9 signs your partner has high emotional intelligence, according to psychology

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There’s a significant difference between having emotional intelligence and merely knowing about it.

The distinction lies in action. High emotional intelligence means someone knows how to navigate their emotions and those of others, without causing undue stress or conflict.

In a relationship, having a partner with high emotional intelligence can be a game-changer. They understand your feelings, communicate effectively, and handle disagreements with grace.

Psychology offers some clear indicators to identify if your partner possesses this admirable trait.

Stick around as I reveal the nine signs your significant other has high emotional intelligence. 

Let’s get started. 

1) They’re empathetic

One of the most telling signs of high emotional intelligence is empathy.

Now, we’re not just talking about offering a sympathetic ear. Empathy involves understanding and sharing the feelings of another person.

Imagine you’ve had a tough day at work. Your emotionally intelligent partner doesn’t simply offer a generic “that sucks.” Instead, they make an effort to understand your situation, acknowledging your feelings and expressing genuine concern.

This isn’t about just saying the right things. It’s about truly feeling with you, and that’s the essence of empathy.

Empathy isn’t something that can be faked, so if your partner regularly demonstrates this trait, it’s a good indication they have high emotional intelligence.

It’s all about authenticity. So keep an eye out for genuine empathetic responses from your partner.

2) They’re excellent listeners

Having an emotionally intelligent partner means that you’re with someone who genuinely listens when you speak.

My partner, for instance, has the art of listening down to a science. When I’m sharing my thoughts on something, be it my day at work or a book I’ve read, they don’t just nod along or give me generic responses.

They actually engage in the conversation, asking insightful questions and offering thoughtful comments that show they’re not just hearing, but actively listening.

This doesn’t just make me feel heard; it makes me feel valued and understood. And that’s a clear sign of emotional intelligence.

If your partner listens intently, engaging with what you’re saying rather than waiting for their turn to speak, you’re likely with someone who has high emotional intelligence.

3) They manage their emotions effectively

Emotional intelligence isn’t just about understanding and managing other people’s emotions. It’s also about being able to handle your own feelings.

You might be surprised to learn that high emotional intelligence doesn’t mean suppressing or ignoring your emotions. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Individuals with high emotional intelligence are adept at recognizing their emotions as they arise. Instead of letting feelings like anger or sadness overwhelm them, they acknowledge these emotions and consider why they’re feeling this way.

This ability to self-regulate helps them respond to challenging situations in a calm, controlled manner, instead of reacting impulsively.

If you notice that your partner can keep their cool even in stressful situations and handle their emotions effectively, that’s another sign of high emotional intelligence.

4) They’re self-aware

Self-awareness is a cornerstone of emotional intelligence. It’s the ability to recognize and understand your own emotions, as well as how they impact your thoughts and actions.

An emotionally intelligent partner is highly self-aware. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they’re aware of their emotional triggers.

They don’t just react on impulse. Instead, they take a moment to understand why they feel a certain way before responding.

This level of introspection allows them to navigate relationships more effectively and avoid unnecessary conflicts.

If your partner often displays a good understanding of their emotions and how they affect their behavior, then you’ve got yourself a partner with high emotional intelligence!

5) They handle criticism well

Let’s be honest, nobody enjoys being criticized. But how we handle criticism can be a clear indicator of our emotional intelligence.

A partner with high emotional intelligence doesn’t take criticism personally or defensively. Instead, they see it as an opportunity to learn and improve.

They appreciate constructive feedback and are open to changing their behavior when necessary.

Instead of getting defensive or angry when you point out a mistake, they listen, take your observations into account, and make an effort to address the issue.

If your partner treats criticism as a chance for growth rather than an attack, it’s safe to say they’re emotionally intelligent.

6) They’re genuinely happy for your successes

In a world where jealousy and competition can often get the better of us, having someone who’s genuinely happy for your successes is a breath of fresh air.

An emotionally intelligent partner doesn’t feel threatened or envious when you succeed. Rather, they celebrate your victories with you, and their joy is as genuine as if the achievement were their own.

They understand that your success doesn’t diminish them in any way. Instead, it enhances the happiness within your relationship.

If your partner is always there cheering you on, sharing in your joy without a hint of envy, you can be sure that they have a high level of emotional intelligence.

Their ability to be genuinely happy for you is a beautiful testament to their emotional maturity and depth of love.

7) They know when to apologize

Apologizing when you’re wrong isn’t always easy. It requires a level of humility and self-awareness that not everyone possesses.

My partner, however, has always been good at this. They understand that being right isn’t the most important thing in a relationship. If they’ve made a mistake or hurt my feelings, they don’t hesitate to apologize.

What’s more, their apologies are always sincere. They don’t just say sorry to appease me; they mean it and make an effort to correct their behavior.

If your partner is quick to apologize when they’re wrong and does so sincerely, that’s another sign of high emotional intelligence. It shows a willingness to put ego aside for the sake of the relationship.

8) They respect boundaries

In any relationship, respecting personal boundaries is crucial. It’s a sign of respect for the other person’s individuality and personal space.

An emotionally intelligent partner understands this. They know that while you’re a couple, you’re also two individuals with your own needs and preferences.

They won’t insist on spending every waking moment with you or infringe on your personal space. Instead, they respect your need for time alone or with others, understanding that it doesn’t reflect negatively on your feelings for them.

If your partner respects your boundaries and doesn’t make you feel guilty for setting them, it’s a clear sign that they have high emotional intelligence.

9) They express their feelings openly and honestly

At the heart of emotional intelligence lies open and honest communication.

An emotionally intelligent partner doesn’t hide their feelings or emotions. They express them openly, honestly, and respectfully.

They know that bottling up emotions can lead to misunderstandings and resentment. Instead, they believe in the power of communication to resolve issues and strengthen the bond between you two.

If your partner is always open about how they feel, that’s the most significant sign of high emotional intelligence. It’s proof that they value honesty and clarity, and they trust you enough to share their innermost feelings.

Final thoughts: It’s all about connection

At the core of emotional intelligence lies the power of connection.

When we talk about high emotional intelligence, we’re essentially talking about the ability to connect deeply with others. This goes beyond mere understanding; it’s about empathizing, validating, and creating a safe space for emotions.

Having a partner with high emotional intelligence isn’t just about having a smoother relationship. It’s about experiencing a profound bond, where feelings are respected, boundaries are honored, and communication is open and honest.

In the end, emotional intelligence is what allows us to connect on a deep, human level. It’s what makes us feel seen, heard, and valued.

As you reflect on these signs and your relationship, remember that emotional intelligence isn’t fixed. It can be developed over time with practice and intention.

So whether you see these signs in your partner or aspire to cultivate them within yourself, every step towards emotional intelligence is a step towards deeper connections and more meaningful relationships.

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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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