If someone displays these 12 behaviors, they’re an emotionally sophisticated person

Not everyone knows how to recognize and manage their own emotions—at least not to the point where they can claim to be emotionally sophisticated.

But if you have it, you can rest assured that you’re one of the classiest people around.

Do you want to know if you (or someone you know) is emotionally sophisticated?

Then look out for these 12 behaviors!

1) They’re self-aware

They know what they’re capable of and where their limitations lie.

You can’t point out anything about them that they aren’t already aware of and have long since accepted.

In fact, they might even be the first person to warn you about their weaknesses!

Ask them if they want to cook for a party and they’ll say “I can cook, but French cuisine is not my forte.”

Because they’re so aware of who they are, insults don’t hurt them too much.

They simply shrug and keep their cool when people try bringing up their flaws.

They might even laugh and say “Yeah, I already know that! HAHA!”

These people have no insecurities, making them more capable of handling their emotions in a more sophisticated manner.

2) They pay close attention to how they think and feel

The self-awareness of emotionally sophisticated people doesn’t just stop at what they can or can’t do. 

It also extends to their emotions.

They know what makes them happy and sad, as well as what sets them off and turns them frothing mad.

They can also tell when they’re starting to lose their cool.

This makes it easier for them to do the right steps to manage their emotions better.

They’d tap out to calm down or tell people—in the gentlest way possible— if they said anything particularly upsetting.

3) They’re drawn to anything that has to do with feelings

They’re drawn to the humanities—to things like psychology, philosophy, and sociology.

They read books like “How to Manage Anger” or “How to Have More Empathy.”

They go out of their way to understand emotions. To understand what makes people tick, and how to control their feelings without suppressing them.

And when people talk about history, they would try to talk about what the people in those history books must have felt.

When people talk about how many people died during the Irish Famine, they would try to talk about what the Irish must have felt watching everyone starve to death.

In contrast, someone who isn’t emotionally sophisticated thinks that emotion is a useless thing.

4) They’re experts at regulating emotions

I said earlier that they excuse themselves if a conversation is stressing them out, tell people if someone said anything that upsets them, and cut out people who piss them off.

Now anyone with a backbone can say these things, but emotionally sophisticated people stand out because they can say all these calmly.

They might be incredibly angry on the inside, but that’s the thing—they keep it inside. They don’t just snap at people!

Sure, they might have a valid reason to be angry, but if they let that anger get the better of them, they might end up making things worse!

That’s the reason why they learned techniques to help them detach themselves from their emotions, and they apply them whenever possible.

5) They don’t make their emotions everyone else’s problem

They don’t throw tantrums expecting others to understand and tolerate them.

They don’t make a habit of breaking down, expecting others to go and soothe them.

Emotionally sophisticated people are in touch with their own feelings, yes. But they’re also mindful of the effect they have on the people around them.

So unless they really, really, really can’t help it, they prefer to deal with their emotions in private.

If they can cool off on their own, they’ll do so. 

And if they must vent, they’ll make sure that the person they’re talking to is willing to help and is capable of shouldering the burden.

6) They have self-compassion

They don’t go “I’m useless!” or “I’m a coward with anger issues! I don’t deserve any friends.”

They’re aware that they’re imperfect, but they don’t beat themselves up over it.

So they learn to live with their flaws—to embrace everything that makes them who they are—all the while living to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

All of this makes them refreshing to be around.

It helps that their compassion also extends to others—they’re as forgiving of your flaws as they are of their own, which brings me to my next point.

pic2130 If someone displays these 12 behaviors, they’re an emotionally sophisticated person

7) They’re more understanding of others

They won’t automatically assume that someone is an awful person just because they said something hurtful or because they’re being snippy and temperamental.

Instead, they’ll try to be patient and understanding.

What if they’re just having a really bad day? 

What if they’re normally a good person?

The same compassion and grace that they give themselves they also give others.

8) They can read the “whole message”

The thing with humans is that we rarely if ever speak completely literally.

When someone says “Oh, everything’s going great!” they might be saying anything between “life is good” and “please don’t pry.”

Emotionally sophisticated people know this, so when they’re talking to people, they pay attention to the way people speak as well as their facial expressions.

If they can sense that someone is clearly down in the dumps, then they know that “I’m completely fine!” isn’t meant to be taken literally and will react accordingly.

9) They can put off their anger and frustration

Anger and frustration are two emotions that are especially hard to manage.

So if you can ever manage to keep a tight lid on these two emotions—congrats! You’re more emotionally sophisticated than most.

I’m not like this, I admit. Everyone can tell when I’m mad, and this has caused me no small amount of grief. I have an ex-friend who keeps on vague-posting about me on Facebook to this day because of it!

My mother, on the other hand, can manage her emotions well.

She knows how to keep her mouth shut and avoid saying things out of hurt no matter how mad she gets.

I rarely see her fight with my father and it’s a trait I want to develop in myself someday.

10) They choose their battles

There’s no shortage of things in this world that make us angry and sad.

And if we take each and every single one of them seriously, we’d easily go mad as a hatter!

That, or we’d become completely dead inside—apathetic, cold, and pessimistic.

Emotionally sophisticated people are well aware of this, so they engage only with the ones relevant to them…and even then, only the ones that they can do something about.

By doing this, they avoid being burnt out way too soon.

This is the reason why emotionally sophisticated people have more emotional capacity—they don’t try to bite more than they can chew.

11) They’re not afraid to show emotions

You might think that someone who’s emotionally sophisticated would be stoic—one who doesn’t indulge in open displays of emotion, like jumping for joy or crying in agony.

But that’s not actually the case!

They do keep their negative emotions under control, yes, but that doesn’t mean they suppress it entirely. 

If anything, emotionally sophisticated people know that suppressing their emotions is the most unsophisticated way to deal with their emotions.

Emotions are part of what it means to be human, and so as long as they aren’t hurting anyone, they are more than happy to indulge in their emotions.

To be emotionally sophisticated is to value emotions—to acknowledge and embrace their own negative emotions while keeping them contained where they won’t harm anyone else.

12) They don’t shame others for expressing their emotions

So what if their best friend is going around with stars in their eyes because, for the first time in their life, they finally received a bouquet of roses? 

They’re happy, and they deserve that happiness!

And what if their younger brother has been grumpy and snippy all week because he can’t play his favorite online game? 

Others might not think it’s a big deal, but it might be for him!

They recognize that there’s nothing wrong with people being emotional over “silly” things, and think it’s mean to shame people for expressing their emotions.

Final thoughts

Emotional sophistication comes with maturity, and it’s one of the things that people need to have before they can be considered to be truly mature.

So most of the time you’ll see these in older people—but that doesn’t mean older people are guaranteed to be emotionally sophisticated either!

If you don’t relate to these points but would like to be more emotionally sophisticated, then now would be the best time to start.

The journey towards becoming a more mature and empathetic person

takes a long time, and you’ll only get there if you put effort into it first.

Picture of Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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