8 signs you’re emotionally intelligent, even if you don’t feel like it

We’ve all laughed, cried, had fits of anger, and screamed excitedly. 

But do you truly understand the emotions that flow within? Do you have the ability to read the room? Can you easily sense a change in someone’s mood? 

If you feel targeted by all these questions, let me dish out one more: 

What if I told you these are signs of a high emotional quotient? 

Harvard identifies four components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. We’ve broken this down and listed 8 specific signs that someone is emotionally intelligent. 

Read through the list, and you might discover you’re an emotional genius all along – even if you don’t feel like it. 

Let’s go!

1) You’re a wordsmith when it comes to your emotions

Most of us describe our feelings in their generic/blanket forms, like: “I feel good,” “I feel bad,” “I feel angry.”

What sets emotional geniuses apart is their ability to pinpoint their feelings.

Let me explain:

You don’t just say you feel good or bad – you use specific words to describe your emotions. 

Not only that, but you can tell the difference between seemingly similar emotions, too.

You can tell the difference between feeling angry versus frustrated, jealous versus envious, guilt versus shame, empathy versus sympathy, and the list goes on.

According to bestselling author Dr. Travis Bradberry, the more specific words you use to describe your feelings, the more you understand them, what caused them, and how to manage them. 

2) You’re unbothered being fabulously flawed

Your focus is on steady improvement, but your eyes aren’t set on perfection. 

Here’s why:

Because you have such a high level of self-awareness, you know you have greatness in you, but you accept you will never be perfect. You understand that perfection is a myth. 

This deep level of understanding pushes you to play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Your goal is to minimize your weaknesses, not totally eliminate them. 

You accept and love yourself for who you are – perfectly flawed and all.

3) You don’t let past mistakes haunt you

Just as you’re not fazed by your imperfections, you don’t let your past mistakes bother you.

Here’s the key difference: 

People who lack emotional intelligence fixate on overthinking their past mistakes. Unfortunately, a lot of times, this works against their own benefit. 

On the other hand, emotionally intelligent people acknowledge their mistakes, but they let them go and put them aside. 

You might ask, why set them aside and not completely forget them? 

It’s to keep them as a handy reference for the future. 

For emotional geniuses, mistakes are more like guiding stars rather than haunting shadows. 

4) It takes a lot to rattle you

As an individual with a high EQ, you have just the right amount of self-confidence, open-mindedness, tolerance, and resilience. All these combined give you an admirably thick skin. 

And I don’t mean that in a negative way. 

I interpret it as your strong understanding of your character, which prevents you from being easily offended by people’s criticisms or ill-considered actions.

So here’s a virtual high five to you for not letting offense dampen your emotionally intelligent spirit!

5) You repel toxic vibes

signs youre emotionally intelligent 1 8 signs you’re emotionally intelligent, even if you don’t feel like it

Not only have you mastered offense-proofing yourself, but you also have a way of confronting negative energies!

While many of us avoid dealing with toxic people and their negative vibes, you can easily interact with them while keeping your positive energy intact.

You deal with them rationally, setting aside any negative emotions that can fuel the already toxic environment.

Also, because you’re emotionally intelligent, you can see where they’re coming from and try your best to maintain your composure while you find ways to work things out.

In short, you’re good at handling complex people and situations without losing your cool.

6) Your heart’s too big for grudges

Just like you don’t let toxic vibes stress you out, you also don’t allow any kind of stress from holding on to grudges.

Your heart is so big that when someone does you wrong, you forgive them and let go of the hurt and anger they’ve caused you.

Your emotional intelligence is also so high that you understand that negative emotions from holding on to grudges will eventually weigh you down.

Your enormous heart and high EQ lead you to the beautiful path of understanding and healing and away from the bitter road of resentment and disappointment.

7) You’re a true empath

Because you’re so tuned to your own emotions, it allows you to connect with the feelings of others. You don’t just know how they feel – you actually understand their feelings.

Like we said at the start, your radar for emotions is so strong that the moment you walk into a room, you can immediately tell if the vibe is cheerful, tense, or otherwise.

And even without saying a word, you can easily detect if someone has a sudden shift in emotion or mood.

Genuine empathy is your superpower – a gift that allows you to connect with people at a deeper, more meaningful level.

8) You’re genuinely interested in other’s stories

Because your empathy is authentic, it’s your second nature to want to get to know the people around you.

You want to know their story, dreams, and what makes them happy or sad so that you can relate to them better. You want to put yourself in their shoes to understand them better.

You’re not in it for the “tea” – you just truly and deeply care about them.

Emotional intelligence is a journey

So, what’s the verdict? 

Before you give your answer, let me share one last note:

Whether you’ve ticked all, some, or none of the signs in the list above, please remember that emotional intelligence is not a fixed trait.

It’s an ongoing quest that you can work towards conquering. It’s a constant commitment to improving yourself and your relationships with others.

Picture of Sarah Piluden-Natu-El

Sarah Piluden-Natu-El

Sarah is a full-time mum, wife, and nurse on hiatus turned freelance writer. She is on a journey of diving deeper into life through life itself and uses her writing to share the lessons learned along the way. When not on her computer, she enjoys time with her family strolling along the Gold Coast's stunning beaches and captivating hinterland.

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