Emotional intelligence is crucial for relationships, business and self-development.
It’s a necessity in so many areas of life, and learning more about how it functions can help us all.
Here are the emotionally intelligent traits and behaviors that show a high level of emotional intelligence and consideration.
1) Remaining calm during stress
Emotionally intelligent individuals not only understand the emotions of other people, they also understand their own feelings and how to manage them.
When times get stressful and the pressure ramps up, the emotionally intelligent person is able to grapple with their anxious feelings without immediately reacting to them.
They are able to talk through difficult situations as well as their own reactions to them without getting lost in the moment of crisis right away.
They are also able to sense the mood of a crowd shift and feel that fine line between a rambunctious group and a desperate mob.
Emotionally intelligent people are skilled at bringing down stress levels when times get rough.
2) Respecting the boundaries of others
Everyone has certain boundaries physically, emotionally and in every other way.
Emotionally intelligent people respect this because they know that if they want others to respect their limits they need to be willing to do the same.
They ask about somebody’s boundaries if they’re not sure, and they don’t move forward in any way without consent.
This includes in a business setting, for example, where the emotionally intelligent person will not force through deals or pressure others to go along with his or her plan.
They will first make sure others actually agree and listen to any other input before moving forward.
3) Taking it easy when getting criticized
None of us particularly enjoy getting criticized:
It’s in our nature to love approval and validation for what we do and who we are.
But the problem with taking criticism personally is that it feeds a loop of bitterness and victimization.
Emotionally intelligent people avoid going down that road.
They know that criticism may have roots in the truth or sometimes it might just be projection and frustration from a person who’s not emotionally mature or in control of their feelings.
So be it.
They let the harsh words or hurtful behavior wash over them as much as possible, and do their best to move on to more productive things.
4) Living in the present as much as possible
Emotionally intelligent folks try their best not to dwell in the past or get caught up in fantasies or fears about the future.
That’s because they know that when we withdraw our attention from the present and get nostalgic or upset about the past we lose so much of our energy to make changes here and now…
And when we give too much of our energy to the future there’s a real chance of getting lost in daydreams and forgetting about the present and what we can do right now.
That’s why emotional intelligence is focused on putting the present first.
5) Communicating clearly and respectfully
Communication is a core part of every interaction we have, and emotionally intelligent people care a lot about it.
They do their best to speak clearly and use words that convey what they mean.
They are quick to resolve misunderstandings or explain when there has been a miscommunication.
Respect is the foundation of their vocabulary, because that’s also how they’d like to be spoken to.
6) Being emotionally open and vulnerable
When we hide and press down our emotions it weakens us.
Emotionally intelligent men and women are able to be fiercely vulnerable:
This means they are in touch with their emotions and they are fine with sharing them when asked with respect.
This is a true power, because so many people aren’t that familiar with their own emotions and don’t pay much attention.
When they meet an emotionally smart person who knows what they feel and is willing to discuss it, this is a captivating and powerful quality.
7) Being honest and direct in dating
Emotionally intelligent individuals don’t mislead or play games with people in dating.
This isn’t an easy thing to stick to, particularly with the new type of apps and speed dating that’s available these days.
But emotionally intelligent people are honest about what they’re looking for and speak their mind with whoever they’re seeing.
This makes a big difference and is a reason that they’re often much more successful in their relationships.
8) Exercising moderation online
It’s easy to get lost online and start overusing social media.
This leads to a big loss of time, depleted energy and frequently getting caught up in online controversies or arguments that add nothing to anybody’s life.
The emotionally intelligent person respects their own attention and energy:
For this reason they avoid getting too caught up in their smartphone or online pages and social media.
These can be fun to use, but they also have their downsides, and emotionally intelligent people take care at how much they use technology and what they use it for.
9) Remaining trustworthy in their promises
Making promises is a way to offer security and reassurance to others, but only when they’re kept.
The emotionally intelligent person does their best to only make promises they know they will keep.
They don’t tell somebody they love them if they’re not quite sure…
And they don’t promise to give back money they borrowed with no idea whether they actually will be able to do so…
They respect others and in turn they get a lot of respect from others as well.
10) Dealing with conflicts head-on
Those with high emotional intelligence deal with conflicts head on instead of allowing them to fester and grow.
They don’t engage in passive-aggressiveness or give a fake smile to somebody they are upset with.
That’s because they know that establishing a pattern of false nicety is one of the fastest routes to start living a pretentious and inauthentic life.
It’s also a way to start repressing and denying conflicts that need to be dealt with and talked over directly.
11) Avoiding threats and manipulation
There are times when all of us really want something or even need it and another person isn’t giving it to us.
This is when a narcissist or egoist will often resort to threatening or trying to manipulate.
They may even stoop as low as blackmail or physical threats of violence.
An emotionally intelligent person avoids this at all costs.
If somebody is treating them unfairly or holding back on something they need, they may end up severing the friendship or relationship, but they won’t try to take advantage of this person.
That’s because they would lose respect for themselves if they did and they know they’d get an awful reputation.
12) Allowing people to be who they are without labels
Emotionally intelligent people aren’t saints by any means.
They have flaws just like all the rest of us:
But being very judgmental is one they try their best to avoid.
The reason is that when you label and judge others you force your interactions into a “narrative” instead of just letting them be what they are.
“Oh she’s the greedy business executive and he’s the tortured artist.”
And so on…
Movies might do this much more than they should, but real life doesn’t have to.
The emotionally intelligent person can see categories a person might typically fit in while still being willing to look deeper past that to the real individual underneath.
Emotional intelligence matters
Emotional intelligence matters so much, particularly in our increasingly lonely and polarized world.
As people head to online echo chambers and seek to avoid being offended, it’s so easy to end up alienated and separate from everyone.
Emotional intelligence allows some breathing room:
It allows us to admit we may not fully understand or agree with somebody else but we still respect them as a human being.
Emotional intelligence allows us to navigate misunderstandings and conflicts in our personal and professional life with far more success and harmony.