If someone uses these 8 phrases, they’re displaying emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence: you’ve heard the term, but what does it really mean? And how do you know if someone is truly displaying it?

I’ve been there, and maybe you have too. You’re interacting with someone and they say something that just makes you stop and think, “Wow. They really get it.”

The thing is, these little nuggets of wisdom aren’t always wrapped in a grand gesture.

Sometimes, they’re tucked away in simple phrases that might not even catch your attention at first.

But once you know what to look for, you’ll start to see them everywhere.

Now, I’m going to share with you the 8 phrases that signal someone is showing real emotional intelligence. Once you spot these, you’ll know for sure.

1) “I understand how you feel”

This phrase is a hallmark of emotional intelligence. It’s a simple acknowledgment that the speaker is aware of and empathetic towards the emotions of others.

When someone says, “I understand how you feel,” it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve experienced the exact same situation.

What it does mean is that they’re putting themselves in your shoes, trying to see things from your perspective.

This ability to empathize – to truly feel with others – is a key aspect of emotional intelligence.

And it’s more than just a nice sentiment. It’s a skill that helps build stronger, more meaningful relationships with those around us.

If someone ever says this to you, take note. They’re showing a higher level of emotional understanding and sensitivity.

2) “I made a mistake”

Let me tell you, admitting a mistake is not an easy thing to do. I’ve been there. It’s like swallowing a bitter pill. But, it’s also a clear sign of emotional intelligence.

It’s about taking responsibility for your actions, acknowledging when you’ve messed up, and understanding how your actions have affected others.

When someone says, “I made a mistake,” they’re not only demonstrating self-awareness but also showing that they value honesty and integrity over protecting their ego.

I’ve learned that when I admit my mistakes, it not only helps me grow as a person but also strengthens my relationships with others. It shows that I’m human and that I’m willing to learn and improve.

3) “Can you help me understand?”

I remember a conversation I had with a friend about a year ago. We were talking about an issue that was causing some tension between us. I was having a hard time understanding his point of view, and I could tell he was getting frustrated with me.

Then, I asked him, “Can you help me understand why this is so important to you?”

His demeanor instantly changed. He seemed relieved and eager to explain his side of things. By asking this question, I had shown him that I was open to hearing him out and understanding his perspective, even if I didn’t initially agree with it.

This phrase, “Can you help me understand?” displays emotional intelligence because it shows both respect for the other person’s viewpoint and a willingness to learn from them. It’s about acknowledging that we don’t have all the answers and that we can grow by listening to and learning from others.

Since then, I’ve used this phrase more often in my conversations, and it has made a world of difference in how people respond to me.

4) “I appreciate your patience”

Did you know that a simple acknowledgment like “I appreciate your patience” can make a huge difference in how someone perceives you? It’s true.

When you use this phrase, you’re showing that you are aware of the time and effort others are putting into interacting with you or helping you out.

This is a form of emotional intelligence because it demonstrates empathy and respect for the other person’s time and energy.

It also shows that you’re not taking them for granted, which can go a long way in building trust and rapport.

So the next time someone waits for you, or helps you out, don’t forget to let them know how much you appreciate their patience. It’s a small phrase with a big impact.

5) “I’m sorry”

phrases that show youre insecure If someone uses these 8 phrases, they’re displaying emotional intelligence

Now, you might think that saying “I’m sorry” is just common courtesy. And you’re right, it is. But, it’s also a lot more than that.

When used sincerely, this phrase demonstrates a high level of emotional intelligence. It shows that you can recognize when you’ve hurt or inconvenienced someone – and that you care enough to apologize for it.

It’s not just about admitting a mistake or owning up to a fault – though those are certainly part of it. It’s also about acknowledging the other person’s feelings and showing them that you respect and value their emotions.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the people who are quick to apologize when they’re in the wrong are often the ones with the highest levels of emotional intelligence. They’re the ones who understand that saying “I’m sorry” isn’t a sign of weakness, but of strength and maturity.

6) “What do you think?”

This is a phrase I’ve started to use more and more in my life, and the effects have been incredible.

When you ask someone, “What do you think?” you’re not just seeking their opinion on a topic. You’re telling them that their thoughts and perspectives matter to you.

This phrase demonstrates emotional intelligence because it shows a willingness to consider other viewpoints, and a respect for the ideas and beliefs of others.

It’s about fostering open communication, promoting mutual respect, and building stronger relationships.

So the next time you’re in a conversation or a meeting, try asking others what they think. You might be surprised at how positively they respond.

7) “I was wrong”

This is one of those phrases that can be hard to say. Believe me, I’ve been there. But it’s a phrase that speaks volumes about a person’s emotional intelligence.

When someone says, “I was wrong,” they’re displaying self-awareness, humility, and honesty. It shows that they’re not afraid to reassess their beliefs or actions and change their stance when necessary.

This phrase is about recognizing our fallibility and being open to learning and growth. It’s about placing truth and understanding above ego.

Personally, I’ve found that when I admit I was wrong, it not only helps me learn but also builds trust and respect with the people around me.

So next time you realize you were mistaken, don’t shy away from saying, “I was wrong.” It might be difficult, but it’s a clear sign of emotional intelligence.

8) “Thank you”

It’s a simple phrase, but it carries a lot of weight. Saying “Thank you” is not just about expressing gratitude, it’s also about recognizing and appreciating the effort and kindness others extend towards you.

This phrase shows emotional intelligence because it signals an awareness of the actions of others and an appreciation for their contributions. It’s a sign of respect and acknowledgment, and it can make people feel valued and appreciated.

Over the years, I’ve learned that a heartfelt “Thank you” can go a long way in building positive relationships. It’s a small gesture that can have a big impact on how others perceive you.

So remember, whether someone has done something big or small for you, don’t hesitate to thank them. It’s a clear indication of your emotional intelligence and it will make their day a little brighter too.

Final thoughts

So there you have it. These eight phrases are signals of emotional intelligence. They show self-awareness, empathy, humility, and respect for others.

You might already be using some of these phrases in your daily life. Or maybe you’ve heard them from others around you. Either way, now you know what they signify.

And remember, emotional intelligence isn’t a fixed trait. It’s something that can be nurtured and developed over time. Each conversation is an opportunity to practice and improve.

So the next time you’re in a conversation, try using these phrases. Pay attention to how it changes the dynamic of the interaction. You might be surprised at the impact it can have.

As Plato once said, “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” Let’s strive to be among the wise ones, using our words to display our emotional intelligence and build stronger, more meaningful relationships.

After all, isn’t that what communication is all about?

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.