When you were a kid, you were probably told platitudes such as, “be a team player” and “treat others the way you want to be treated.” As adults, we (hopefully) don’t receive reminders like this, but these clichés still hold value for us.

When you go to work, the easiest people to work with are those that are team players, and those that treat you how they would like you to treat them. These clichés, among others, could be under the umbrella term “emotional intelligence.”

Do you want to work for someone who can’t decipher how his or her staff reacts to an idea? Do you want to work with people who shoot down others’ suggestions and only want to go forward with his or her own proposals? No, you want to work with people who are emotionally intelligent—those who are aware of how they feel and how those around them feel. It can be incredibly difficult to work with people who are out of touch with how others perceive them and how they perceive themselves. The people that are easiest to work with are, simply, aware.

Emotional intelligence is a term we hear sometimes but might not realize how it’s related to all aspects of our lives. We don’t just work with people when we are physically at work, we work with others when we’re at home, when we’re at the grocery store, when we’re at the library …. Everywhere we are and anytime we’re interacting with others, we have the opportunity to be emotionally intelligent and to reach out to people in mature and engaging ways.

Some people might feel exhausted from working with others all day and find themselves being less patient or forgiving at home. Work can take a lot out of us, but just remember that exhibiting signs of emotional intelligence is not something that matters only in the workplace. Working well with others is important in all aspects of our lives.