People who have mastered the art of emotional intelligence but don’t feel the need to brag about it usually have these 7 traits

True masters of emotional intelligence tend not to go around screaming about it from rooftops – hence why they often fly under their talents.

Because just as the arrogant boast about their achievements, those with exceptionally high EQ tend also not to brag and gloat about this talent. 

I’ve been around people who are so adept at reading emotions, they might as well be mind readers; but they don’t go around flaunting it.

Because they don’t see this as a skill to be used to manipulate others to their advantage, but rather a way to better understand, empathize, and support. 

Curious as to whether you too are a master of emotional intelligence?

Let’s see how many of the 7 traits listed below common amongst quiet masters of emotional intelligence you also possess:

1) Excellent listening skills

And not just at listening, mind you, but actually hearing.

People who have mastered this art understand that listening isn’t just about hearing the words that are being said. It’s about understanding the emotions behind the words, picking up on unspoken cues, and then piecing the puzzle together.

Because let’s be honest: how often have you said “I’m fine” in response to being asked how you are…

When internally, you were falling apart.

Individuals with high EQ don’t just wait for their turn to speak and dish out monosyllabic answers. They give speakers their full, undivided attention and always show genuine interest and empathy in what the other person is saying. 

They are experts at making you feel heard, understood, and valued – a rare trait which is almost always a giveaway of someone with exceptional EQ.

2) Silence doesn’t freak them out

With my closest friends, I can sit so comfortably for hours in amicable silence.

I never once think it awkward or feel a need to fill the silence with meaningless chatter.

The same rings true for individuals with high emotional intelligence; silence doesn’t scare them. In fact, they embrace it. 

They understand that oftentimes, silence is more powerful than words – and certainly more important than nonsensical chitchat blabbered for the sake of it. 

Moments of quietness allow for reflection, understanding, and truly getting a chance to experience the moment.

Hence why masters of emotional intelligence have no problem with moments of silence, and speak silence as if it were a language of its own.

3) Feedback and constructive criticism taken with grace

 A key indicator of someone’s emotional intelligence is their ability to handle criticism.

Let’s say you hand in a big project at work. You think you did a pretty good job and are rather proud of yourself. Yet, your boss calls you into her office and starts listing out all the areas in which you made a mistake.

Do you:

  • Listen carefully and attentively, allowing her to finish going through the list before asking questions of your own, and then thanking her for highlighting what you need to improve upon.
  • Immediately start getting defensive and try to shut her down whilst she’s in the middle of talking with justifications on how you were improperly prepared for the project.

If you picked 1), you’re scoring pretty highly on the EQ scale. By demonstrating your ability to take on constructive criticism and feedback without retaliation or defensiveness, you’re showing a willingness to learn. 

On top of that, you’re showing your ability to distinguish feedback from a full on personal attack – something that many people struggle with.

At the end of the day, handling criticism is not about winning an argument or proving you’re right. 

It’s about being open to the other person’s perspective, processing your own emotions without prematurely reacting, and responding in a way that promotes joint growth and understanding.

4) Keen self-awareness

lack of self awareness People who have mastered the art of emotional intelligence but don’t feel the need to brag about it usually have these 7 traits

How well did you think you’d be able to understand other people’s emotions if you couldn’t even understand your own?

Self-awareness is the absolute foundation of emotional intelligence. If you’re able to recognize your own emotions (both good and bad), you can also realize how they affect the people around you.

Masters of emotional intelligence can read others very well, but read themselves better. 

They don’t stick their head in the sand and avoid troublesome emotions that rise up in their own heads. 

When faced with a sudden burst of anger or stress, they acknowledge these emotions, identify the trigger behind the feelings, and then do what they can to not let it affect their mood or actions.

In other words, they’re highly aware of all their strengths and weaknesses and extremely adept at emotional regulation.

5) Just the right amout of empathy

Empathy goes one step up from sympathy, and involves the ability to not just feel sorry for someone else, but actually understand and share the feelings this person is experiencing.

Individuals with high emotional intelligence have no issue with this. They find it easy to see the world through someone else’s eyes and insert themselves in another person’s shoes. 

This innate gift means that the advice and support they bestow upon loved ones is of the highest and most helpful quality.

Instead of jumping to premature conclusions or jutting in with their own solutions, they first allow the speaker to explain their feelings in depth, then and only then do they impart their own suggestions.

Using active listening skills, individuals with high EQ tend always to come up with solutions that are not only effective, but also respectful of the other person’s feelings and needs – which is, let’s face it, the best type of advice to receive.

6) Change doesn’t scare them away

Change can be scary. 

Humans love routine and predictability, so anything beyond this becomes unknown, unpredictable, and beyond our control.

But for emotionally intelligent individuals, change isn’t something to be feared. 

Instead, it’s something to be embraced; an opportunity for growth, learning, and becoming better versions of themselves.

Because the best things in life happen outside of the comfort zone – right?

When faced with an unexpected turn of events, these individuals don’t panic or resist it. They take a moment to breathe in, process any worry, and then ease into adapting in the best way possible.

It’s not that they don’t feel fear or uncertainty, either. They are human after all. 

But, as we’ve covered above, their excellent emotional regulation means that they don’t allow this fear to control their reactions or their choices. 

7) Authenticity at its finest

Last but certainly not least is authenticity; an impossibly important facet of people with high emotional intelligence. 

You won’t catch them trying to be someone they’re not. They’re very comfortable in their own skin and not afraid to show their true selves to the world – quirks and all.

They don’t wear a mask or play a role to fit in and impress others. 

No hiding their Pokemon card collection when guests come over, or pretending they don’t think aliens exist when seated at a dinner of UFO fanatics.

This authenticity is just who they are – genuine, real, and extremely emotionally intelligent.

Wrapping it up

Perhaps, having read over these 7 traits, you’re realizing you’re a lot more emotionally intelligent than you thought. Or maybe you’re already on your journey towards becoming a master.

Regardless, know this – mastering emotional intelligence isn’t the end of the line. It’s a journey of continuous learning, growing, and understanding.

Take a moment to reflect on what we’ve covered above. Ask yourself:

  • Are these traits that you already embody?
  • Are there areas where you can improve?

And finally, I have to stress that emotional intelligence is not at all about being perfect. 

It’s about being authentic and committed to a life that has space both for your own emotional needs, as well as those of the people around you.

Picture of Liv Walde

Liv Walde

London-based writer with big thoughts, big dreams, and a passion for helping others.

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.