How To Help Someone With Low Emotional Intelligence

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in reports of people’s emotional intelligence (EI) levels dropping. Some studies even suggest that we are living in the middle era of low EI — where individuals have limited knowledge about how to effectively motivate, relate to, and inspire others around them.

While having high EQ is always helpful, it isn’t essential for life success. Because we live in such a connected world, poor quality relationships can hurt you.

Low empathy is also harmful as it can hinder your ability to form healthy connections with other people. In fact, a recent study found that lack of empathy was one of the top reasons why someone broke up with their significant other![1]

So what happens when someone you care about doesn’t feel like they want to connect with you anymore? You may find yourself at a loss for what to do next. This can be very frustrating – especially if you invested time and effort into building this relationship.

It’s important to note that no one else will feel the same level of passion for you as you will. So trying to force a connection won’t work either. Plus, you run the risk of hurting each other more by pushing too hard.

If you identify something that's preventing you from connecting with someone, try to address it directly instead of putting extra stress onto both of you.

Make eye contact

how to help someone with low emotional intelligence

Making direct, meaningful connections with people is one of the most important things you can do as a person. When someone does not make adequate eye contact with you, it may indicate that they are feeling insecure or uncomfortable.

This could be because they feel nervous or self-conscious, or perhaps they just do not like who they are talking to. They might try to look more sophisticated by looking at the floor or behind them, but still no eyes.

Making eye contact shows respect for the other person and helps create an open channel of communication. This makes relationships possible and encourages trust.

When someone lacks emotional intelligence, they may need help figuring out what they want from others and how to ask for it. It can also mean they don’t recognize signs about whether or not people like them and why.

So when they lack this understanding of emotions, they may never know if their actions had an effect on someone else.

If you notice that a friend or family member isn’t making enough eye contact, try to determine whether there is something going on in their life that is causing them stress.

Do not assume

how to help someone with low emotional intelligence

‘Low emotional intelligence’ is also referred to as low empathy, but that term can be tricky. While it is true that people with lower EI are less likely to show sympathy or understand emotions of others, it does not mean they are without emotion.

It may just be that their own feelings get suppressed due to lack of understanding what other people feel and how they should behave given those feelings.

This can sometimes lead to uncomfortable situations for them and for others around them. Sometimes they even keep things from people out of fear of being hurt by them or because they do not know what to say or do.

So, while it is important to recognize that there is a difference in levels of emotional intelligence between individuals, it is also very important to acknowledge your limitations and don’t make assumptions about anyone else.

Be consistent

how to help someone with low emotional intelligence

Consistency is one of the most important things when trying to help someone with low emotional intelligence. If you constantly show up, it may be too much for them to handle.

They may feel overwhelmed by your consistency and even start avoiding you because they assume that you will keep coming back which only makes them avoid you more.

It can also make them worry about whether or not they’ll see you next and if what they say matters to you. They might try harder to please you in order to get your attention or avoid getting into an argument.

If this is happening, try giving them some time. Don’t push yourself onto their schedule but instead, do something that you want to do and then invest time into it.

This way, they won’t feel like they have to rush out and do the same thing, so they can relax and enjoy themselves. It works just as well if they ask you to stay away from them!

Consistency is key in helping people understand that what they put into their lives doesn’t go unnoticed. You are telling them that there is an effect between how they behave towards others and what happens to them.

Give them time to deal with it and see how they respond.

Provide reassurance

how to help someone with low emotional intelligence

When someone experiences something that makes them feel bad or scared, their brain automatically releases a chemical called cortisol.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps us deal with threats such as dangers of disease or injury.

But when your friend gets upset for no reason, then this body response can become excessive. It was needed at the time, but now it has to go.

Because you probably know these things about emotional intelligence — what people call “emotion literacy” or “EI” — you can help reduce the stress they’re feeling by giving them some reassuring words.

This could be saying how much they mean to you, telling them not to worry about it, or just talking about non-topic material to take their mind off it.

Ask for reassurance

Sometimes, even when someone seems like they are doing their best, there is still something that they do or say that makes you feel uncomfortable. This may be because they seem overly focused on other people, or because they never show any signs of happiness.

It could also be because they lack certain qualities such as empathy, self-awareness, or accountability. If these things make you feel uneasy, try to identify what made you feel this way before and see if you can avoid making the same mistake in the future.

If it helps, you can talk about your feelings with them so that they know how you felt and who you think shared responsibility for the situation.

This can help both of you understand each other better and work towards solving the problem. It might mean giving up some rewards you wanted (like money or praise) but which don’t really matter to them, or quitting something you want out of guilt.

Be honest

how to help someone with low emotional intelligence

Sometimes people have low emotional intelligence (EI) and this can be very frustrating for you, or even them! If someone is putting you down consistently, it may be time to look at whether they are qualified to hold their position in life.

If there’s something that you know how to do really well and they’re telling you that you’re not as good as they are, then it might be time to call you out on it. This could mean hurting your feelings, but it will also help you realize just how much power they think they have over you.

Alternatively, if they never tell you why things aren’t going their way, it can put you in a bad mood which affects your relationships with them.

By being honest with each other, you’ll both feel more relaxed and comfortable. Plus, you’ll learn some things about each other that you wouldn’t otherwise.

Do not try to be a mindreader

how to help someone with low emotional intelligence

“I’m having such a hard time understanding you,” is a way to tell someone with low emotional intelligence that they are being too sensitive or emotional. It can also be an opportunity to show them how much they mean to you by acknowledging their emotions.

This isn’t always easy when someone has trouble expressing themselves, but it is important to do so for your relationship to stay healthy.

If you are trying to figure out what they are feeling from silence, ask if there is anything else they would like to talk about. Listen to see if they respond and learn more about them that way.

Don’t take things personally unless they have mentioned something that makes you feel bad. Sometimes people say one thing while thinking of another thing.

Make sure they are not feeling overwhelmed

how to help someone with low emotional intelligence

It is very important to understand that someone with low emotional intelligence may seem aggressive, irritable or angry for no reason.

They could be hurt more than anyone else because they put a lot of importance in things that other people do not like or admire.

If you try to make them feel better by telling them how great they are, this will only make them feel worse. They will feel even more insecure about their own value as a person.

It can also make them feel guilty for being bad instead of accepting themselves and learning from the mistakes. This creates additional stress for them.

Never underestimate the power of a compliment! But if you notice signs of distress, avoid doing anything that makes them feel even more nervous or stressed out.

Instead, try to distract them by talking about something else or asking how their day was. Also, ask whether there is anything you can do to help them feel happier.

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