Some people know when you are having a hard day when you need some time to yourself, or when you are being honest. Other people don’t have a clue. What about you? Do you understand your own emotions? How well can you manage yourself in stressful situations? Are you in tune with other people’s emotions? People with emotional intelligence actually have a greater chance at succeeding in the workplace, in relationships, and elsewhere. Here are some ways you can tell if your emotional intelligence level is high.
1. Ability to Show Empathy. If you can metaphorically step into another person’s shoes and understand what they are going through, you have a gift of empathy. This ability connects you with other people, leading to deeper and more meaningful relationships.
2. CuriosityDo you love to know about other people? When curiosity drives you to understand another person’s situation, you can feel what they feel. This curiosity is related to empathy, but is also a reason to learn more about other people.
3. Taking Time Off. Whether it’s shutting off your phone, taking a mental health day from work, or just relaxing for a couple of hours with a good book, taking time off is a sign of emotional intelligence. It shows that you know how to keep your stress levels down.
4. Taking a Moment to Think. How many sticky situations have you avoided because you remembered to think before you spoke? How much of your success in life is due to pausing and contemplating your actions before you did them? Even when your emotions tell you to do something right away, a person with high emotional IQ will stop and think first because you know your emotions are not always trustworthy.
5. Being Authentic. When you don’t pretend you are someone else, you are being authentic. This displays self-confidence and honesty. It also shows that you know who you are, and you’re okay being yourself. Another buzzword for authenticity is “transparency.” It means people can count on you to stand by your values.
6. Communicating Feelings. Feelings can be a confusing maze for anyone. If you can express your feelings beyond a vague “sadness” or “happiness,” then you have some emotional intelligence. If your vocabulary for feelings is very large, and you can easily communicate to others what you are feeling and maybe even how they are feeling, then you probably have a high emotional intelligence.
7. Demonstrating Humility. You might sometimes be wrong, and you might even hurt others. Instead of running away from the situation or covering it up, a person with high emotional intelligence apologizes. A true apology is a humble apology, which cares more for the feelings of others and allows everyone involved to move forward in the relationship.
8. Helping Other People. If you find yourself taking time out of your personal agenda to help others, then you are demonstrating that you care about other people’s emotions. Whether you are helping someone move, listening carefully to a friend who needs to talk, or doing a task for a co-worker that you know she doesn’t like to do, then you are showing that you know what other people need.
9. Being Self-Motivated. Some people need a boss to constantly tell them what to do. People with high emotional intelligence are usually self-motivated. They understand what they enjoy doing, how they will feel when a job is finished, and what it takes to get a job done. They are also usually optimistic, which helps them power through tough spots to reach their goals.
10. Always Improving and Sharpening Emotional Skills. High emotional intelligence is something that needs to be maintained. It needs to be practiced and sharpened, and it usually does get put to good use. If you find yourself learning new ways to resolve conflicts in your relationships, new words to describe your emotions, or reaching out to understand others better, then you are gaining new emotional intelligence!
Being emotionally intelligent also means you understand that you don’t always have all the answers. If you are stuck on an emotional problem, please reach out for help. Our therapists can bring resolution and clarity to your issue, so you can continue growing and becoming more and more successful in life.
Jeff Stull DMin PhD
Dr. Jeff Stull is an Individual, Marriage and Family Counselor who enjoys assisting his clients in developing creative alternatives to everyday life, love and work challenges. As a Licensed Professional Counselor and Mental Health Counselor he has specialized trainings in Relationship Repair, Abuse Recovery, Adolescents, and Mindfulness. He holds certifications including Professional Counseling Supervision, Clinical Sexology, Professional Christian Counseling and Accelerated Resolution Therapy(ART). He serves his clients in Alpharetta, Cumming and Dahlonega, Georgia and all over the world via Skype.