9 phrases that instantly reveal your emotional intelligence

Emotionally intelligent people are some of the nicest people to talk to but are hard to come by.

That’s because it takes a lot of character to build up this skill. It requires a good measure of self-awareness, empathy, and emotional management. 

If you’ve had the pleasure of speaking with them, you may have heard some of these phrases in conversations.

1) “I see that you’re overwhelmed, how can I help?”

When someone shares their struggles, it’s common for most people to immediately provide solutions to solve their problems.

We think that this is the fastest way to help them out of their situation.

But sometimes what they need is for someone to acknowledge their emotions and tell them that it’s okay for them to feel this way. 

People with emotional intelligence understand the importance of this as the other party may feel that they’re overreacting or that they don’t deserve to feel this way.

But validating their emotions assures them that they have a safe space to process their thoughts.

Once they’ve understood this, then you can consider offering help.

2) “I made a mistake and I apologize.”

Acknowledging our mistakes is one of the hardest lessons to learn. To most, it highlights their shame, and guilt and makes them feel very small.

No one likes to be placed in that position.

But if you’re someone with emotional intelligence, you’re ready to acknowledge your faults, because you place the feelings of the other person above your own. 

You empathize with the hurt you’ve caused the other person and strive to make up for it. 

In addition, your apology is sincere and genuine.

You don’t feel the need to play down your mistake by justifying your actions. You just apologize. 

3) “I may not agree with you, but I understand where you’re coming from.”

Agreeing to disagree is another thing that not many people know how to do.

When in a discussion or debate and the other person doesn’t agree with whatever is said, people usually feel the need to further argue their point.

But we need to understand and accept that not everyone will agree with us. People have different values and upbringings, which influence their perspectives. 

Emotionally intelligent people recognize this and are mature enough to let go. They may also understand where the other person is coming from and why they’d think in this manner. 

However, if they’re talking to someone stubborn, they’d just voice their disagreement and leave it at that. Arguing further will just cause increased tensions.

4) “I appreciate your feedback.”

Being open to constructive feedback is another characteristic of emotionally intelligent people. They’re willing to work on their flaws and improve.

Taking in comments from others helps guide them to becoming a better version of themselves.

They know that they’re a work in progress and maintain a humble attitude towards learning.

However, emotionally intelligent people also know when to walk away, and it’s usually when the other person is being critical for no reason. 

They’re able to discern genuine feedback and can respond accordingly with emotional maturity.

5) “Shall we talk about this later when we’re both calmer?”

It’s difficult to talk things out when emotions are high. Both aren’t in a place to listen objectively, as they’re too distracted by their hurt, anger, or distress.

If you’re in the middle of an argument, you may recognize that the other person is also feeling upset. 

Being emotionally mature means setting aside your need for the conflict to be resolved as soon as possible and finding a suitable time to reconvene. 

This shows that you value the other person and the relationship.

You don’t want to worsen the situation with misunderstanding or the exchange of more hurtful words – which often happens when both are getting increasingly angry.

6) “I understand how important this is to you.”

If the other person has shared something that means a lot to them, like a long-awaited achievement or a desire for something that hasn’t happened, try acknowledging their experience.

A simple “I understand” or “I can see how much this means to you” can go a long way. 

It’s not easy for people to share their feelings with others; being vulnerable is often an uncomfortable place to be. 

This is why people who are attuned to the feelings of others will make sure that the other person feels seen. 

7) “Thank you for sharing this with me.”

Thanking the other person for sharing their feelings is another habit emotionally intelligent people have.

They appreciate that they’re ‘chosen’ to be someone’s listening ear. 

It shows that they’re trusted to receive this information and show support in a non-judgmental way.

Sharing personal experiences is never easy, so acknowledging their efforts at doing so goes a long way to making a stronger connection with that person. 

They’ll trust you more as well!

8) “I may not fully understand what you’re going through, but I’m here for you.”

We may not be able to understand fully what the other person is going through, and that’s okay. 

They may be going through particularly stressful, traumatic times that we’ve never experienced before. 

What matters most is telling the person that you’re there for them. 

Even if you’re unsure what to say that would alleviate their grief or distress, assuring them that they’re not alone will make a world of difference.

9) “You did a great job.”

Acknowledging someone’s efforts whether big or small goes a long way in connecting with that person.

Whether it’s at the workplace, school, or even within the family, it’s always encouraging to receive a supportive word.

Emotionally intelligent people understand the importance of making sure others feel seen and that their efforts do not go unnoticed.

Final thoughts

If you find that you’re already using most or all of these phrases, then you’re someone with a strong sense of emotional intelligence. Keep it up! Achieving this level of emotional maturity is not easy. 

If you recognize that you may need to improve in this area, try working some of these phrases into your conversations. 

You’ll realize that more people will see you as someone they can be vulnerable with as you start showing a greater degree of empathy to those around you.

Elizabeth Koh

Elizabeth Koh

A freelance writer sharing her thoughts on this corner of the Internet hoping they inspire. Constantly seeking opportunities for creative expression and happiness in the little things.

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