10 things emotionally intelligent people avoid doing in arguments

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During arguments, people with a high emotional quotient (EQ) have the ability to stay calm and navigate with poise, preventing unnecessary escalation.

How? By understanding common pitfalls to avoid.

Let us discuss the 10 things emotionally intelligent people avoid in arguments.

1) Dismissing the other person’s feelings

Emotionally intelligent individuals recognize, understand, and manage emotions in themselves and others. During arguments, they carefully listen to other people’s opinions, empathizing with their experiences instead of disregarding them. 

Moreover, acknowledging other people’s opinions, and positive and negative emotions creates an environment of mutual respect and understanding. They know that dismissing them may only lead to resentment, anger, and communication breakdowns. 

By resolving conflicts with compassion and cooperation, they show that a healthy relationship requires maturity and genuine commitment.

2) Holding grudges

One of the biggest mistakes individuals make in arguments is the complainer or wrongdoer’s inability to let go of a grudge. 

Individuals with high EQ understand that harboring resentment only serves to exacerbate the conflict and drive wedges between individuals. Belittling has the potential to undermine one’s self-esteem, leading to damaging emotional and physical outcomes.

They focus on finding solutions rather than fixing past errors, and immediately moving on from any issue at hand.

By doing so, they are able to approach disagreements with a clear mind and work towards finding a constructive solution together. 

Let go of grudges. They bring no sense of pleasure or satisfaction.

Next time you argue, forget them and focus on moving forward in a productive direction where you can both find common ground.

3) Withdrawing when there’s tension

More often than not, arguments have some level of tension. But at any particular moment, emotionally intelligent people don’t let that stop them from engaging.

So instead of fleeing or shutting down during tense situations, they stay engaged and use their skills to effectively manage them. Even as they discuss each other’s mistakes, they still have the self-confidence to let positive emotions and solutions guide the conversation.

Establishing a secure and trusting environment allows both parties to express themselves openly and fully.

Consequently, they can explore the underlying issues and concerns that require careful and compassionate attention.

Remember, walking away or shutting down when there is tension only serves to prolong the conflict. Stay engaged and work towards finding a resolution that works for everyone involved.

4) Expecting perfection

One of the key things emotionally intelligent people avoid in arguments is expecting perfection. 

In the heat of the moment, we often demand superpower flawless behavior or responses from others.

However, people with high emotional intelligence understand that perfection doesn’t exist, and everyone makes mistakes. They won’t set perfection as the standard for themselves or other people since this unrealistic expectation only leads to disappointment and frustration.

Emotionally intelligent people focus on progress and growth. They understand that mistakes offer opportunities for learning and improvement.

Rather than criticize their partner’s flaws, they offer support and encouragement, recognizing that everyone has areas where they could do better.

By avoiding perfectionism in arguments, emotionally intelligent individuals cultivate a positive and productive environment. This is where both parties can collaborate to find a mutually agreeable solution.

They possess the ability to establish a secure environment and safe space that fosters effective dialogue and dispute resolution.

Next time you’re in an argument, try employing empathy instead of demanding perfection from yourself or others. The art of empathizing can help you gain a new perspective and prevent further conflict.

5) Failing to communicate

Communication failure results when active listening isn’t practiced, and assumptions are made instead. The negative emotional spiral becomes a major challenge as it makes constructive collaboration harder to achieve.

Folks with high EQ avoid making assumptions and take the time to listen actively to what the other person’s saying with a grain of salt. They refrain from speaking over them or making judgments. They ask questions to clarify their understanding and work towards finding common ground.

Doing this creates a safe space to constructively resolve disputes, fostering trust, respect, and compassion.

6) Playing the blame game

Blaming other people is a defense mechanism that usually happens during disagreements. However, emotionally intelligent individuals would most likely refrain from doing so.

Smart individuals know that real progress comes from focusing on solutions, not finger-pointing. 

Moreover, they know that identifying the kinds of things that cause the issues and working together for a resolution is better than pointing fingers. 

So why not emulate their success by working towards resolution, rather than wasting time laying blame?

Choose collaboration rather than condemnation.

You may wonder why.

Well, this is definitely an effective approach to achieving mutual understanding without worsening the situation.

