Of all the types of intelligence you should have, emotional intelligence, or EQ, is one of the more important ones.
Without it, you can’t fully recognize, understand, manage, and use emotions effectively. This can result in poor relationships, difficulty resolving conflicts, stress and burnout, and ineffective communication.
In fact, this last item is the topic of this article. So, stick around to find out what mistakes in conversations people who lack emotional intelligence often make.
1) Not actively listening to others
In a world dominated by smartphones, listening actively to others is a dying skill. I mean, it’s no wonder. With a flick of a finger, you can look at the most exciting content available in the world right now (or ever).
(Yet, we watch people fooling around on TikTok and cat videos!)
Paying full attention to the story your colleague told you five times already is challenging. Yet, most of us do it, and that’s what people with low EQ don’t realize.
They make the mistake of hearing the words someone is saying but don’t fully engage with the content.
Instead of being present in the conversation, they’re thinking about what they’ll say next or other unrelated things.
This obviously results in misunderstandings and a lack of connection with the person they’re talking to.
2) Being insensitive to others’ feelings
The second thing people lacking emotional intelligence unintentionally do is disregard or downplay the emotions and sentiments of others.
For example, when a friend confides in them about a problem they’re facing, instead of showing empathy, they respond with, “It’s not a big deal; you’ll get over it.”
That kind of insensitivity can quickly and easily make the other person feel unheard and undervalued.
Dismissing feelings is not something most people do to their loved ones and even strangers or acquaintances.
The same goes for the following.
3) Using harsh or inappropriate language
When we talk to other people, we use everyday language that’s (relatively) civilized. Unless you’re with friends who love busting each other’s balls, that is.
But some folks with no EQ use harsh or inappropriate language with everyone. They intentionally or unintentionally hurt or offend others.
They have no tact or finesse and raise people’s eyebrows wherever they go. As a result, many of them get into conflicts and misunderstandings, too.
In other words, they make this mistake:
4) Assuming everyone thinks the same way
If you’re living in your own little bubble, you might (wrongly) assume that everyone thinks, talks, and reacts the way you do.
But that, of course, couldn’t be further away from the truth.
Not everyone shares your beliefs, values, and views on things. By behaving this way, it’s clear you lack appreciation for diversity and will never connect with people who are different from you.
It’s also likely you don’t care about that, so you’ll continue doing it.
5) Being too competitive
Have you ever met a person who had to be better than everyone else in whatever they were talking about?
Instead of encouraging healthy and entertaining dialogue, as well as cooperation and collaboration, they approach conversations as competitive battles, always looking to “win” or prove themselves.
Here’s an example I’m more than familiar with. When some parents talk about their kids, they regularly share stories of their kids’ achievements and emphasize how great parents they are.
They can’t help but brag about their own superior parenting methods and make everything into a contest of who is the best parent.
6) Not giving constructive feedback when necessary
People who lack EQ avoid giving feedback or do so hurtfully, thus not helping others to learn and grow.
It’s almost as if they aren’t interested in other people’s success or are oblivious to people basically asking them for advice indirectly.
Where most people would pick up on such clues, they don’t care enough to do so. Maybe that’s for the better because the only thing worse than that is the people who give unsolicited and/or bad advice.
But, on the other hand, no or low EQ people love doing this:
7) Interrupting and not letting others speak
This is incredibly frustrating if you’re trying to communicate something important or just want to tell a story.
On the other side, some also focus too much on their own thoughts and opinions. They want to dominate the conversation, not allowing others to express their perspectives, which results in one-sided, unproductive discussions.
They make the conversation all about themselves without showing genuine interest in the other person’s experiences or feelings.
When that happens to me, albeit rarely, I look for a way to end the conversation as soon as possible because I don’t want to spend my time on someone who loves the sound of their own voice that much.
8) Failing to pick up on non-verbal cues
Communication isn’t just about words. It’s also about body language, tone, and facial expressions.
When someone ignores these non-verbal cues, it results in misinterpretations and missed emotional nuances.
For example, if a low EQ person is in a job interview, and the interviewer subtly expresses skepticism about a candidate through their body language, such as raised eyebrows or crossed arms.
If the interviewee fails to pick up on these cues, they will continue with their answers without addressing the interviewer’s concerns, potentially harming their chances of getting the job.
Having emotional intelligence is very important in today’s world.
9) Having no empathy or understanding
Failing to acknowledge another person’s feelings or perspective is another common mistake they make when talking to others.
Instead of showing empathy or understanding, they respond with indifference or apathy. How frustrating is that?
Imagine someone just lost their job, and instead of offering support, a person with no empathy makes an insensitive comment like, “You should have seen it coming.”
That would raise a few eyebrows, right?
Another thing I noticed is that people with low EQ often don’t understand how and why pet owners grieve so much when losing their beloved companion.
Someone with no understanding of their emotional state would encourage them to “get over it” or change the subject, not realizing that they’re still grieving and need a bit of time and support.
10) Being too critical or judgmental
People lacking emotional intelligence are also quick to criticize or judge others. Because of their negativity, they create a hostile atmosphere in the conversation and damage relationships.
It’s no wonder, right? If you have no empathy and can’t put yourself in other people’s shoes, you’re bound to go full Karen on people.
You have the main character energy and think the world revolves around you.
11) Using sarcasm too much
I love sarcasm. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and many people overuse it and ultimately hurt and confuse others.
While humor can be a valuable tool in conversations, people with lower emotional intelligence often don’t realize the impact of their sarcasm on others.
I sometimes see this when people share a personal or sensitive story, and a low EQ person responds sarcastically.
Or when someone makes a mistake and they tell them, “Well, that was brilliant, wasn’t it?”
Making these mistakes in conversations shows that low EQ people lack self-awareness, first and foremost.
When they don’t understand what they themselves are really feeling and why, how can they understand others?
Building emotional intelligence is an ongoing journey, and it requires practice and self-reflection.
If you’re looking to do that, the key is to be patient with yourself and to continually work on improving your ability to understand and manage emotions, both in yourself and in your interactions with others.