In everything we do in life, emotions are always going to be a major factor. They influence the way we respond to people. They play a role in our decision making processes and how well we are able to cope with the unexpected. Emotions are sometimes difficult to interpret, both internally and externally – unless, that is, you happen to have high emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is a general measure of how aware you are of your emotions, the emotions of others, and how the emotional states of you and those surrounding you affect your environment. The higher your emotional intelligence, the better you are at communicating and getting along with others, and the more aware you are of your own emotions throughout everything you see and do.
Where do you stand on the emotional intelligence scale? Here are eight signs you have high emotional intelligence, and how that most likely plays out in your daily life.
1. You are aware of your strengths as well as your weaknesses
Those with high emotional intelligence are more aware of what they are good at and what they aren’t good at. If you have high emotional intelligence, you are probably also good at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of those around you. You are also willing to learn how to gradually turn your weaknesses into strengths and help others figure out how they can use theirs to better themselves and those around them.
2. You don’t take things personally
Being of high emotional intelligence, you are not easily offended, whether something negative is directed specifically toward you or not. This is because a high emotional intelligence makes it easier to recognize that small things like negative feedback are not worth investing copious amounts of emotion into. You understand that very few things in the world are all about you, and are likely much more concerned with how to resolve any negative situations as calmly and efficiently as possible.
3. You genuinely ask people how they are doing
When you meet up with someone you haven’t see in awhile and ask them how they are doing, you mean it. You’re genuinely interested in listening to what they have to say. To you, being curious about other people, especially people you have strong emotional relationships with, is just the norm. You don’t think twice about helping a friend work through a bad situation. You are able to focus on being the person a friend or family member needs to vent to, and that is okay with you.
4. You often make decisions based on how you feel
But you are still wise in the choices you do make. You’re just aware of how your decisions might affect you and other people on an emotional level and let that knowledge influence your actions. You analyze how your words and actions influence those around you and know the difference between doing the right thing and doing the thing that makes you feel better. You are also the person your friends run to when they are trying to make decisions.
5. You seek to understand
Many people talk because they are desperate to be heard. Those with high emotional intelligence, however, choose instead to listen in order to better understand how other people are feeling and reacting to situations. If you are someone with high emotional intelligence, you seek to understand others over being heard yourself. You don’t talk over people or rush to tell your story while someone else is trying to tell theirs. You always listen first, talk later.
6. You don’t let toxic people get to you
There are toxic people everywhere you go, but high emotional intelligence makes it much easier to not let any of them bother you too much. It’s easier to ignore their complaints and negativity no matter how often you are exposed to it, because you understand that they need to behave the way they do in order to feel more emotionally sound. You know that reacting negatively to them will only make the problem worse, and continuously find ways to block them out.
7. You engage in positive self-talk
You rarely put yourself down. When something doesn’t go your way, you immediately try to think of how you can change your perspective and look at things from a new angle. You operate with an “I’ll do better next time” attitude in everything you do. Of course you still have bad days, but you spend them trying to talk yourself up and using healthy habits to make yourself feel better. You understand that thinking negatively about yourself doesn’t solve any of your problems, and choose to look on the bright side, no matter how dark things might seem.
8. You see mistakes as learning experiences instead of failures
You are never one to let a shortcoming bring you down, because you very rarely view anything as an outright failure. Mistakes happen, and while you understand that dealing with the consequences isn’t easy, you aren’t willing to give up very easily. Everything, to you, is an opportunity to learn something new and improve a practice or skill. Mistakes are just part of the learning process. You also always take responsibility for your mistakes, and hope others will do the same.
Emotions are, and always will be, complicated. People don’t always react to situations in the way we expect them to. To be emotionally intelligent is to understand that interpreting someone else’s emotions, or even our own emotions, takes constant effort. But the more we exercise our skills, the more we are able to adapt, and improve the way we interact with the people around us.
If you want to improve your emotional intelligence, work on how well you pay attention to the way certain things make you feel. It’s possible that your internal reactions to certain things aren’t that different from other people’s. Practice better listening and take time out of your day to ask people how they are – and truly listen to their answers. Stay positive: you have the characteristics of a great leader, and an amazing friend.