People who become more emotionally intelligent as they get older usually display these 7 behaviors

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People who become more emotionally intelligent as they get older usually display these 7 behaviors

Most of us dread getting old. We associate it with grey hair, wrinkles, and afternoon naps.

But there is some good news!

There are actually a ton of benefits that come with aging.

Have you heard the expression: 

“The older you get the wiser you are”?

Well, it’s true!

As we grow old, we gain experience in all aspects of life. We tend to slow down and be more in control of our emotions. A big reason for this is improved emotional intelligence (or EQ).

Some more than others (it has to be said).

Here are seven behaviors to look out for in people who have become more emotionally intelligent as they age.

1) Patience of a saint

Younger people usually attack things head-on (without much thought).

They’re gung-ho.

Whether it’s a work assignment, a big life-changing decision, or a social situation that needs dealing with.

It’s a sign of inexperience.

Where older people (who have made plenty of mistakes in their lives) learn to stop and think more.

In other words, they’re patient.

They understand that emotions are dynamic. They’re constantly changing and to make good decisions, we often need to “sleep on it”.

It’s a surefire way of knowing that they’re growing in emotional intelligence.

Patience isn’t just good for decision-making either.

It’s required whenever we want to achieve big goals.

High-EQ individuals understand that things don’t happen overnight. Anything worth doing takes months (or even years).

This goes for personal relationships too.

They don’t become frustrated if things don’t go their way (they understand the long game).

This leads nicely to the next point.

2) Incredibly resilient

When life throws you a curve ball, what do you do?

Give up? Decide it’s not for you?

Or learn, develop, improve, and keep plowing on?

Resilience is a behavior linked to high emotional intelligence and it’s something we learn as we get older.

Here’s the thing.

As children, our lives run relatively smoothly. We get our own way a lot of the time, and any problems we have are usually trivial.

Entering adulthood can be a shock.

For the first time in your life, you realize that you can’t always have what you want or go play when you feel like it.

You have responsibilities, challenges, and setbacks. There are money issues to deal with and complex relationships that need to be navigated.

And you have no experience dealing with this kind of stuff.

It can lead to frustration, anger, and despair.

That is until you develop your EQ and learn how to handle these situations.

3) Supportive superheroes

As you get older, you grasp the concept of giving and receiving support.

Whether it’s emotional, financial, or just some solid advice.

You’ll find yourself in situations where a friend or close family member is really appreciated.

This, in turn, teaches you to reach out to others when they’re going through a rough patch.

It’s a game of give and take.

Which supercharges your empathy…

4) Empathetic

When you boil it down, a big part of emotional intelligence is the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes.

It’s something we all develop as we get older.

Life teaches us to understand the feelings of those around us.

Where teenagers like getting their elbows out and having a more selfish attitude, adults consider the needs of others.

We have to.

Especially if we want to raise a family and care for our children.

You learn that your wants and needs are secondary to those of your loved-ones.

We need to take charge, but also provide and care for our family.

Speaking of ruling the roost…

5) Strong leaders

Being a good leader isn’t just about barking orders to your troops.

It’s about motivating, supporting, and understanding those around you. Earning their respect (not demanding it).

To do this, you’ll need plenty of emotional intelligence.

Here’s a question for you.

Why do you think most world leaders are older?

You don’t see any 20-something presidents.

It might seem like an obvious answer, but it makes the point perfectly. Young people simply don’t have the experience (and confidence that comes with it). They haven’t developed their emotional intelligence enough to successfully take charge.

Sure, they’re better on the sports field. But not when it comes to leadership.

It all points to one thing. People who can develop their EQ as they age display great leadership qualities.

6) Peacekeepers

People can be frustrating.

It’s a fact of life.

Whether it’s your neighbor, a work colleague, or even someone you call a friend.

Conflict happens.

After all, we each have different beliefs, goals, and drives that can’t always be aligned.

But something you develop with age is conflict resolution. You don’t dive in and follow your natural instinct (which is usually to fight back). You lean more towards understanding and active listening.

When you think about it, listening (rather than arguing) is the only real way to move forward and find compromise.

At least see things from their point of view.

This also makes older (high-EQ) people great at forming bonds…

7) Masters in building relationships

People who become more emotionally intelligent as they age actually become better at being a friend.

It makes perfect sense.

Life experience teaches you all the skills needed to support, respect, understand, and enjoy other people’s company.

This goes for both personal and professional bonds.

Here’s something to think about.

Why do you think the divorce rate is so high?

It’s a complex question, but part of the reason is marrying young (before you’ve developed the EQ required to make it last).

Many people are simply not equipped to build a strong relationship, communicate their issues, and understand their partner.

Conversely, people who do develop emotional intelligence as they grow older can become masters at making friends (and keeping them).

As with everything on this list, it really comes down to empathy.

In other words, listening to and understanding those around you.

Leila El-Dean

Leila is a passionate writer with a background in photography and art. She has over ten years of experience in branding, marketing, and building websites. She loves travelling and has lived in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, and Malta. When she’s not writing (or ogling cats), Leila loves trying new food and drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea.

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