People with high emotional intelligence often display these 11 behaviors (without realizing it)

Emotionally intelligent people are rare. You might know someone who seems more mature than others or has a calmer way of handling stressful situations. 

But this doesn’t automatically mean they have a higher level of emotional intelligence. 

Emotional intelligence is about more than the way someone reacts when they’re criticized or hurt. It depends on how they’re subconsciously wired. 

If someone is emotionally intelligent, they’ll see the world a certain way and do things differently than the average person roaming Earth today.

Want to know exactly how this is?

Well, if someone is emotionally mature…

1) They handle conflict with ease.

Handling conflict with ease is a hallmark of emotional intelligence. It shows you understand your own emotions and those of others. 

Most people have temper tantrums, shut down, or lash out because they feel unheard. 

But emotionally intelligent ones prevent these kinds of impulsive reactions. 

If you always…

  • Stay calm under pressure
  • Try to understand the different perspectives and emotions involved
  • Do your best to find a solution that makes everyone happy

…when there are conflict situations, you’re probably an emotionally intelligent person yourself. 

Acting this way when a situation gets heated helps prevent the unnecessary destruction of relationships. 

Want to know why it’s so easy for an emotionally intelligent person to behave cool and calm? 

Well, it’s because…

2) They actively listen in conversations. 

Active listening does more than show a genuine interest in what others are trying to say…

It helps you gain their perspective and have an easier time showing empathy. 

That’s because it goes beyond hearing words. 

When you’re actively listening, you fully concentrate, try to understand, put thought into your responses, and remember the details if needed.

Emotionally intelligent people make a conscious effort to give their full attention during all types of conversations.

They put distractions aside and shove non-essential thoughts away. 

They listen to the emotions and intentions behind the words spoken. 

They try to build a connection to what’s being said.

Active listening also involves giving the other person a chance to fully express themselves. No interruptions. 

Emotionally intelligent people only respond after reflecting back on what was shared. 

And when you hear them say something, you’ll notice that…

3) They communicate with clarity and assertiveness. 

The thing is, emotionally intelligent people understand that clear communication reduces misunderstandings. 

That’s why they always express themselves in an easy-to-understand manner. 

When someone talks with clarity, you’re never left feeling confused. Whether they’re sharing an opinion or ideas or simply telling a story.

This skill is also closely tied to self-awareness. Emotionally intelligent people clearly understand their own feelings and thoughts and can share them this way. 

And because of this, they can speak confidently without being overly aggressive or passive. 

I had a colleague who mastered this at my old 9-5.

During the lockdown, our schedules got overwhelming, and no one coped. She advocated for us. 

And what won our superiors over and made them adjust our deadlines was the way she did this. 

She was never vague and clearly outlined our challenges and how changing our deadlines would benefit the company. 

Without being cocky, she stood tall and talked with a confidence I’d never seen before. 

How she handled questions was also mindblowing. 

Looking back, I realize this was thanks to her emotional maturity. And probably also her general attitude towards life.

Which, by the way, is another telltale sign of an emotionally intelligent person.

4) They have a positive outlook on life. 

People with high emotional intelligence tend to approach life with optimism and resilience. 

They know their perspective shapes their experience. That’s why they choose to focus on the positive. 

It’s not always easy. But seeing the good in everyday moments and viewing setbacks as opportunities for growth is their go-to. 

What also helps them is that…

5) They easily adapt. 

Adaptability stems from a combination of self-awareness, emotional regulation, and a general understanding of life. 

Emotionally intelligent people wake up each day with an open mind. They know being prepared for change is the best way to survive. 

And when they face a challenge, they regulate their emotions to stay composed and present. 

This is why it’s so easy for them to only focus on what’s in front of them and not get clouded with feelings. 

It’s also what helps them consider alternative perspectives.

If you’re flexible and a person who thrives in evolving environments, you’re probably more emotionally intelligent than you might think. 

6) They’re highly motivated to pursue goals. 

Emotionally intelligent people generally know what they want. And this is simply because they know what makes them happy. 

So, instead of relying solely on external rewards or recognition, their motivation comes from within. 

They set goals that resonate with their innermost desires, making it easier to stay on track. 

