People who struggle with emotional intelligence often say these 9 phrases

Ever found yourself in a conversation and noticed someone continuously misreading the room or misunderstanding emotions?

Well, you’ve likely encountered someone struggling with emotional intelligence.

Their words might seem baffling or insensitive to those with a high EQ (Emotional Quotient).

But the reality is, these individuals simply process and respond to emotional cues in a different manner.

Want to know how?

Let’s explore 9 common phrases often said by those who find this realm challenging.

1) “I don’t get why you’re so upset.”

This phrase might seem frustrating or even offensive to some.

But for those struggling with emotional intelligence, interpreting and understanding others’ emotions can be a real challenge.

The truth is that people with lower EQ often struggle to recognize and comprehend the emotions of others.

They might not understand why someone is upset, anxious, or excited, even when it seems apparent to those around them.

Still, this doesn’t mean they’re insensitive or uncaring — they just process emotions differently.

Whether they’re in a heated discussion, comforting a friend, or simply having a casual conversation, these individuals often miss the emotional undertones that others pick up on naturally.

If you notice someone doesn’t seem to grasp your emotional state, remember it’s not necessarily a lack of empathy.

They might just be wrestling with their own understanding of emotional intelligence – navigating the complex world of feelings in a way that’s different from most.

2) “It’s not a big deal, just move on.”

I bet you’ve heard this phrase multiple times.

Personally, it’s a common saying among people around me.

Looking back on the last time someone said it to me, I realize that while it might have seemed like practical advice to me, it was far from empathetic.

Sounds familiar?

Well, people who grapple with emotional intelligence, like I used to, often minimize others’ feelings.

We may unintentionally dismiss or downplay emotional reactions that we don’t fully understand.

As for me, I never meant to be heartless or dismissive.

Rather, I was just unsure of how to respond appropriately to strong emotions.

In situations where a comforting word or a listening ear is needed, we might offer solutions instead, not realizing that it’s not the problem-solving skills that are needed, but empathy.

That’s why you should remember that phrases such as “Just get over it” or “It’s not a big deal” – they’re not intentionally trying to invalidate your feelings.

They’re just navigating their own understanding of emotional intelligence.

It’s a journey and, believe me, it can be a tricky one.

3) “I don’t know how I feel about this.”

You might have noticed someone saying, “I don’t know how I feel about this.”

This seemingly simple statement is often an indicator of someone struggling with emotional intelligence.

Let me explain how this works:

These individuals often have trouble identifying and articulating their own emotions. As a result, they feel a whirlwind of emotions but struggle with putting a name to them.

This doesn’t imply they’re devoid of feelings, though.

They just experience difficulty in expressing them coherently.

This means that if you’re dealing with a personal dilemma, confronting a conflict, or making a weighty decision, they’re likely to find it challenging to understand your emotional response.

It’s not just about empathy — it’s also about their ability to connect with their own emotions in a way that allows them to understand and relate to others.

This can make communication and emotional support a challenge, as they may seem disconnected or unresponsive to emotional cues.

4) “Can we talk about something else?”

Have you ever been in a deep conversation about feelings or emotions, only to hear, “Can we talk about something else?”

This phrase is often used by individuals who struggle with emotional intelligence.

Usually, they don’t just use it to change the topic — it’s a reflection of their discomfort with emotional discussions.

A psychological fact to consider here is that people with lower emotional intelligence often have limited tolerance for emotional conversations.

They might find these discussions overwhelming or perplexing, leading them to steer away from more comfortable, often superficial topics.

This avoidance isn’t necessarily because they don’t care.

Instead, they might lack the skills to process and discuss complex emotional issues effectively.

What’s more, they may struggle with understanding not only their own feelings but also those of others.

Consequently, emotionally charged conversations are particularly challenging for them.

5) “Did I say something wrong?”

pic1761 People who struggle with emotional intelligence often say these 9 phrases

I’ve noticed that people who often ask, “Did I say something wrong?” might be struggling with emotional intelligence.

This question usually arises after they’ve said something that caused an unintended negative reaction.

