10 qualities of an emotionally intelligent man, according to psychology

Emotionally intelligent men are a rarer breed than you might think. They stand out, not just for their charm or charisma, but for something deeper.

Being emotionally intelligent isn’t about being sensitive or “in touch with your feelings”. No, it’s much more than that. It’s about understanding, managing and using your emotions in a positive way.

Psychology has a lot to say about these men, and the qualities that make them unique.

Let’s dive into the 10 qualities of an emotionally intelligent man, according to psychology, and see what makes these individuals truly special.

1) Empathy is the cornerstone

The first and arguably most important quality of an emotionally intelligent man is empathy.

Empathy goes beyond just understanding another person’s point of view. It involves sharing their feelings, feeling their pain, rejoicing in their joy. It’s about truly “walking in another person’s shoes.”

This isn’t just some feel-good statement. It’s a fundamental principle recognized by psychologists worldwide.

Famed psychologist Carl Rogers once said, “When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good…When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way.”

An emotionally intelligent man knows the power of empathy and wields it deftly. He doesn’t just hear; he listens. He doesn’t just understand; he feels. And that makes all the difference.

2) Emotional Self-Awareness

The second quality that defines an emotionally intelligent man is emotional self-awareness. It’s the ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions, and how they impact one’s behavior and thoughts.

I remember a time in my life when I was struggling with this. I’d feel a surge of anger or frustration, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint why.

It was only after some deep introspection and self-reflection that I began to understand the root cause of these emotions.

According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

This resonated deeply with me. Recognizing my feelings and understanding why they were happening was a game-changer.

It helped me to manage my emotional responses effectively and build stronger, healthier relationships. That’s the power of emotional self-awareness.

3) Emotional Regulation

The third quality that distinguishes an emotionally intelligent man is the ability to regulate emotions. It’s about having emotional reactions, yes, but it’s also about knowing when and how to express these emotions.

I’ll be honest here. This has been a tough one for me. There were times when I’d let my negative emotions take control – I’d lose my temper, say things I didn’t mean, and later regret it. It was like being on an emotional roller coaster with no breaks.

But then, I read this quote by psychologist Albert Ellis – “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”

This hit hard. Emotional regulation isn’t about suppressing feelings, it’s about taking responsibility for them and choosing how to respond. It’s about not letting emotions control you, but controlling them instead.

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. The ability to regulate emotions is a true mark of emotional intelligence and personal growth.

4) Social Awareness

Another key quality of an emotionally intelligent man is social awareness. It’s the ability to understand and respond appropriately to the emotions of others within a social context.

I’ve always been a bit of an introvert. For me, social situations were often like navigating a minefield. Understanding what others were feeling or thinking felt like deciphering a foreign language.

But there are advantages to taking a seat back and observing. 

An individual who is observant, understands the feelings of others and how they think about things, is going to be more successful than someone who is intelligent in an I.Q. sense alone.

This made me realize that social awareness wasn’t about being outgoing or charismatic; it was simply about being observant and understanding.

I started paying more attention to people’s behavior, their body language, their words – and it made a world of difference.

Social awareness is an important quality of emotional intelligence. It allows us to connect with people on a deeper level and build meaningful relationships.

5) Comfort with Vulnerability

Now, here’s a quality that may seem counterintuitive when talking about emotional intelligence – comfort with vulnerability. Yes, you read that right. An emotionally intelligent man is not afraid to be vulnerable.

You might think that showing vulnerability is a sign of weakness. But, I’ve learned it’s quite the opposite. It takes strength and courage to show vulnerability, to open up and expose our true selves, insecurities and all.

Brené Brown, a renowned psychologist and research professor, put it perfectly when she said, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.”

Being comfortable with vulnerability allows us to form deeper connections with others. It fosters trust and promotes open and honest communication. It’s a vital quality of an emotionally intelligent man.

6) Strong Communication Skills

The sixth quality of an emotionally intelligent man is strong communication skills. The ability to express thoughts and feelings clearly and effectively is crucial for emotional intelligence.

Good communication isn’t just about speaking eloquently. It’s about listening actively, responding thoughtfully, and understanding the non-verbal cues.

True communication occurs when we listen with understanding – to see the idea and attitude from the other person’s point of view, to sense how it feels to them, to achieve their frame of reference in regard to the thing they are talking about.

Strong communication skills don’t just enhance personal relationships; they also contribute significantly to professional success.

Whether it’s negotiating a deal, giving a presentation, or just having a casual conversation, effective communication is key.

7) Resilience

Resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity, is the seventh quality of an emotionally intelligent man. Life throws curveballs at us, and how we handle these challenges speaks volumes about our emotional intelligence.

I’ve had my fair share of setbacks. Times when things didn’t go as planned, when I felt like I was at the end of my rope. But I learned to pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep moving forward.

Psychologist Albert Bandura once said, “In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, to struggle together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.”

Resilience isn’t about avoiding hardships; it’s about facing them head-on and coming out stronger on the other side. It’s about having faith in our ability to overcome obstacles. And that’s a mark of true emotional intelligence.

8) Self-Motivation

Emotionally intelligent men have a strong sense of self-motivation. They don’t need external validation or rewards to keep them going; they’re driven by internal goals and values.

I’ve found this to be a hard lesson to learn. There have been times when I’ve relied too much on external praise, only to feel lost when it wasn’t there.

But untrinsic motivation is conducive to creativity, cognitive flexibility, and overall well-being.

This made me realize the importance of self-motivation. It’s about finding what truly drives you, what makes you passionate, and pursuing it relentlessly.

It’s not always easy, but the rewards are worth it. Self-motivation is a key quality of an emotionally intelligent man.

9) Acceptance of Change

Here’s something that might seem counterintuitive – acceptance of change. An emotionally intelligent man doesn’t just tolerate change; he accepts and even welcomes it.

Change is often uncomfortable. It disrupts our routines, forces us out of our comfort zones. But change is also inevitable.

Psychologist Carl Jung once said, “We cannot change anything unless we accept it.”

This taught me that acceptance isn’t about passivity. It’s about acknowledging the reality of a situation and then deciding how to respond.

Emotionally intelligent men understand this. They see change not as a threat, but as an opportunity for growth and self-improvement. That’s what acceptance of change is all about.

10) Mindfulness

The final quality of an emotionally intelligent man is mindfulness. It’s the ability to live in the present moment, to be fully engaged in what you’re doing without getting lost in thoughts about the past or future.

This was a challenging concept for me to grasp. I was always either ruminating about the past or worrying about the future, rarely truly present.

But embracing mindfulness truly helped me understand its power. By being fully present, I was able to experience life more fully and respond to situations more effectively.

Mindfulness isn’t just about meditation or relaxation; it’s about engaging fully with life. It’s a crucial quality for an emotionally intelligent man.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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