Developing Emotional Intelligence in Girls is Life Saving

I define emotional intelligence as the ability to recognize, understand and deal with your emotions. How many of us can effectively do this — not as many as I would like. One reason you may not know how to do this is because you were never taught this skill. Developing emotional intelligence occurs over a lifetime. We never stop learning and growing and getting stronger. If you do have a level of emotional intelligence it is most likely because you have worked for it. We all have to work for it but it is worth it. The result is an increased level of confidence, peace of mind and success in life.

An emotional foundation is crucial to the happiness and success of girls. Being emotionally sound does not imply that you never get upset, hurt, angry or cry. Experiencing a range of emotions makes you “normal”. It’s what we do with our emotions, how we handle them, how we let them handle us, and how we communicate them that will define one’s level of emotional intelligence.

A girl who knows and accepts that she is not perfect and is able to talk about it without feeling “less than” is a girl who is heading in the right direction. We must teach girls to question their beliefs of what makes someone better than someone else or what makes someone popular. By the way, popular is way over-rated. Being authentic is what is cool.

We need to start talking about the importance of developing emotional intelligence in girls. Learning will look different for different people. Some possible paths include: counseling, self-help material or talking with a wiser person. Developing a curiosity about this is where it starts. Actually, I see a lot of girls who start to develop emotional intelligence after experiencing a great deal of emotional pain. Sometimes pain is a motivator but not always. Some girls just stay in their pain, blame themselves and create a life of frustrations and unhappiness. I want to help girls avoid this trap.

Michelle Kelley BA, MSW, LCSW Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email

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