Here’s one example that I recall:

I remember a colleague who frequently used this phrase.

He would make a comment in a meeting, someone would react negatively, and he would immediately follow up with, “Did I say something wrong?”

This pattern suggested to me that he had difficulty understanding how his words or actions might affect others.

The thing is that people with lower emotional intelligence often miss subtle cues in communication, such as tone, body language, or facial expressions.

This, in turn, can lead to misunderstandings or unintentional offense.

Asking if they’ve said something wrong is a sign that they’re aware of a disconnect but might not have an intuitive grasp of why or how their words were misinterpreted.

Simply out, it’s a learning process for them to understand the emotional undercurrents of conversations and how to navigate them more sensitively.

6) “Why are you so emotional?”

This one is somewhat counterintuitive, but when someone frequently asks, “Why are you so emotional?” it can be a sign of their own struggle with emotional intelligence.

I’ve noticed this in various interactions.

Most of the time, people asking this question genuinely don’t understand why someone would have a strong emotional reaction to a situation that seems trivial to them.

And you know what?

It’s not that they’re trying to be insensitive.

They simply lack the ability to empathize with different emotional responses.

In other words, they see emotions as overreactions or unnecessary, not realizing that feelings are a natural part of being human.

This question isn’t meant to offend — it’s a sign that they struggle to grasp why emotions matter so much in certain situations.

It shows a gap in their understanding of others’ emotional worlds.

7) “Why are you so intense?”

Picture this: you’re passionately discussing a topic you care deeply about, and suddenly, the person you’re talking to interrupts with, “Why are you so intense?”

This question can be a telltale sign of someone struggling with emotional intelligence.

In my experience, when people ask this, they often find it hard to understand or connect with strong expressions of emotion or passion.

To them, the intensity might seem excessive because they’re not used to engaging with emotions at such a deep level.

They might be more comfortable with a calm, measured approach to conversations, even about subjects that elicit strong feelings.

Again, this isn’t to say they don’t have emotions or care about things.

Not at all — it’s just an indication that they may not be as comfortable or familiar with expressive or passionate displays of emotion.

It reflects a difference in emotional processing and expression, which can be challenging for someone who navigates emotions differently.

8) “Let’s stick to the facts.”

When discussions veer into emotional territory, some people will steer them back with a phrase like, “Let’s stick to the facts.”

Surprisingly, this preference for facts over emotions is often linked to a person’s level of emotional intelligence.

Interestingly, individuals who prioritize facts over feelings might struggle with recognizing and processing emotional information.


Because they’re more comfortable in the concrete world of data and logic.

This approach can be beneficial in certain contexts, like analytical problem-solving, but it can also limit their ability to connect on an emotional level.

In fact, they often overlook the emotional aspects of a situation, focusing solely on the factual elements.

This tendency to sidestep emotions can make it difficult for them to understand others’ perspectives fully, especially in situations where emotional context is key.

9) “It’s not a big deal.”

Have you ever expressed concern or upset only to be met with, “It’s not that big of a deal”?

This phrase, especially when used frequently, can be a significant indicator of a person’s emotional intelligence, or lack thereof.

But why do some people tend to minimize others’ feelings? Could it be a sign of their discomfort with handling emotions?

It could be. And here’s why:

Minimizing or dismissing feelings, whether intentionally or not, often stems from a person’s inability to empathize with the emotional weight of a situation.

It’s a defense mechanism — a way to deflect from delving into emotional depth that they may find overwhelming or unnecessary.

For them, downplaying the issue seems like the easiest route to avoid complex emotional discussions.

Concluding thoughts

As we wrap up this exploration of phrases that may indicate struggles with emotional intelligence, it’s important to remember that emotional intelligence is a skill that can be developed over time.

It’s about more than just recognizing emotions — it’s about understanding, managing, and effectively communicating them.

Building emotional intelligence is a journey, one that involves self-awareness, empathy, and a willingness to grow.

For those who recognize these phrases in their own speech, this is an opportunity for introspection and growth.

And for those who encounter these phrases in others, it offers a chance to practice patience and empathy.

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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