by Ceasersway have shown that dogs have a bunch of emotions such as love, anger, guilt, sadness, jealousy, etc. Cats have dominant emotions like jealousy, anger, love, etc.

You must have seen how your pets openly express their feelings. They meow about their needs and bark until you are convinced. Do you think there’s an ego behind such continual requests? No.

Pets are not self-centered entirely; they always listen to the owner’s woes patiently. They can sense our mood swings and adjust themselves accordingly. Rather, an angry owner most probably has an angry dog and a happy owner has a lively one. They not only connect with us but follow us by imitating our actions.

If we learn to be more expressive about the mistakes we made, problems we face (and talk to the concerned person); we can feel more content and at peace. Suppressed emotions only lead to misunderstandings, negativity, and ultimately depression. Moreover, just like pets, if we start listening patiently to what others are saying, a deeper respect and bonding shall be cultivated between everyone. The uncritical companionship a dog provides us is what we all need. Pets teach us to ‘speak up and listen non-judgmentally’ to strengthen our relations, and, therefore, enhance the quality of our life. Goleman explains it as, “Having fulfilling, effective relationships — that’s a sign [of emotional intelligence]”

EI Lesson #2: Perseverance and Loyalty:

Have you noticed your German shepherd protecting you against strangers and potentially frightening situations? That’s how pets stick through thick and thin with you. They listen to you, adjust to your moods, relate to your emotions, and cuddle you through grief.

Cuddling the pet in tough times is relaxing, but their shedding hair can be a problem. Pets are a great responsibility, and they demand your loyalty to follow their routines and fulfill their needs.

Dogs are reflective of your emotions. A greater self-awareness can develop in you about your feelings if you closely observe them. Self-awareness is the first step towards an understanding of emotions.

Among pets, dogs are the most loyal and patient companions that persevere through the toughest times. They restore our belief in the goodness of the world. Moreover, they teach us to stick to our dreams past the most difficult times. They teach us to regulate our emotions in a positive way and stay loyal to our work, family, and friends.

EI Lesson #3: Be Selfless:

Being selfless is another important component of emotional intelligence. People with high EQ are able to act selflessly and unconditionally. Pets shower such unconditional love and loyalty in return for fulfilling their basic needs; that you may get an inspiration from it.

An emotionally balanced personality is the one that acts selflessly to comfort others. As a leader believes in teamwork more than individual achievements, so does a Fido teaches us this rule of success in his own way. Fido’s unconditional love and acceptance inspire us to be more caring, affectionate, empathetic and understanding towards others to make their lives easier. What happens next? What goes around comes around.

Girl with small white dog

EI Lesson #4: Be Empathetic:

Pets teach us empathy and compassion towards others. According to recent studies, dogs can read the emotions of their human companions and are strictly attuned to their state of mind. They often yawn when their owner yawns, which indicates their empathy for the owner.

In 1964, an experiment was conducted by Jules Masserman on rhesus monkey demonstrated how the monkey did not pull the chain that delivered food to prevent hurting the other monkey. One monkey refused to pull the chain for 12 days (unless he began to starve) to avoid hurting his companion.

Dogs teach us to demonstrate patience during the dog training session as they do when we get angry with them. They teach us anger management, an essential element of success. The compassion and patience help us to widen our social circle and connect with more people easily. Being empathetic increases our chances to become socially intelligent.

EI Lesson #4: Be Communicative:

Pets live in groups and socialize often to form a unit. They are empathetic not only to their specific species but also to other animals. You must have watched the funny videos of the love shared by cat and dog, squirrel and dog, chick and cat, etc. Pets can communicate well to their owners too.

When you are out for a walk, your dog attracts many people from the surroundings. You must have communicated and socialized with them. Was it threatening? No, then why do you fear to communicate?

Pets give us the courage to communicate more often. They provide us with reasons to communicate. They teach us to live as one unit in spite of the communication, status, class barriers. Moreover, Being social prevents us from a range of mental problems and, therefore, emotional disbalance.

Final Verdict:

Learning these five simple and effective life lessons in emotional intelligence will enhance the quality of our lives and our chances to succeed in life.

James ShoreAbout The Author

James is a part-time dog-trainer and dog behavior consultant with years of experience in dog training and the man behind LabradorTrainingHQ.com. He is interested in finding out fun ways to handle dog behaviors, specifically, Labradors to help dog-owners enjoy their companions at all times.


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One comment

  1. Having pets at young ages teach children responsibility.
    Talking from experience, my son is four years and we have three dogs, he has always been exposed to dogs and is truly a dog lover.
    He will make sure that he plays with them daily, ensures that their food and water bowls are always topped up and above all he shows them the utmost affection.

    A while back one of our dogs had an eye ulcer, at the vet visit the vet had gave us instructions on to administer the medication and cleaning process daily. My son had memorized this and when we arrived home he was the one that wanted do everything, till this day he still says he made his dog better on his own.
    Whenever we go shopping he always buys them something, a toy or treats, he sometimes comes out the shop with a few items for them and maybe only one for him.

    I will never trade having pets in my life, those simple lessons learnt are valuable.

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