This is a very dense subject.  Cultivating emotional intelligence takes consistent work, just like everything!  I wish I had worked on my emotional intelligence earlier in my life.  I can not turn back the clock, but I can keep this in mind now.  This book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, helped me a lot.  It helped my self awareness immensely!  It was a good reflection point for me.  It was a reality check regarding how I deal with my own problems, how I come across to others, and what I can change regarding how I communicate and relate to others.  Reading this book helped to put a lot of things in perspective for me.  I already knew my weak points prior to reading this book.  I never found it difficult to be aware of my flaws.  The issue for me was what could I do to overcome my flaws.  The recommended steps in this book helped me to take positive action to improve my emotional intelligence. 

Some people just naturally have a base level of emotional intelligence.  There seems to be some sort of normal process of maturation where people learn a basic amount of soft skills that allow them to function with a normal level of emotional intelligence.  Many people learn to naturally read their audience, tune into facial expressions, tone of voice, and other subtle ques that people do not directly communicate.  Many people will naturally alter how they say things based on what they know about that person.  Precisely what depends on the person, their relationship, and what message they are trying to communicate.  Learning to decipher the body language and what people are not saying but are trying to communicate is very useful in relating to others.

This leads me to another take away.  The importance of communication.  Communication is indeed a separate subject, but communication is a crucial component in emotional intelligence.  Learning more about how we communicate and others communicate can help us to be better at being in tune to the emotions of others.

Another factor that helped me a lot is trying to be more intentional about my mood.  I have always felt like I was more emotional than other men.  I have had a lot of triggers that made it difficult for me to be present and dial into the subtleties that people try to communicate.  When I was being triggered a lot due to the attachment to my own pain, it was hard for me to tune into the thoughts and feelings of others.  The more I have been able to work on forgiving myself and others from the past and moving on, the better my presence has been, and the better my communication has been as well as my ability to be more flexible and in tune when relating to others. 

Basically, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is an amazing book!  I highly recommend this for everyone.  And if you feel your EQ is high that is awesome.  I still feel even people with a strong EQ can benefit from reading this book.