7 Signs of Emotional Intelligence by Patrice Comrie
We all feel; one minute we’re happy, another minute we’re sad, the next, who knows? Humans can go through a countless number of feelings on any given day. These feelings change depending on our experiences and are further affected by our personality, culture, gender, socialization, and many other factors of emotional intelligence. As a result, our default is to become reactive to our circumstances.
Often, this can have adverse effects on our lives. Well thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here you’ll learn how to streamline your emotions to encourage positive life experiences. The first step is to understand what exactly emotional intelligence is and why it is important, then to be able to identify the signs of emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence and why is it important?
Emotional intelligence (EI), also referred to as emotional quotient (EQ), is the ability to fully understand what you feel, why you feel the way you feel, and how to manage what you are feeling. Not only that, but how we perceive emotions expressed by others and, by extension, how we deal with them to promote positive and sustainable relationships.
Many studies have shown that people with high emotional intelligence stand a better chance of being successful in life. Traditionally, our education systems focused on developing intelligence quotient (IQ). It was not until recent years that more emphasis was being placed on developing emotional intelligence for kids. Subsequently, children are becoming adults equipped with many other soft skills, such as conflict resolution, leadership development, and negotiation skills, just to name a few.
Here’s how you can identify people with high emotional intelligence:
They Are Self-aware
People with high emotional intelligence have a strong sense of self. They know exactly who they are; they fully understand likes and dislikes, they have a deep self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses, and can tune in to feelings. They are conscious of situations that may trigger a negative emotional response and as such, are able to control their reaction when faced with similar situations or avoid those situations altogether.
Not only that, but people who are emotionally intelligent are able to see themselves from other people’s points of view and understand their perspectives.
They Are Empathetic
Empathy is not to be confused with sympathy, which is merely understanding people’s feelings from one’s own perspective. Empathy is walking in someone else’s shoes. It’s being able to identify, understand and share people’s feelings. People with high emotional intelligence can easily pick up on the things that are not said to find the deeper meaning behind a person’s emotional reaction.
As such, they are more compassionate to others and sensitive to their situation. They care about how their actions might affect other people and try to create a safe space for others to freely express themselves emotionally and provide support accordingly.
They Are Present-Focused
People with high emotional intelligence focus on the present. This means that they are mindful of what is taking place within a particular moment, without being distracted by past events or future endeavors. They have a deep sense of gratitude for incremental achievements and enjoy life.
Emotionally intelligent people strive for balance in all areas of their lives. On top of that, they view each challenge as an opportunity to improve problem-solving skills development. Consequently, they can overcome obstacles in an efficient and effective manner.
They Have Strong Interpersonal Skills
Expressing one’s emotions in a controlled and appropriate way is not an easy feat. It takes an advanced level of emotional maturity to be able to exercise restraint when faced with certain situations. Staying calm and positive when communicating with others is a key component of social skills in emotional intelligence. Mastering social skills mean you can compartmentalize and emotionally adapt accordingly.
People with high emotional intelligence can communicate their feelings effectively, advocating for themselves in a concise and respectful way. Therefore, they have no second thought when enforcing boundaries and expressing preferences if necessary, so long as they don’t violate the rights of others.
Another aspect of social skills in emotional intelligence is being able to read other people’s emotions. handling them in a way that allows for positive interaction and that creates functioning and lasting relationships. This also includes being an effective listener, actively listening to not only respond but to understand. In essence, people with high emotional intelligence find it easier to ‘fit in’.
They Are Self-Motivated
Becoming and staying motivated to achieve a goal takes a high level of commitment. It, therefore, means that oftentimes, you must be the source of your own motivation. You won’t always have someone in your corner pumping you up to keep fighting. People with high emotional intelligence can connect with their inner enthusiasm to get the job done, without pressure from others.
They can identify their interests and find ways to keep inspired. Being self-motivated ties in with having self-management skills. Practicing good self-management means that you won’t set unrealistic goals for yourself, and you learn to say “no” to unreasonable demands from others.
As such, you preempt triggering negative emotions, such as stress and depression, which are usually caused by poor self-management and can leave you feeling demotivated.
They Are Receptive
People with high emotional intelligence are open to new ideas and suggestions. They can recognize their shortcomings and appreciate that other people may be more adept at achieving a set goal. As a result, they are more accepting of change and readily adapt to different people and changing situations, whether on a personal or organizational level.
Emotionally intelligent people also welcome criticism: they can take the good from it and constantly work to improve themselves.
They Exercise Integrity
In every area of their lives, people with high emotional intelligence conduct themselves with a great deal of morality. They are guided by principles such as honesty, fairness, and equality. They seek to always do the right thing while being transparent about their feelings and desires.
It takes courage to own your true feelings, especially when you are constantly being bombarded with societal ideologies and expectations.
In a group, persons working with emotional intelligence tend to be great leaders and effectively foster collaboration within the team because people see them as dependable and trustworthy.
I’m sure by now, having looked at the different signs of emotional intelligence, you’re probably trying to see how you measure up. People with high emotional intelligence didn’t just wake up one day and become that way. Mastering the skill is a work in progress; it takes constant practice to fully develop.
I guarantee that if you follow these 7 signs, they will point you in the direction to get you started on your journey to becoming emotionally intelligent. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way.
Patrice Comrie is a facilitator at Shiminly. She began teaching in 2011, after obtaining her bachelor’s degree at the University of West Indies in Jamaica. In her teaching practice, she focuses on students’ unique needs and differentiates the lesson with the understanding that every student learns differently.