Some people are exceptionally skilled in understanding emotions. They’re almost like social experts.
They read people well, effortlessly pick up on other people’s feelings, and stay composed and level-headed when faced with challenging situations.
They’re the ones you’d want on your team for their ability to understand, relate, and contribute to a healthy social dynamic.
But how do you recognize them? Are there any behaviors that they regularly exhibit? Well, in this article will get to the bottom of that.
So, let’s discover what behaviors people who have high emotional intelligence display.
1) Active listening
We can’t really talk about emotional intelligence without talking about being an active and engaged listener, can’t we?
In fact, I’d argue that being an active listener is the quintessential trait of any person who has high emotional intelligence or EQ.
They’re always truly present in a conversation and engage by nodding, making eye contact, and responding thoughtfully. They make you feel heard and valued.
But they also remember and recollect the details of your conversations and follow up the next time they see you.
But why are they so good at listening and responding? It’s because they have empathy.
Emotionally intelligent people genuinely share others’ emotions. They show compassion by putting themselves in your shoes.
When you talk to them, they go through the same emotions you go through. They relive your story almost the same as you do.
So whether you’re going through a tough time or celebrating success, high EQ people are there with genuine understanding and support.
And because of their empathetic nature, they’re able to easily build strong and meaningful relationships and bonds with other people.
Instead of being oblivious to their emotions, emotionally intelligent people grasp what they’re feeling and why.
Unlike most people, they aren’t controlled by their feelings. They can control and channel them in a way that’s constructive and not chaotic or harmful.
They’re in touch with their strengths and weaknesses and clearly and easily understand how their emotions can impact their thoughts and actions and, subsequently, other people.
For example, they know that they get irritable when they’re tired. That’s why they consciously try to get enough rest whenever they can because they know that a lack of sleep will influence their mood in a bad way.
There’s another thing that they handle pretty well. Better than most others, and that’s criticism.
4) Handling criticism well
High EQ people generally handle criticism well. They avoid defensiveness and take constructive feedback in stride, using it to better themselves.
For the longest time, I would get very defensive when someone would criticize me or even give me mild-mannered feedback.
I would take everything extremely personally and as an attack on myself. It wasn’t until I realized that not everyone’s out to get me that I made some progress.
Many people simply want to help others to be better at what they do.
And that’s what emotionally intelligent people realize, too. So, instead of taking things personally, they focus on solutions and use the feedback they get constructively.
Above all, they separate their self-worth from specific actions and keep a positive outlook on things because they know that even failures are avenues for growth.
People with high EQ are adaptable in different ways: Instead of rigidly sticking to plans, they’re flexible.
They go through changes with ease, finding solutions when faced with unexpected situations.
For example, when they’re working on a team project, sometimes there’s a change in priorities.
But instead of getting stressed, they adapt by reassessing their tasks and work with their team members to adjust their approach and meet the new objectives without making all hell break loose.
Let’s expand on that a little bit more.
6) Keeping their cool
Staying calm under pressure, emotionally intelligent people think clearly and make rational decisions even in stressful situations.
Instead of letting anger, frustration, or stress take over, they manage and control their responses.
You have to admit, that’s an excellent skill to have. That’s why many highly emotionally intelligent people climb the ranks quickly and occupy the top positions in companies.
They simply have more patience when faced with challenges and don’t get frustrated easily.
They approach difficulties with a composed attitude because they know that when you’re patient, you find better solutions. After all, you don’t make rash decisions.
7) Conflict resolution
Having a lot of patience and managing to keep your cool is especially beneficial when you need to resolve conflicts.
Emotionally intelligent people disagree with tact and look for resolutions instead of ways to escalate things further.
Seriously, how many times did it help your situation when you escalated things? Especially when it comes to personal matters and dealing with friends and family.
When two people dig their heels in, it’s much harder to come to terms and find common ground.
Emotionally intelligent people don’t let things go that far:
They find a solution much sooner because the more the conflict goes on, the harder it is to find a win-win solution.
They also rely on their nonverbal communication and their ability to recognize other people’s positive and negative body language.
8) Nonverbal communication
Emotionally intelligent individuals pay attention to nonverbal cues. They understand body language, facial expressions, and gestures for a fuller picture of communication.
By some estimates, only 7% of communication is verbal. That means that 93% is nonverbal in nature.
Eye contact, hand gestures, and smiling all heavily influence how we interpret and react to information.
But even if the 93% thing isn’t correct, you still have to admit how important body language is.
Just think about your texting habits and how you use lols, smileys, emojis, exclamation marks, etc., to convey a message more accurately.
It’s all too easy to miss sarcasm, low-key judgment, passive-aggressiveness, and so on.
9) Expressing gratitude
But let’s switch gears a bit and talk about how good emotionally intelligent people are at expressing gratitude and appreciation.
They love acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of their lives and all that they have.
Too many people only look into the future and think about the things or people that they don’t have in their lives.
On the other hand, high EQ people realize how precious the present moment is. They don’t look for ways to escape it.
In fact, it’s the opposite: they’re very mindful and look for ways to stay in it as long as possible.
If you look around you, you realize that being in the present moment, staying mindful, and expressing gratitude are skills that many people don’t have anymore.
Millions, if not billions, of people are relearning these things because they realize that they’ve been sold a bad deal.
They were fooled by materialism and consumerism and focused on the wrong things. But what they should have done all along was to look inward and not find gratification in material things.
10) Positive outlook
I really believe that having a positive and optimistic outlook on life is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
For many years, I was extremely negative, and that affected my life in more ways than one:
It stifled my growth and made me into a couch potato when I should have been out there working on myself.
I lost some of the best years of my life due to a pessimistic mindset. But you have to understand that I graduated in the middle of the 2008 financial crisis.
Any opportunities were rare for many years, and we all thought that would last forever.
What I should have done was get a better starting position and more knowledge so that when the crisis was over, I had a leg up on others.
And that’s what separates high EQ people from the rest. They know that change is inevitable and that you need to have a positive outlook on life at all times.
And lastly, emotionally intelligent people are humble. They don’t boast about their accomplishments and are very self-aware.
They also don’t take all the credit but acknowledge others and their contributions. They’re not afraid to admit when they make a mistake but take responsibility for their actions and apologize if necessary.
Above all, they treat everyone with respect regardless of their position or status and value and want to see their perspectives.
Instead of feeling threatened by others, they don’t see success as a zero-sum game but as a chance for collective growth.
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