If a man displays these 11 behaviors, he’s emotionally intelligent

You’ve probably heard about emotional intelligence, right? It’s not about acing every test or being a whiz at trivia. Nope, it’s all about understanding and managing emotions – your own and others’.

And guess what? It can make a huge difference in all parts of life.

But how do you spot it in someone? Look at their actions.

Let’s dive into the 11 things guys do when they’re emotionally smart.

1. They listen more than they talk

Ever had a conversation with someone who just won’t stop talking? It’s not fun, right?

Well, emotionally smart guys know that. They know the value of really listening to what others are saying.

But they don’t just listen with their ears. Nope, they listen with their eyes and heart too, picking up on all the little signs that show how someone is feeling.

This helps them understand people better and respond in the right way.

2. They’re not afraid of their feelings

Next on the list is all about feelings. You know, those tricky little things that can make us feel on top of the world one minute and down in the dumps the next.

Emotionally smart guys don’t run away from their feelings, even the tough ones. Instead, they face them head-on.

They’re not scared to be sad, angry, or worried because they know these feelings are natural and important.

They’re also good at figuring out why they’re feeling a certain way. And once they know that, they can start dealing with it.

If your guy is open about his feelings and doesn’t try to hide them, give yourself a high five. You’ve found another sign of emotional intelligence! 

3. They know how to say “No”

I used to be a ‘yes’ man. I’d always agree to everything, whether it was a work project I didn’t have time for, or an outing I didn’t really want to go on.

I thought saying ‘yes’ made me a good person, but all it did was stress me out and make me feel overwhelmed.

Then, I met my friend Jake. Jake was different. He knew how to say ‘no’. Not in a rude or dismissive way, but in a respectful and honest one. If he couldn’t do something or didn’t want to, he’d simply say so.

I was amazed. Here was a guy who was setting boundaries and taking care of his own needs without being selfish or rude.

He was still liked and respected by everyone. That’s when I realized that being able to say ‘no’ is a sign of emotional intelligence.

If your guy can respectfully and confidently say ‘no’ when he needs to, then you can bet he’s emotionally smart. 

4. They’re comfortable with change

We all know that change is a part of life, right? But did you know that how we handle change can tell us a lot about our emotional intelligence?

Emotionally intelligent people are better at dealing with changes and uncertainties. They can adapt more quickly and manage their emotions during these times.

If your guy takes change in stride and doesn’t lose his cool when things don’t go as planned, you’ve got another sign of emotional smarts on your hands!

It’s not about never getting upset or stressed. It’s about how quickly and effectively they can bounce back and adapt when things shake up.

5. They express gratitude

It’s all about gratitude. You know, that warm feeling you get when you realize how lucky you are.

Emotionally smart guys not only feel gratitude, they express it. Whether it’s a simple ‘thank you’ to the barista who makes their coffee or a heartfelt note to a loved one just because, they’re not shy about sharing their appreciation.

Why is this so important?

Well, expressing gratitude isn’t just nice for the people around them. It’s also good for their own mental health. After all, being grateful can make us happier and less stressed.

If your guy isn’t shy about saying ‘thanks’, take note. It’s another sign of emotional intelligence – and a really beautiful one at that. 

6. They’re self-aware

For a long time, I thought I was pretty self-aware. I mean, I knew my favorite color, my favorite food, what kind of movies I liked…you get the idea.

But then I realized that being self-aware is so much more than that.

Being self-aware means knowing your strengths and weaknesses.

It means understanding your emotions and why you react the way you do.

It means knowing what you value most and what you want from life.

And let me tell you, it changes everything. When I became more self-aware, I became a better friend, a better partner, and a better person overall.

I started making decisions that were right for me and stopped worrying so much about what others thought.

If your guy knows himself well – not just his favorite color but his values, his goals, his emotional triggers – then you’re looking at a sign of emotional intelligence. 

7. They admit when they’re wrong

We all mess up. We all have moments where we stick our foot in our mouths, make the wrong call, or just plain screw up. It’s part of being human.

But here’s the thing – it takes guts to admit when you’re wrong. It’s easy to dig your heels in and defend your actions, even when you know deep down that you messed up.

It’s much harder to swallow your pride, step up, and say “I was wrong. I’m sorry.”

Yet, that’s exactly what emotionally smart guys do.

They don’t see mistakes as something to be ashamed of, but as opportunities to learn and grow.

They take responsibility for their actions and work to make things right.

If your guy is man enough to admit when he’s made a mistake, then you’ve got another sign of emotional intelligence right there.

And honestly, it’s one of the most important ones. So keep an eye out for it!

8. They respect other people’s feelings

Let’s talk about respect. Not just the kind of respect that means holding the door open for someone or saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. I’m talking about emotional respect.

Emotionally smart guys understand that everyone’s feelings are valid.

Even if they don’t agree with or understand why someone feels a certain way, they respect those feelings.

They don’t dismiss them or try to change them.

People who respect others’ emotions have better relationships. They’re seen as more supportive and understanding, which makes people feel more comfortable around them.

If your guy respects your feelings – and everyone else’s – then you’ve found another sign of emotional intelligence. 

9. They set healthy boundaries

For a long time, I struggled with setting boundaries. I’d say ‘yes’ when I wanted to say ‘no’. I’d let people take up my time and energy without getting anything in return.

But then, I realized that setting boundaries isn’t about being selfish or rude. It’s about respecting myself and my needs. It’s about making sure I have the time and energy for the things that truly matter to me.

When I started setting healthy boundaries, everything changed. My relationships improved, my stress levels dropped, and I became a happier person overall.

So if your guy knows how to set boundaries – if he can say ‘no’ when he needs to, if he can make time for himself without feeling guilty – then you’ve found another sign of emotional intelligence. And trust me, it’s a game-changer!

10. They handle criticism well

Nobody likes being criticized. It stings. It makes us defensive. But here’s the thing – how we handle criticism says a lot about our emotional intelligence.

Emotionally smart guys don’t let criticism throw them off balance. Sure, they might feel upset or defensive at first – they’re human, after all.

But they know how to take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at the criticism objectively.

They ask themselves: “Is there truth to this? Is there something I can learn from it?” They use it as a tool for growth, instead of letting it weigh them down.

If your guy can take criticism on the chin and use it to improve himself, then that’s another sign of emotional intelligence. And honestly, it’s a pretty impressive one!

11. They know when to ask for help

Last but definitely not least: emotionally smart guys aren’t afraid to ask for help. They know that everyone struggles sometimes, and that there’s no shame in reaching out when they need it.

This is something I think we all struggle with. We want to be strong. We want to be independent. We don’t want to burden others with our problems.

But the truth is, asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s a sign of strength.

So if your guy can reach out when he’s struggling – whether he’s having a bad day or dealing with a bigger issue – then you’ve found the final sign of emotional intelligence.

And let me tell you, it’s one of the most important ones.

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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