Can Reading A Novel Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?
We all know that reading improves our intelligence levels, but what if we told you that we could also improve your emotional intelligence as well? Why does reading help to encourage empathy, understanding, and a better sense of emotional health? The answer to this question requires just a little bit of explanation, so let’s take a look!
A lifelong love for books seems to correlate with a higher score on the RMET.
The RMET, or Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test, is used to see how well people can judge another person’s emotions based on a photograph of only their eyes. Though there is some skepticism about how accurate the test is, researchers have used this test as a benchmark for emotional intelligence. According to Time magazine, people who had been reading novels for the majority of their lives scored higher than those that did not. It’s dangerous to think that correlation equates to causation, but it is an interesting concept none the less.
It’s undeniable that novels evoke emotional responses.
We don’t need a formal study to know that reading evokes emotions in us when we do it. In London, at the School of Life, two bibliotherapists, are sharing their love of literature in a way that helps people overcome the challenges of their lives. By reading books that tackle the struggles they are going though, these people can work through the struggles. Though there isn’t a lot of data on the improvement of mental and emotional health through reading, I’m sure we can all think of a book that helped us overcome something. There’s an emotional connection evoked when you dive into the story of a literary character that mirrors that of connecting with a friend. Though a book may not replace therapy for clinical depression or PTSD, there is something to be said for seeing someone else overcome the pain and heartache that you are working through. There is a satisfaction in that that should not be overlooked.
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