What sets emotionally intelligent people apart?
It’s not just about being smart or knowing your stuff. Emotional intelligence goes deeper—it’s about understanding and managing our emotions and being able to relate to others.
In this article, we will look at unusual habits that indicate a person has high emotional intelligence.
So, get ready to learn the unique habits that can tell us a lot about a person’s emotional intelligence!
1) They ask thought-provoking questions
Ever met someone who throws out questions that make you go, “Hmm, I never thought about that before?”
Well, that’s the thing about people with high emotional intelligence. They go beyond the usual small talk.
Instead of sticking to the same old “How’s the weather?” or “What do you do for a living?”, emotionally intelligent people dive deeper.
They genuinely want to know what’s going on inside that head of yours. That’s why they ask questions that make you stop and think.
You might even find yourself thinking about their questions long after the conversation is over!
2) They’re comfortable with silence
As much as they love those deep conversations, they’re okay with a little quiet, too.
Silence creates space for reflection, understanding, and effective communication. So, they don’t rush to fill every moment with words. They let that silence sink in.
As you can imagine, this quality makes them great listeners!
Emotionally intelligent people pay attention when someone else is talking. They take the time to understand what’s being said and how the other person feels.
And when they respond, it’s not rushed or thoughtless—they’ve really taken it all in and give a meaningful reply.
3) They have a firm grip on their emotions
The time they take to reflect and understand – both others’ feelings and their own – helps when it comes to their emotions.
You see, people with high emotional intelligence have a special knack for dealing with their emotions and rolling with the punches when things get tough.
For example, let’s say they’re in a challenging situation that stirs intense emotions like anger or sadness.
Instead of letting those emotions run wild, they take a step back to reflect on these feelings.
The next thing they’ll do is look into them further. They’ll ask themselves questions like “Why am I feeling this way?” “Where are these emotions coming from?” and “What can I learn from them?”
Having this deep understanding of their emotions helps them to respond in the best way and make wise choices – without letting those strong emotions get in the way.
4) They embrace vulnerability
Keeping on the subject of emotions. People with high emotional intelligence aren’t afraid of being vulnerable. In fact, they see vulnerability as more of a strength than a weakness.
I’ve already mentioned how they like to dig deep into people’s minds and go beyond the small talk.
But to get to those deep conversations, they’ve got to be willing to be vulnerable themselves.
And they’re okay with this because being vulnerable is how they make genuine and authentic connections.
5) They avoid catastrophic thinking
I already told you that people with high emotional intelligence know how to handle their emotions.
Well, this habit helps them avoid going down the hole of catastrophic thinking.
You know those moments when something goes wrong, and you start imagining the worst?
When you’re getting ready to go to a party and you get thoughts like, “I just know I won’t have a good time,” or “Something bad will happen and I’ll make a fool of myself!”
As soon as these thoughts take over, that’s when you start thinking irrationally.
Next thing you know, you cancel your plans and stay inside, where the four walls of our house will protect you from a bad time.
Trust me. I’ve been there. I’m speaking from experience!
Emotionally smart people don’t allow themselves to get to that point.
They know that catastrophizing only adds unnecessary stress and anxiety.
So when they get caught up in doomsday scenarios, they hit the brakes and reframe the narrative to more positive (and realistic) ones.
6) They are kind to themselves
And they do the same when it comes to those critical thoughts, too.
When you mess up or face tough times, it’s easy to beat yourself up. You might tell yourself that you’re a failure or stupid.
But people with high emotional intelligence try not to go down this road. They know it won’t lead to anything good.
Instead, they tell themselves that it’s okay and that we all have off days.
Basically, they treat themselves with kindness and understanding, just like they would treat a close friend.
Because let’s face it, everyone messes up sometimes – it’s part of being human!
7) They regularly ask for feedback
Emotionally intelligent people are always looking to improve themselves.
And what’s the best way to do that? By asking for feedback, of course!
They know they don’t have all the answers and are not afraid to admit it.
That’s why they make it a habit to seek feedback to learn their strengths and weaknesses from someone else’s point of view.
People with high emotional intelligence see criticism as a valuable opportunity for growth. They don’t take it personally or get defensive.
Instead, they ask themselves, “How can I use this to become even better?”
Ultimately, this helps them to be the best version of themselves and thrive in all areas of their lives.
8) They continuously self-reflect
Self-reflecting is a pretty normal activity for a lot of us. But emotionally intelligent individuals are committed to self-reflection.
Like feedback, self-reflection is a much-needed process for people with high emotional intelligence to level up.
So you won’t find them going through life on autopilot. They take the time to look inward at their thoughts, actions, and emotions.
This helps them to become more self-aware, make conscious choices, and respond to situations in a way that aligns with their authentic selves.
They self-reflect to:
- Learn from their mistakes
- Set goals
- Track their progress
- Celebrate their achievements
- Practice gratitude
For emotionally intelligent individuals, self-improvement is a lifelong journey. Self-reflection is a crucial part of that process.
9) They trust their gut feeling
Intuition is like having a built-in compass that helps us navigate life’s complexities.
When faced with choices or dilemmas, emotionally intelligent individuals listen to their inner voice.
They pay attention to those subtle nudges, that “gut feeling” that something is right or wrong. They understand that intuition is not just a hunch but a culmination of their subconscious knowledge and experiences.
But that’s not to say they rely on their intuition alone. They keep a balance, combining their emotional intelligence with critical thinking to make well-informed decisions.
10) They have a flexible mindset
Life throws all sorts of surprises, right?
Well, emotionally intelligent people aren’t ones to freak out or get stuck in their ways. That’s not going to help their growth.
They take on a different kind of mentality. The mentality where they welcome change and unexpected twists with open arms.
If they hit a roadblock, they know it isn’t the end of the world.
In fact, they’ll use these opportunities to problem-solve and look for creative solutions.
People with high emotional intelligence show us that emotional intelligence isn’t just about being smart with emotions – it’s about having a whole toolkit of unique skills.
From active listening and embracing vulnerability to being comfortable with silence and seeking feedback – emotionally intelligent individuals have a knack for connecting with others, understanding themselves, and thriving in all aspects of life.