5 Signs of High Emotional Intelligence

When it comes to living a fulfilling and happy life, emotional intelligence (EI) is just as important as intelligence quotient (IQ)… If not even more! Let’s find out what EI stands for as well as some major signs of high emotional intelligence!
When it comes to living a fulfilling and happy life, emotional intelligence (EI) is just as important as intelligence quotient (IQ)… If not even more! Let’s find out what EI stands for as well as some major signs of high emotional intelligence!

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What is Emotional Intelligence?

Different authors define emotional intelligence differently. The term was coined in the 1950s by none other than Abraham Maslow, as he noticed that people could build emotional strength and develop their ability to effectively handle and control emotions.

In the following years, the concept of emotional intelligence has been widely researched.

In one of the first EI models introduced by Peter Salovey and John Mayer, emotional intelligence was defined as “the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior”.

It has later been refined and popularized by science journalist and New York Times bestseller writer Dr Daniel Goleman. Goleman described emotional intelligence as a “person’s ability to manage his feelings so that those feelings are expressed appropriately and effectively”.

Now, let’s take a look at some signs that indicate high emotional quotient!

1. You Are Able to Correctly Label Your Emotions

Yes, all people experience emotions. All the time. But how many people are able to specify what they are feeling? To master your emotions first you have to address them. And not in a simple way such as “I feel good” or “I feel bad”.

Everyone knows whether they feel good or bad, but according to Dr. Travis Bradberry’s research, only 36% of people can label their emotions correctly. This requires a good “emotional vocabulary”. Those with high EQ have mastered their emotions because they understood them in the first place.

Imagine a person wondering why they might feel bad. It’s a tough question to answer because “feeling bad” is a pretty broad term. Without pinpointing the exact cause, a person can’t react and make the bad feeling go away and how could he?

On the contrary, an emotionally intelligent people would describe themselves as “angry”, “lonely”, “melancholic”, “frustrated” etc.

Naturally, after doing so, they are able to quickly get over their issues and deal with negative emotions!

2. You Are Aware of Your Strengths And Weaknesses

Those who have interviewed for jobs are probably annoyed by the infamous question – what are your greatest strengths and biggest weaknesses?
But did you know it’s not accidental that this question is so popular?

In the late 1990s Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer Companies (JJCC) funded a study which concluded that there was a “strong relationship between superior performing leaders and emotional competence, supporting theorist’s suggestions that the social, emotional and relational competency set commonly referred to as Emotional Intelligence, is a distinguishing factor in leadership performance”.

So emotionally intelligent people don’t simply understand emotions, they also know what they are great at as well as areas in which they’re terrible! Additionally, by knowing themselves, they are able to identify what kind of behaviors from their surroundings evoke positive and negative emotions.

This allows them to fully utilize their strengths and leverage various situations, but also remain calm during hardships by understanding weaknesses.

Have you made your personal S/W list?

3. You Are Difficult to Make Angry and Don’t Hold Grudges

Think about it… You are in touch of who you are, you know what you’re good at and have accepted your weak points… What should someone say or do to offend you?

Emotionally intelligent people are pretty self-confident and open-minded and as such they are able to accept criticism with their hands wide open. They will also often joke on their own account.

High EQ individuals do not seek approval from their surroundings because they have already proven themselves to… themselves. Similarly, they are aware of things they need improvement on. As a result, they have pretty “thick skin!”

Additionally, holding a grudge doesn’t go together with high emotional intelligence.

Negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge bring something much worse along. They bring stress. And emotionally intelligent people are well aware of that. In fact, researchers at Emory University have proven that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease!

4. You Let Go of Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes and nobody is perfect. High EQ individuals never seek perfection because it doesn’t exist. Instead, they work on themselves trying to do the best they can in a given situation.

When it comes to mistakes in particular, distancing yourself but remembering them is golden.

There is no use in crying over spilled milk. Dwelling too long on past mistakes evokes countless of negative emotions that are not helping you in the present. No use in feeling anxious over something that has already happened, right?

On the other hand, completely forgetting what you’ve done wrong will probably bind you to making the same mistake again!

By walking a thin rope between dwelling on past and forgetting it completely emotionally intelligent people learn from their mistakes and hardly ever repeat them again, while staying emotionally present and clear-minded!

5. You Are Able to “Disconnect”

Taking a time off the network and treating yourself with some me-time helps you keep stress level in check and live in the moment! People often neglect that, especially nowadays…

By making yourself available 24/7, you expose yourself to so many external stress factors that you could never control. Turning off your phone gives your body and mind some time to recuperate. Workaholics out there should pay special attention to this!

When is the last time you turned off your phone for a few hours?


Unlike IQ which is something we’re born with, our EQ can change if we are willing to work on it!

By practicing emotionally intelligent behaviors we allow our brain to create new patterns and unique pathways that later lead to creating habits.

Eventually, our brain will get used to these new habits and emotionally intelligent behaviors which will make old, destructive ones vanish. With enough practice, we can respond to our surroundings and situations with high emotional intelligence without even having to register it consciously!

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