10 things emotionally intelligent people never do

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Much has been said about how a high IQ can help you excel in life. But I often find that discussions about intelligence and success often leave out the important role of one other thing – emotional intelligence. 

Emotionally intelligent people have a natural ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions. When solving problems, they use social awareness in addition to logical thinking. 

And it’s not just about what they do; it’s also about what they would never do. 

So, what are these things that emotionally intelligent people would never do?

In this article, I’ll tackle 10 things people with a high EQ never do. Hopefully, you can add them to your emotional intelligence toolbox. 

Let’s get started! 

1) They never dismiss other people’s feelings

Imagine telling somebody how you feel, and they just pooh-pooh it. That would feel terrible, right?

That’s why I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by emotionally intelligent people. I always feel validated. No matter how trivial my problems sound, I always feel supported. 

You see, emotionally intelligent people understand that everyone’s emotions are valid, even if they disagree with them. They never dismiss someone else’s feelings or belittle them for how they feel. 

Instead, they listen with empathy and try to see where the other person’s coming from.

And you know what else I love about them? 

2) They never make assumptions

There’s an old saying that goes, “Never assume…it makes an ASS out of U and ME.”

Isn’t that so true? That’s something emotionally intelligent people take to heart.

I’ve been the victim of false assumptions myself; I know how awful it can feel when people just jump to the wrong conclusions and judgments about you. 

So I really appreciate the people who take the time to know the real story. Instead of immediately thinking the worst of others, they ask questions and seek clarity to avoid misunderstandings. 

3) They never hold grudges

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” 

And I’d like to add…“of the emotionally intelligent.” 

People with high EQ know that holding onto anger and resentment can weigh us down and cause unnecessary stress. 

So they never hold grudges. Sure, they may still remember past hurtful events, but they don’t let those memories consume them. 

I know that’s easier said than done. But I think, once you’ve learned the art of letting go and forgiving, you’ll feel incredibly lighter and freer!

Now, just because it’s wiser to forgive doesn’t mean you should push your emotions down. On the contrary, you shouldn’t! 

As the next section shows, if you want to be emotionally intelligent, you’ll have to learn to face your feelings. 

4) They never ignore their emotions

Forgive, but don’t ignore your emotions – ah, what a delicate balance that sounds! It’s really tricky to do this. 

But here’s the deal: emotionally intelligent people understand that the quickest path to forgiveness (or dealing with anything difficult, for that matter) is to acknowledge how you feel. 

After all, if you can’t accept your emotions, how can you do what you need to move on, right?

So, instead of repressing or ignoring how you feel, take the time to process it. Then, find healthy ways to express them. That’s how emotionally intelligent people do it

This leads me to my next point…

5) They never shy away from vulnerability

Feelings are complicated, we all know that. And it can be really hard to let your guard down and let people know how you feel. 

Being vulnerable can be scary. Of course, it’s hard to break down the walls you’ve built around you and leave yourself open to attack. 

But – it’s also essential for building strong, meaningful relationships. It can even help us know ourselves better! 

That’s why emotionally intelligent people never shy away from vulnerability. They understand that it’s a strength, not something to be ashamed of. 

And I agree. I’m always in awe of people who wear their hearts on their sleeves. I just think it’s so incredibly brave (and smart) to be willing to let other people know how you feel, to let them see you’re not perfect and in control all the time. 

Vulnerability also gives you the courage to do this next thing…

6) They never avoid difficult conversations

Avoiding difficult conversations may seem like an easy way to avoid conflict, but it can actually make things worse in the long run. 

I get it – as a non-confrontational person, I’ve been known to shy away from difficult conversations. I didn’t want to be vulnerable at all. I was the type to ignore an issue forever in the hopes that it would go away on its own. 

But I knew that if I wanted to grow as a person, I couldn’t keep running away from things like this. Avoidance didn’t really solve anything, anyway. 

So I took my cue from my emotionally intelligent best friend, who gave me these fantastic tips for dealing with difficult conversations:

  • Prepare ahead of time
  • Focus on the issue, not the person
  • Listen actively and keep an open mind
  • Stay calm and composed
  • Practice empathy
  • Focus on solutions

It wasn’t easy, but with time and practice, I learned how to be both brave and compassionate to approach complicated issues like an emotionally intelligent person

That’s another thing I must point out – to become emotionally intelligent, one must be willing to keep learning. 

7) They never stop learning

As I mentioned above, this is one of the keys to developing a high EQ. Sure, some people might be born with a naturally high EQ, but even if you aren’t, there’s no reason you can’t develop it later on. 

The great thing about emotional intelligence is that there’s always room for growth and improvement

Emotionally intelligent people understand this. They have an attitude of, “I know I can do better than this,” even if they actually are already being the best they can be!

So, they constantly seek out new information, experiences, and perspectives to expand their understanding of themselves and others.

8) They never give up on themselves

I guess a natural offshoot of having a growth mindset is that one also knows that failure is part of growing. 

That’s why emotionally intelligent people don’t easily stay down for long when the going gets tough. Of course, they’re not immune to feeling discouraged, but one thing’s for sure – they never give up on themselves. 

Instead, they use those setbacks and failures as opportunities to learn and grow. For them, failure is not the end, but a chance to try again and do better

9) They never stop practicing self-care

Does it sound like emotionally intelligent people do nothing but be understanding and giving? Practice compassion and give people the benefit of the doubt?

I suppose that’s because of one habit they have: they never neglect self-care

You know how flight attendants remind us to always put the oxygen mask on ourselves when the plane is in trouble? That’s because we can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves first. 

So, people with high EQs do exactly that – they prioritize their physical, mental, and emotional health. 

I used to hate it when my best friend, the emotionally intelligent one I’ve told you about, said she needed to be alone for a while. I always took it personally, as if she was saying she didn’t want to spend time with me. 

But now I know that she was simply taking time off to recharge – it was her way of making sure she’s okay so she can show up for me and everyone else who needs her. 

And to tell you the truth, once I started doing it myself, I saw the wisdom in it. I find that I have so much more to give others when I’ve filled up my own well!

10) They never let other people take away their joy

Lastly, here’s what I’ve noticed emotionally intelligent people do – they don’t let anyone steal their joy and zest for living. 

You see, in this competitive world we live in, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with others. But the thing is, when we do that, we give other people control over our own happiness. 

Emotionally intelligent people, on the other hand, have cultivated such a strong sense of self-worth that nothing anyone says or does can rob them of the positivity they hold inside. 

No matter what other people say, they feel proud of what they do and are at peace with their decisions in life. 

The result: a long-lasting sense of happiness

Final thoughts

As you can see, emotional intelligence is a crucial skill that can help us build stronger, more meaningful relationships with others. More than IQ, it’s actually the strongest predictor of success, whether personal or professional. 

While some people are naturally emotionally intelligent, it’s also a skill you can develop through practice and mindfulness.

Hopefully, this list can help you get started. By avoiding these ten things, you can develop your emotional intelligence and become more compassionate, empathetic, and understanding

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