Face it: you’ve probably set a bunch of goals in your lifetime based on what you thought you wanted or something an influencer made you believe would make you happy.

Whether that’s a dream body, a career that looked fulfilling, or someone else’s definition of joy. 

How many of these have you achieved?

My guess is none. 

People who can’t align their goals with their emotions rarely succeed. And even if they do, they still feel empty. 

Goals should be personally meaningful. People with high emotional intelligence can recognize what will lead to a purposeful life. 

By setting goals that resonate with their emotional well-being, they feel more motivated to achieve them. 

This is also why…

7) They approach life slowly and steadily.

Most people rush the whole getting better at life and reaching their dreams thing. But those who are in the know about their feelings don’t. 

For emotionally intelligent people, it’s not about becoming the best version of themselves overnight. 

They know that growth takes time.

You’ll never see them try to win the race. Instead, they approach their goals and life in general as a steady climb. 

They don’t stress about getting to the top right away and choose to enjoy each step of their journey. 

For them, it’s all about finding joy in the process. 

8) They recognize and challenge their own biases.

We all have opinions about people or things without really thinking. That’s life. 

Maybe you think a certain sport is boring without ever watching it. Or you assume someone isn’t good at something because of their appearance. 

It might even be that you have a favorite flavor of ice cream, and you think it’s the best one in the world – without having tasted all the flavors there is. 

We do this every day.

But people with high emotional intelligence like taking a step back to question these quick judgments. 

They try to understand where their ideas come from and if it’s fair. Overcoming personal biases is a huge deal for them. 

And it’s not always easy. Most biases are like sneaky little habits we don’t even notice. 

It takes an active effort to identify them. 

Emotionally intelligent people have a better understanding of human nature. And they’re committed to creating a fair and inclusive world. 

Recognizing their own biases and challenging them is their first contribution. Next…

9) They mentor others.  

First, you need to understand: an emotionally intelligent person will never force their perspective down your throat. 

But they do like to mentor and even uplift others. 

For them, it’s all about empowerment and growth. 

When they realize someone has a closed-off view of life, they want to guide them and show them that there are more possibilities. 

People with high emotional intelligence enjoy being mentors. It’s not about being the boss or telling others what to do or believe.

They simply know emotions are complex, and we all have a lot to learn. 

Most people think how they think and do what they do because they’ve never been shown that there’s a different way. 

Emotionally intelligent people know there is and want to give everyone the opportunity to choose. 

So, they share what they know and think, almost in a mentor-like way. 

And if they overstep…

10) They apologize sincerely. 

Emotionally intelligent people know that being sorry isn’t enough. If they make a mistake, they’ll genuinely apologize and take responsibility.

Most people throw ‘sorry’ around like it’s not a big deal. But it is. 

Being sorry is about more than just saying the word. 

We all mess up from time to time, and that’s okay. What we need to remember is that our actions affect others. 

People with high emotional intelligence do. And that’s why they always want to fix the harm they caused. 

Even if it’s minor. 

Sincere apologies are how emotionally intelligent people learn and grow. 

Having the courage to do what they need to make things better helps them gain more insight into their own and other people’s emotions. 

Which, ultimately, makes them as emotionally mature as they are. 

11) They practice mindfulness. 

Emotionally intelligent people practice mindfulness daily without realizing it.

Whether it’s staying cool and calm in a stressful situation because they subconsciously press pause and recognize everyone’s emotions…

Or maybe they find a cozy spot to sit and take it all in while everyone else is rushing by…

For them, it’s all about being in the present moment and improving their overall emotional well-being. 

It’s not about ignoring stressful things or being ignorant about life’s challenges. They simply try to enjoy the now or manage what’s in front of them in a way that won’t disturb their peace. 

Imagine how the world would change if we all did this daily? 

Emotionally intelligent people understand the complexities of their own emotions and those of others. 

And without realizing it, the way they see and do things differently helps make wherever they go a better place. 

We could all learn from them.

Natasha Combrink

Nats is a writer who loves creating content for purposeful brands. She enjoys spending time outdoors, crafting, and diving down rabbit holes. After rediscovering life, she wants to help others live to their full potential. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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