7 Signs of High Emotional Intelligence in Daily Life

How do you tell if someone has a high level of emotional intelligence? Do you have it in everyday life? While being “happy”, “motivated”, or “optimistic” is often viewed as a sign of a healthy individual, they are not included in the signs of emotional intelligence. The common signs are related to how you manage your and other people’s emotions, putting them into account in your behaviors.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

An emotionally intelligent person understands how his or her acts affect emotions, both for themselves and others. Despite different opinions in describing this kind of intelligence, psychologists and researchers generally agree that it covers at least three things:

  • Ability to recognize emotions, even the most complex ones (emotional awareness)
  • Ability to use the emotion in a proper way to conduct critical thinking and problem solving
  • Ability to manage emotions, such as by expressing them the right way or saying the right words to people with different characteristics

Emotional intelligence (EI) does not have a formal measurement tool. However, you can rely on several prominent signs to detect it.

Common Emotional Intelligence Signs

Here are seven common signs you may notice from someone (or yourself) that has high emotional intelligence:

  1. Able to describe complicated emotions

People with high EI can discern layers of emotions, and relate them to their own experiences, decision making process, and motivations. For example, they understand the true emotions behind the superficial expression, and how those emotions affect certain behaviors or decision making.

  1. Take time to reflect

Reflecting and pondering are more difficult to do nowadays, due to numerous distractions and fast-paced lifestyle. The ability to reflect and think deeply helps in factoring all aspects before making a decision. It also helps to keep perspective in check, even when facing a crisis.

  1. Show strong empathy

Empathy is one of the strongest characteristics of EI. Showing empathy means able to understand people’s view and thoughts from their perspectives. It does not mean that you always agree with them. Empathy helps you to see the bigger picture and look at a problem from different perspectives.

  1. Able to construct positive feedbacks

Positive feedbacks are harder to make than cynical criticism because they require deep thoughts and low ego. Positive feedbacks can help the recipients to fix their mistakes, without making them feel self-conscious or humiliated.

  1. Able to set boundaries

People who always say “yes” often view themselves as helpful, but this is the sign of inability to set boundaries. The ability to set boundaries shows that you are strong, assertive, but not secluded. This means that you understand your limit, demand respect, and refuse to fulfill other people’s requests while sacrificing your well-being.

  1. Don’t dwell in self-rumination

Self-rumination is a fancy name for “unable to move on”. A person with high EI is able to solve the negativity that arises from one bad incident and prevent it from ruining his/her day. While tackling negative emotions is important, you must know when to let negativity pass when necessary.

  1. Be honest about emotions and feelings

“Emotionally honest” does not mean being a drama queen or screaming jerk. It means you can communicate what you feel honestly when trying to solve a problem with someone else. People with high EI usually do not use tricks like silent treatment, passive-aggressive attitude, or emotional blackmail.

These are not the only signs of high emotional intelligence. However, having these traits may reflect a healthier psychological aspect in a person.

Tips to Develop Emotional Intelligence

You can learn to develop EI and be a better person at a psychological level. Here are some tricks to try every day:

  • Learn to harness emotion and think deeply

It is easy to explode with anger when something bothers you. When something that angers you happen, such as an argument with your coworker or spouse, don’t lash out immediately. Give yourself time for several minutes to ponder the situation from various perspectives.

  • Practice speaking with a proper vocabulary

Words reflect your emotional skill, and the ability to explain yourself properly will nurture emotional intelligence. Practice by imagining several scenarios when you have to face something bad at home or work. Imagine the best course of action to take and the words you can use to describe your thoughts. Deliver them out loud to make the situation more real.

  • Track down your stressors

Knowing things that stress you out the most will help in harnessing your emotion. Keep a journal to record what happens during the day. Remember the times when you feel anxious or angry, and describe them in the journal. Review the content after a week. By understanding your main stressors, you can take steps to manage them.

You can also review the times when you feel overwhelmed from doing everyone’s work. Review your limits and learn to say no. Start from something small, and experience the ease when you are able to find more time for yourself.

Emotional intelligence is important to develop a healthy mind and good communication skill. By developing this skill, you can grow your potentials and achieve more appreciation in your daily life.

5 Guidelines to Use Self Awareness to Improve the Quality of Life

Self-awareness is an instinct in each person. As an intelligent being who has an awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses, you must hone those instincts so that they can be used to develop yourself thus improve the quality of your life.

In general, self-awareness can be defined as a conscious knowledge of one’s own motives, character, desires, and feelings. This topic has become one of the main focuses of research in the field of psychology after Shelley Duval and Robert Wicklund developed the theory of this subject back in 1972.

Various studies show that conscious knowledge does not only act as a supporting factor that controls human consciousness in carrying out actions but also contributes to the achievement of an individual in life.

To use self-awareness to improve the quality of life, follow the 5 guidelines below:

1. Use It to Evaluate Your Habits

People with good self-awareness are proven to have high emotional intelligence so that they can more easily build positive habits that lead them to success. However, building positive habits is not an easy thing to do.

Before starting to change your habits, you need to evaluate yourself as well as identifying the negative things that you have been doing. This process can only be done if you have good self-awareness and a strong determination. Without these two qualities, you will only busy finding justification and excuses for the bad habits so that the process of building positive habits will become more difficult to do.

Implement Your Awareness in Everything You Do

Having high self-awareness will not change anything if you are still hesitant to take action. Therefore, to improve the quality of life, you need to implement your awareness of everything you do. Thus, you will get used to thinking carefully and understanding the consequences of everything.

Thinking and planning before acting are needed so that you don’t make decisions that you will regret later. However, too much thinking or making a plan without acting is also not good because it will make it more difficult for you to develop yourself.

3. Use It To Make Tough Decision

Making a decision is one of the most difficult parts of life. We often mess around with each of the choices we have to make, especially if those choices can significantly affect our future.

Using self-awareness as a “weapon” to make difficult decisions is the best thing you can do. With good awareness, you can objectively examine the pros and cons of each choice in front of you. The key is to have a good level of awareness. You must be able to weigh what are the main determinants of the decisions you want to make.

Poor quality of life is often caused by poor decision making. Therefore, you need to be meticulous and serious in making big choices or decisions in your life.

4. Determine You Main Target

Improving the quality of life is not an easy matter because it relates to many things ranging from financial conditions, relationships, physical and mental health, to happiness in general.

To improve the quality of life using self-awareness, you must have clear and measurable targets. The target will ease you to gradually improve the quality of your life while monitoring the progress. It would be best if you determined what quality of life you want to change first, then make a systematic and realistic plan to make it happen. In this case, your self-awareness will act as a “direction” for your actions.

To set a realistic target, you can do a comprehensive self-evaluation and compile a list of things you want to change in life. This method is closely related to the first point mentioned above about evaluating yourself and building positive habits.

5. Listen to the Trustworthy and Constructive Second Opinions

Relying on yourself to improve the quality of life is very difficult. Besides, it never hurts to listen to second opinions because it can give you a broader perspective on the progress you have made to achieve your goals.

However, filtering the opinions you hear may need extra attention. It would be best if you made sure that every voice you get to support your self-awareness is objective and constructive. If you listen to the toxic opinions of haters and doubters, it can disrupt your own development along the way.

Good opinions usually come from the closest people like family or friends, but if it is not possible, you can always use the services of a psychologist as a substitute.

Finally, we can safely assume that using self-awareness as the main vehicle for improving the quality of life is very plausible. However, it is important to note that the improvement often requires a long and difficult process. Therefore, rather than being stuck in the urgency to see results, you should focus on the process to fulfill your goals.