7 unexpected signs you’re more emotionally intelligent than you think

Some people simply have a knack for reading the room. In fact, they’re so good at it that it’s like they’re psychic.

It’s their superpower!

But as we’re in the real world (and not the Marvel cinematic universe), what’s their secret? 

Well, we’ve all heard about IQ, but what about EQ? 

I’m talking about emotional intelligence, here. 

That’s right, you’ve been lied to all your life! 

Intelligence isn’t just about good grades or test results. There are multiple ways to measure it and that includes perceiving, understanding, and managing emotions (AKA EQ or EI). 

There’s even a whole theory on it

So how do you know if you possess it? 

Check out these seven unexpected signs that prove you’re more emotionally intelligent than you think. 

Let’s see if you recognize any…

1) You express yourself (without hesitation)

Empathy and EQ are often used interchangeably… 

And with good reason. 

In fact, those who identify as an empath also typically display a high level of emotional intelligence (EI). 

But not always. 

The truth is, there’s a subtle difference between being attuned to your feelings and articulating those emotions to others in a coherent (and appropriate) manner. 

How’s that?

For one, EI is a learned skill and according to experts, expressing yourself is one way to increase it. 

So, instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, you step back, assess the situation, and determine the (real) reason that you’re upset. Maybe, you’re hurt, frustrated, disappointed, or even worried…

Let me put it this way.

Not only do you have an uncanny sixth sense when it comes to the emotions of others (think Commander Deanna Troi). But you also have an extensive emotional vocabulary to express yourself freely. 

Simply put. 

You’re self-aware. 

Something that allows you to discuss and resolve conflict peacefully with others. 

That’s why…

2) You rarely lose your temper

Are you good at keeping your emotions in check? Perhaps you’re known for having impeccable impulse control. 

Another sign that you’re emotionally intelligent is your ability to self-regulate (or manage) your emotions. Even during high-pressure situations. 


It’s not that you don’t get angry (you’re only human). But before you fly off the handle (or blame others), you consider the “why.”

By that I mean…

You think before you act on feelings alone. Because at the end of the day, there’s usually a reason we behave the way we do – and you understand this.

Why’s that useful?

Well, this ability to explore the “why” has helped you to hone and develop traits like empathy and compassion.

Two qualities that can contribute to your emotional intelligence. 

After all, what’s the use of identifying emotions if you don’t know how to put that knowledge to good use? 

3) You consider all sides (not just your own)

Another way you avoid conflict is by putting yourself in other people’s shoes. 

It just comes naturally to you. And that’s because you’re highly observant and perceptive.

Not forgetting, socially aware. 

The fact is, when you first meet people, you can’t help but analyze them. 

You pick up on non-verbal cues, read (even predict) the emotions of others, and take the time to understand where someone coming from. 

Most of all, though, you listen. 

Actively listening allows you to fully pay attention (be present) and communicate effectively. 

All without holding judgment. 

Not only that, but you appreciate that your words can have an impact. As a result, you don’t just think before you speak – you also consider your delivery. 

Basically, how you’re going to say it. 

Something that brings us to the next point on the list.

4) You ask open-ended questions (and skip the small talk)

Are your social skills second to none?

Chances are, you have high emotional intelligence

Here’s the thing. 

Emotionally intelligent people are known for having strong social and communication skills. And that’s because you’re invested in understanding and helping those around you. 

One way you do this is by asking open-ended questions and avoiding the usual superficial chit-chat. 

That’s where active listening comes in handy again. 

And by giving the “yes or no” (dead end) questions a miss, you’re allowing the speaker to open up and express themselves fully. 

Thus allowing you to get to know them better (connect easily).

Not only that, but it demonstrates that you’re genuinely interested.  

No wonder…

5) You easily “click” with others

That’s right, you’re a people magnet. What’s more, when you make friends – they’re for life!

Let me explain. 

Emotionally intelligent people are extremely socially aware and empathetic. 

Not only are they excellent at intuiting how someone feels but they’re adept at predicting other people’s needs.

Sometimes, before the individual even knows what they want themselves.

Because of this, people often open up to you from the get-go – able to discuss things in a way only friends can. 

This, together with your compassionate (and understanding) attitude, helps build long-lasting and meaningful connections that last for years. 

6) You freely admit your mistakes 

We all mess up. It’s a fact of life. 

But while most people like to beat themselves up over their blunders, emotionally intelligent people get it. 

They don’t fear failure or worry about appearing flawed. 

Instead, they embrace their shortcomings (and that of others). 

In other words, they’re self-aware.

As a consequence, they create a “safe space.” Somewhere people feel able to admit their own wrongdoings. 

To put it another way, people feel as though they can trust you easily.

7) You readily embrace change 

Last, but certainly not least, emotionally intelligent people are unphased by change. 

In fact, it’s scientifically proven!

You heard correctly. According to the study, those with a high EI demonstrate amazing self-control. 

This is largely due to a series of emotion regulation strategies you’ve learned over time.

In other words, you’re flexible and able to adapt when necessary.  

Ultimately, your ability to find new ways to cope (no matter how demanding the situation) together with your willingness to improve only strengthens your capacity for understanding the subtleties and nuances of emotions. 

And with it, boost your overall EI. 

Leila El-Dean

Leila is a passionate writer with a background in photography and art. She has over ten years of experience in branding, marketing, and building websites. She loves travelling and has lived in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, and Malta. When she’s not writing (or ogling cats), Leila loves trying new food and drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea.

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