11 signs you’re dealing with someone who has high social intelligence

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We often meet people who seem to easily connect with others and just “get” people. But what exactly are they doing differently?

Well, it’s all about something called social intelligence. And guess what? It’s not about being a whiz in math or science.

This type of intelligence is all about understanding people, knowing how to act in different situations, and picking up on what others are feeling.

Let’s dive into the 10 signs you’re dealing with a socially intelligent person. 

1. They’re Really Good Listeners

First things first, people with high social intelligence are typically fantastic listeners.

You know the type – when you’re talking to them, it feels like you’re the only person in the room.

They don’t just hear the words you’re saying, they genuinely listen and understand.

This skill isn’t just about being quiet while others talk – it’s about showing genuine interest, asking insightful questions and responding in a way that shows they totally get where you’re coming from.

In a world where everyone is itching to put their two cents in, a good listener stands out like a lighthouse in the fog!

So if you’ve got someone who really listens to you, there’s a good chance they’ve got some serious social intelligence going on.

2. They’re Excellent at Reading People

Next up, individuals with high social intelligence are like human lie detectors.

They have this uncanny ability to pick up on the subtlest of cues – a fleeting facial expression, a change in tone, a hesitant gesture – and accurately interpret what it all means.

They can tell when you’re genuinely excited or just faking enthusiasm. They sense when you’re uncomfortable, even if you’re putting on a brave face.

It’s like they have an inbuilt social radar that picks up on emotions and attitudes around them.

If someone consistently seems to ‘get’ how you’re feeling – without you having to spell it out for them – chances are, they’ve got high social intelligence.

3. They’re Masters of Empathy

Another key sign of high social intelligence? Bucket-loads of empathy.

These individuals can step into your shoes, see things from your perspective, and truly understand what you’re feeling.

I have this friend, let’s call her Jane. Jane has a knack for always knowing how I’m feeling – even when I don’t say a word.

One day I was having a pretty rough time but trying to keep a brave face. Jane immediately picked up on it.

She didn’t try to offer advice or brush it off, she just sat with me, acknowledged my feelings, and somehow managed to make me feel less alone.

That’s the power of empathy. It’s not about fixing things or offering solutions. It’s about understanding, validating feelings, and providing comfort.

And people with high social intelligence, like Jane, are empathy superheroes.

4. They’re Comfortable with Silence

Comfortable silence can be a sign of social intelligence. People with high social intelligence don’t feel the need to fill every moment with chatter.

They understand that silence isn’t awkward unless you make it awkward.

These socially intelligent individuals are perfectly comfortable sitting in silence – whether they’re alone or with others.

They value meaningful conversation over mindless chatter and appreciate the power of quiet moments.

So, if you come across someone who doesn’t panic when the conversation lulls and can comfortably enjoy the silence, you might just be dealing with a socially intelligent person.

5. They Know When to Speak and When to Keep Quiet

People with high social intelligence know the value of words – but they also understand the importance of silence.

They have a keen sense of when to share their thoughts and when it’s best to just nod and keep their opinions to themselves.

Sometimes, we all need someone to just listen to us, without jumping in with advice or trying to fix things.

It takes a person with high social intelligence to recognize those moments and offer the gift of silent understanding.

So, if you find yourself in the company of someone who knows when to offer wisdom and when to just lend an ear, you’re likely dealing with a person of high social intelligence.

Their ability to navigate these sensitive situations isn’t just about being smart – it’s about being kind, empathetic, and truly caring for others.

6. They’re Authentic and Genuine

One of the most admirable signs of high social intelligence is authenticity.

People with high social intelligence aren’t interested in pretending to be someone they’re not, and they don’t change their personality to fit into different groups.

I have a buddy named Mike who is the epitome of this.

Whether he’s hanging out with his friends, at a business meeting, or chatting to his grandma on the phone, he’s always just… Mike.

He doesn’t put on airs or try to impress people by being someone he’s not.

His authenticity makes people feel comfortable around him because they know they’re getting the real deal.

And that, my friends, is a clear sign of someone with high social intelligence. They’re not trying to fool anyone – they’re just comfortably being themselves.

7. They Know How To Set Boundaries

People with high social intelligence aren’t pushovers. They might be empathetic and great listeners, but that doesn’t mean they let people walk all over them.

Nope, they know the value of setting boundaries.

We’re talking about the kind of folks who aren’t afraid to say no when they need to.

The ones who understand that they can’t pour from an empty cup and take time for self-care without feeling guilty.

They don’t let others guilt-trip or manipulate them into doing something they’re not comfortable with.

Setting boundaries isn’t about being selfish or stubborn – it’s about respecting oneself.

And if someone can do this while still maintaining positive relationships, you can bet they’ve got high social intelligence.

They’ve mastered the art of taking care of themselves without burning bridges.

8. They Have a Diverse Group of Friends

People who mingle with diverse groups tend to be more socially intelligent.

You’ll notice that these socially smart folks have friends from all walks of life – different ages, backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles.

They appreciate the richness that diversity brings and they’re not afraid to step out of their comfort zone to learn from others.

They understand the value of different perspectives and seek them out, painting a richer picture of the world around them.

9. They’re Really Good at Managing Conflict

Conflict is a part of life. We all have disagreements and arguments from time to time. But the way we handle these conflicts says a lot about our social intelligence.

I remember a time when two of my close friends had a huge disagreement. Things got heated and it seemed like their friendship was on the brink of collapse.

But then, another friend of ours, Tom, stepped in. Instead of taking sides or adding fuel to the fire,

Tom helped them see each other’s perspectives. He didn’t dismiss their feelings, but encouraged them to communicate and find common ground.

Tom’s ability to defuse the situation and foster understanding was a clear sign of high social intelligence.

Instead of letting the conflict escalate, he navigated the tricky situation with empathy and understanding, protecting the relationships involved.

10. They’re Not Afraid to Show Vulnerability

People with high social intelligence know that it’s okay to show vulnerability. They understand that being human means experiencing a full range of emotions – not just the happy, comfortable ones.

These folks aren’t about keeping up appearances or pretending everything is fine when it’s not.

They’ll admit when they’re wrong, apologize when they’ve messed up, and aren’t afraid to show their emotions.

They know that showing vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s a sign of strength and authenticity.

So, if you come across someone who opens up, shares their struggles, and is unafraid to show their softer side, you’re likely dealing with someone who has high social intelligence.

They understand that being genuine and vulnerable builds deeper connections with others.

11. They Respect Others

They value different opinions, respect boundaries, and treat everyone with kindness, regardless of their status or background.

They don’t belittle others to feel superior or dismiss someone’s feelings because they can’t relate. They understand that every individual is unique with their own experiences and perspectives.

So if you know someone who treats the CEO with the same respect as they would the janitor, you’ve got a person with high social intelligence on your hands.

Their ability to respect all individuals is a testament to their understanding of people and their inherent value.

And there you have it! The 11 signs of high social intelligence. If you recognize these traits in someone you know, congratulations! You’re in the company of a socially intelligent person.

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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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