11 signs you’re a resilient person with high emotional intelligence, according to psychology

Life throws punches. It’s inevitable.

We all face setbacks, rejections, and moments where the ground feels like it’s crumbling beneath our feet. 

But some individuals emerge from these trenches not just unscathed, but stronger and more determined. What’s their secret?

It’s not magic, but rather two unsung heroes quietly acting within them: resilience and emotional intelligence.

Imagine resilience as your inner bounce-back champion. 

Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, equips you with the emotional agility to navigate those storms with self-awareness, empathy, and effective communication.

What do these look like in a resilient person? Who else explains this better than Maya Angelou when she said, “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

Let’s delve deeper into hidden signs that reveal you may possess both qualities in abundance:

1) You reframe setbacks as stepping stones

Life’s setbacks can feel like annoying obstacles, blocking your path. 

However, highly resilient people tend to perceive them differently. Instead of despairing, they see challenges as opportunities for learning. 

They ask, “What can I learn from this experience?” rather than, “Why is this happening to me?” This shift in perspective fuels their motivation to find creative solutions and move forward.

If that’s you, when faced with disappointment, instead of dwelling on the “what ifs” or succumbing to self-blame you naturally adopt a growth mindset. 

As Haruki Murakami says, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

From each setback, identify areas for improvement and use that knowledge to fuel your next attempt. 

Remember, setbacks are to be expected, but they don’t have to define your journey.

2) You embrace change, not resist it

Similarly, your growth mindset comes into play when faced with change. 

Change can be unsettling, but resisting it only creates more stress. Emotionally intelligent individuals understand this. 

In fact, change has been such a constant that 2500 years ago, Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “Nothing endures but change.”

Like Heraclitus, you acknowledge that change is inevitable and choose to adapt with an open mind. Embrace unfamiliar situations with curiosity and a willingness to learn.

This flexibility allows you to navigate new situations gracefully and even discover unexpected opportunities amidst the shift.

This perspective helps you to bounce back from change with renewed vigor and a clearer sense of direction. 

Well done, you.

3) You find meaning and purpose, even in adversity

Just as stepping outside your comfort zone can lead to the most rewarding discoveries, finding meaning in difficult times is a powerful tool for resilience. 

Emotionally intelligent individuals seek purpose even amidst struggles—something French playwright Molière noted in the Middle Ages, “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it,” he said.

You know how to connect your experience to your values and goals. You regularly remind yourself of the bigger picture and that challenges often serve as the catalyst for personal growth and transformation. 

This helps you gain a deeper understanding of your place in the world. 

Through this lens, adversity becomes not just a roadblock, but a pathway to profound insight and fulfillment.

4) You seek support and see this as a strength, not a weakness

We all need help sometimes. 

You know that to reach out to loved ones, therapists, or support groups for guidance or a listening ear is a sign of strength, not weakness. 

You have a support network that allows you to tap into valuable resources and perspectives, fostering resilience and emotional well-being. 

Remember, leaning on others doesn’t diminish your own capabilities; it strengthens your capacity to navigate challenges.

5) You build strong, supportive relationships

So you can seek support, you recognize that no one thrives in isolation. 

Resilient individuals understand the importance of strong, supportive relationships. People who have friends and close confidants are more satisfied with their lives and less likely to suffer from depression, according to the American Psychological Association

You know this is a two-way street and you nurture these connections through open communication, empathy, and genuine kindness. 

When setbacks happen, which inevitably they do, these relationships provide a safe space to share challenges, seek support, and celebrate successes, further strengthening their resilience.

6) You celebrate others’ victories

Of course, one way to build strong relationships is to cultivate a spirit of generosity with the people who care about you and who you care about. 

You know that envy is a thief of joy and so you open-heartedly celebrate the successes of others. 

For you, it’s easy to recognize that another person’s achievements don’t diminish your own. 

This positive outlook fosters a sense of community and reinforces your own sense of self-worth. 

Remember, lifting others ultimately uplifts you as well. Keep doing it!

7) Forgiveness: a gift to yourself and others

the power of forgiveness 1 11 signs you’re a resilient person with high emotional intelligence, according to psychology

Relationships are not without their difficulties. And here also your emotional intelligence comes into play. 

You know that to hold onto grudges, especially towards yourself, only hinders your emotional progress. 

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love,” said Martin Luther King Jr.

On the errors that you make, practice self-compassion and understand that everyone makes mistakes. Forgive yourself for past shortcomings and recognize you were doing the best you could at the time. 

Likewise, you extend forgiveness to others. You do this with genuine compassion – not as a condoning gesture, but as a way to release negativity and move forward with a lighter heart.

Everyone feels better when you act with forgiveness.

8) You practice optimism

Just like forgiveness encourages you to let go of ill feelings, so does living with optimism. 

This isn’t about ignoring life’s difficulties; it’s about maintaining a hopeful outlook on the future, even in the face of adversity. 

Even Winston Churchill famously said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Resilient and emotionally intelligent people are optimists by nature

They believe in their ability to influence positive outcomes and maintain this belief through tough times, which fuels their perseverance and tenacity.

9) You understand all your emotions

Which leads us to understand your emotional spectrum.  Optimism is just one feeling of many that can be recognized. 

Emotions, both positive and negative, are valuable messengers. 

You know that you shouldn’t shy away from difficult feelings like anger or sadness. You lean into them and take time to understand why you feel that way. 

As Brandon Goleman, psychologist and science journalist best known for his work on emotional intelligence says in, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, “You will not always be able to control how you feel about something, but you can control how you handle those feelings.”

Practice mindfulness and introspection to understand the root of these emotions. 

Acknowledge them without judgment, and explore healthy ways to express and process them, like journaling, talking, or engaging in activities that bring you calm.

10) You’re a skilled communicator

Effective communication is crucial for navigating social dynamics, building strong relationships and expressing your feelings. 

So much so, Rollo May, American psychologist said, “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”

Speaking clearly is an act of self-preservation.

Resilient people with high emotional intelligence excel in expressing themselves clearly and listening actively. 

You know how to convey your thoughts and feelings assertively without being aggressive. You identify your limits and are not afraid to communicate them assertively. 

You’ve learnt to respectfully say “no” to requests that drain your energy or violate your values.

In turn, this helps to foster an environment of mutual respect and understanding.

11) You embrace lifelong learning

Personal growth is a continuous journey. 

As a resilient person, you cultivate a curious mind and actively seek out new challenges, knowledge, and experiences. 

You read self-improvement books, explore new hobbies, and engage in activities that stimulate your mind and spirit. 

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty, said Henry Ford. “Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” 

Remember, the more you learn and grow, the better you equip yourself to handle life’s curveballs with resilience and grace.

You’re doing great

Resilience and emotional intelligence are attributes that significantly contribute to a person’s ability to thrive in the face of adversity. 

Recognizing these signs within yourself is a testament to your psychological fortitude and emotional depth. 

Whether you’re naturally endowed with these qualities or you’ve cultivated them through personal development, they’re powerful tools that will serve you well throughout life’s journey. You should feel proud. 

As you continue to navigate the complexities of the human experience, celebrate your progress, acknowledge setbacks as learning opportunities, and never stop striving to become the most resilient and emotionally intelligent version of yourself.

After all, you know better than most, it’s all an opportunity for growth and new experiences. 

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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