Assuming full responsibility for our actions makes it easier to resolve the conflict. Furthermore, it presents us in a positive light as individuals.

Hey, wouldn’t this be a better and smarter way to do it? 

Imagine all the possibilities! 

7) Engaging in power struggles

Let’s face it: Arguments always have an imbalance of power. In spite of understanding and compromise, you tend to fight for your own emotions.

But people with high emotional intelligence know that true intimacy requires mutual respect and understanding.

There is no power struggle. There is only a conversation to find a peaceful solution.

Emotionally intelligent people understand that power struggles lead nowhere. They know that win-lose solutions create more resentment and animosity, so they focus on finding a win-win situation instead.

For them, relationships are more important than winning an argument.

They say “Yes, and…” with a sympathetic ear instead of saying “No,” which is a powerful word that can easily shut down any conversation.

8) Using harsh language or name-calling

People in a really good emotional state are mindful of their language and tone during disagreements.

There’s no nagging sense of failure or embarrassment when an argument arises. The stress response doesn’t kick in and they avoid harsh language or name-calling that can cause future harm. 

Furthermore, they choose how to express themselves respectfully and constructively through the use of words. They value two-way communication and listen openly with an open mind, seeking understanding first, without involving their personal life experiences.

So, if you value your relationship with someone, try to practice this mindset during arguments. Remember that words can be extremely powerful, so choose your words carefully! 

It’ll make all the difference in an argument and can lead to a healthier outcome.

9) Being defensive or reactive

Think about the value of this: Arguments and disagreements can become very confrontational if one or both parties become defensive.

Rather than getting defensive, people with high EQ choose to be mindful of their emotions and responses. 

They take a step back to understand the other person’s point of view and what they may need in order to feel heard and understood. They don’t react impulsively by lashing out or shutting down.

Furthermore, they strive to adopt an unbiased approach, recognizing that issues often arise from mutual actions. 

This approach to conflict resolution emphasizes the shared responsibility of those involved. It’s a great way when facing an argument to keep the conversation respectful and productive.

10) Disrespecting the boundaries of another

Arguments can occur in a lot of ways. For one, the other person may have different boundaries that you need to respect.

Those with a high degree of emotional intelligence respect others’ boundaries as a natural extension of themselves. They recognize that each person’s perspective and comfort levels are unique.

Because of this, they avoid crossing boundaries by listening to the other person’s needs and compromising where necessary.

There’s no doubt about it: avoiding an unchecked emotion or assumption will produce positive results. 

Respecting someone’s boundaries demonstrates that you value their feelings and opinions, fostering trust and improving relationships.

I cannot say it enough: mutual respect is essential in disagreements.

Being aware of and respecting your partner’s boundaries is vital for building a long-lasting and thriving connection. Building trust and respect sets the foundation for a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

Keep this in mind as you navigate your next disagreement. Show that you value their opinion even if it differs from yours. 

You’ll be surprised at how such small gestures can have such a huge impact on a relationship. 

Final thoughts

Emotionally intelligent people know what to avoid in arguments. They recognize that the very nature of human beings isn’t perfection, and that self-worth is beyond winning.

Instead of attacking the other person, the kind of battle they focus on is resolving the issue.

By avoiding others’ mistakes of disrespecting boundaries, becoming defensive, and using derogatory language, they can create a climate of understanding, trust, and mutual respect.

Of course, these practices can be tough at first, and mistakes may happen.

But you can make a new commitment and be one of them, too.

With practice, you can manage emotions and conflicts. 

Be the master of your own happiness with more fulfilling relationships built on respect, understanding, and trust. 

It’ll be worth achieving in the end.

Frankie Pascua-dela Pasion

Frankie was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She is a graduate of Humanities from the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Frankie is a seasoned Customer Success and Human Resources professional. She is also a certified Life Coach and Career Strategist. She helps people young and young at heart to simplify their lives by creating emotional awareness. She also loves working with people who have a genuine interest in breaking their inner limits through their journey of self-discovery and authenticity in their personal and professional lives.

Frankie’s recent venture into writing is fueled by her passion for human connection and meaningful relationships at home, at work, and basically everywhere. She enjoys the research, discovery, and reflection that go into each article as much as she writes about them, in the hopes that her words resonate with, and give perspective to her audience.

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