How To Know If You Have Emotional Intelligence

Over the past decade, emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is commonly referred to) has become one of the most popular psychology theories. Many career professionals now consider having strong empathy and understanding emotions integral parts of their job.

Some even use the term “emotional literacy” to describe this quality. While early researchers may have used different terminology, there are some key traits that all definitions share in common. These include being able to recognize your own feelings and those of others, using these insights to understand why people behave the way they do, and adjusting your behavior according to what you perceive as theirs.

However, research also shows that not everyone with high levels of EQ go on to lead successful lives. This could be because they don’t apply their skills in everyday situations or they misuse the knowledge they possess.

This article will talk more about how to determine if you have emotional intelligence and whether it can help you achieve your goals. It will also look at some potential benefits that exist for both individuals and groups around us. However, before looking into whether you have EQ, it is important to note two things first.

Firstly, just like any other skill, developing yours takes practice. Even though everyone possesses some level of EQ to some degree, none of us have full mastery over our perceptions and reactions to others’ emotions.

Have patience

how to know if you have emotional intelligence

Many people think that having emotional intelligence means being able to control your emotions, which is definitely a part of it, but there’s another important piece left out. Having empathy or understanding of other peoples’ feelings is also an integral part of EQ.

Having empathy doesn’t just mean realizing what someone else is feeling at this moment; it takes longer than that. It means knowing why they are feeling that way and whether their perception of you has changed because of something you said or done.

It can be difficult to know how others feel unless you have experienced similar situations before. This is one of the reasons why young adults often struggle with emotional intelligence — life for most kids today is different from what theirs was.

As parents, though, we get to go through our own experiences as children and learn about empathy then apply those lessons in adulthood.

Make eye contact

how to know if you have emotional intelligence

A large part of emotional intelligence is making eye contact with people. When you look someone in the eyes, you are telling them something about yourself and how you perceive they exist as person.

Making direct eye contact can show that you are aware of their presence and want to connect with them. It also shows respect for who they are and what they have done before.

When you lack emotional intelligence, you may not make enough effort to make appropriate eye contacts or keep up repeated eye contacts. This could be because you do not understand the effect it has on others or you do not like looking people in the eyes.

However, establishing eye contact should be practiced so that it becomes second nature. The more you practice, the better you will become at it.

Your potential audience will notice when you have emotional intelligence and it will influence their perception of you and your relationships.

Be honest with your peers

When was the last time you told someone how you really felt? Or even better, try telling them something like, “I don’t have emotional intelligence!” or “I am totally without emotion!”

That would be a nice lie for you to tell yourself if you are struggling to feel happy, or if you want to avoid relationships because you do not believe you will get much help from others.

However, it is very possible that you do not know what emotions look like in other people, or you may not understand why they hurt you when you think they should make you happy.

You could also be too quick to assign value to things based on your beliefs and expectations, which can sometimes lead to unhappy experiences. All of these factors contribute to making you feel less than before.

It is important to realize that none of this is your fault, but instead a consequence of having low emotional intelligence.

Listen to others closely

how to know if you have emotional intelligence

Does everyone seem to have a calm, steady demeanor when they talk about you or yourself? If so, you may not know that they think very highly of you.

A lot of people have a hard time praising other people for their achievements because they don’t feel like anyone notices what they do.

But even if someone doesn’t say anything directly about you, how they behave around you can tell you more than any compliment could.

For example, does your friend always look stressed out after she spends hours at work trying to fix an issue that was her fault? That tells you something about how she feels about herself.

If you're in a relationship with someone who seems to lose confidence as the days go by, it's a good indicator that they're losing emotional strength.

You might want to check into whether there are signs of mental health issues.

Do not be egotistical

how to know if you have emotional intelligence

Even if you have excellent self-confidence, being too sure of yourself can hurt instead of help you achieve your goals. If you are always thinking that you know better than other people, or that you are more intelligent or competent than them, then you will never learn anything from others.

This kind of mental state is also what gets in the way of emotional intelligence. If you believe you already know everything, then you won’t feel it necessary to go out of your own way to relate to someone else.

You will also fail to put aside your opinions and beliefs and try to understand theirs. This would take away all the motivation to keep learning new things and changing habits.

A good example of this comes from a story about two roommates who were very friendly with each other at first. But one day, the less talkative roommate noticed that his friend wasn’t coming home anymore. So he asked where his friend went after work every night, and was told that he had an early morning appointment next week and wouldn’t be back until late.

The roommate thought that was weird because his friend didn’t seem like the type to have such regular appointments, so he called him to make sure he was okay. When he finally answered his phone, however, he heard crying on the other end and knew something was wrong.

Do not be superficial

how to know if you have emotional intelligence

It is impossible to measure emotional intelligence, so most tests for EI are either very difficult to achieve or rely heavily on opinionated questions that may or may not fit you.

Most people believe they have high EQ, but when you look more in-depth at their relationships, work colleagues, and family members, it is clear something is missing.

It can sometimes feel like there’s a wall up protecting your innermost feelings, and anything beyond this will be seen as an attack. This is particularly prevalent in younger generations who seem to lack empathy.

Gen Xers and millennials are often accused of having no sense of compassion, which is clearly untrue. Many simply don’t show much emotion outside of business settings, and even then it's typically only about The Product – not about what effect it has on others.

The first step towards developing your emotional intelligence is by being aware of your own emotions.

Understand your emotions

how to know if you have emotional intelligence

It is important to know what makes you feel happy, sad, angry, or stressed out. This understanding can help you in many ways, including improving your relationships with people around you.

Many professionals believe that emotional intelligence (or EI for short) is an essential skill for anyone to have. In fact, some say it is more important than IQ!

Emotions play a big part in how well we function as human beings, so learning how to manage them is very important.

But what does “managing” mean? Does it mean being able to suppress your feelings at will? Or are they allowed to surface but must be contained and relaxed? Or perhaps there are times when you should work on reducing a feeling before coming down from a bout of anger?

There are several theories about why someone might have low levels of emotion regulation. Some think it is due to genetics, while others suggest early experiences shape our ability to regulate emotions.

Whatever the reason, researchers agree that lower levels of emotion regulation are linked to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Understand others

how to know if you have emotional intelligence

One of the biggest factors in whether you have emotional intelligence is your ability to understand other people. You will want to be able to recognize what makes someone else happy or sad, why they do certain things, and what might make them feel better or worse about themselves and their life.

It’s hard to know how to help someone else deal with something negative when you don’t know what made them so unhappy in the first place. This is part of understanding human behavior.

By paying attention to the little clues you get from people, you’ll figure out how they're feeling and what needs to be done next.

You can also learn some helpful tricks for keeping yourself calm and focused when someone is upset with you. These are called coping strategies.

Keeping track of what makes people happier and what needs to be fixed is an important tool in developing your EQ.

Blog post: Why Is It Important To Boost Your Emotional Quotient?

Bullet point: Happy and successful people have it

A good start would be to try applying these steps to boost your emotional quotient.

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