9 Signs You Need to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence

We are not born emotionally intelligent. This is a quality we develop. As we go through life challenges, different situations, and take more time to reflect and analyze our own behavior, we become more emotionally intelligent

Nadya Hamdan
9 Signs You Need to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence

This image was created with the assistance of Playground AI

 

Emotional intelligence represents a set of qualities that we need to acquire to live a full and happy life. And not just that - the bearers of this type of intelligence are extremely pleasant to be with, they are mature people who know how to handle their emotions, understand other people's emotions and know how to relate to them.

We are not born emotionally intelligent. This is a quality we develop throughout our lives. As we go through life challenges, different situations, and take more time to reflect and analyze our own behavior, we become more emotionally intelligent. And this certainly benefits us both in our relationships with others and in our personal development.

Today, we look at a few behavioral patterns which help us realize it's time to pay attention to our emotional intelligence, to develop, build upon, and master it.

1. Not recognizing or having difficulty recognizing emotions - you feel that emotions control you instead of the other way around. At the same time, you can't explain a behavior and have no idea what emotions are triggering it and why.  

2. Difficulty in dealing with emotions. Not only do you not recognize emotions, but you have no idea how to manage them. You react impulsively without thinking about the consequences. You often lash out, feel angry, irritable, have a hard time controlling your impulses.

3. Lack of social skills. You have a hard time building relationships and friendships. You are not aware of how you are expected to behave appropriately in different situations and often feel you are not coping. This condition is insidious because it can lead to alienation and shutting in.

4. Relationship problems. Quarrels seem to be part of your everyday life. You can't remember the last time you went a whole week without arguing with anyone. You're constantly arguing about something with your family, your loved one, your colleagues, your parents... And it's exhausting for both you and them.

5. Difficulties in communication - besides conflicts, you feel that in general you find it difficult to communicate with others. Often you don't understand them, even more often they don't understand you. You try to listen to them, but you don't, you interrupt them, you belittle their emotions, and in general communication is difficult.

6. Narcissism. It is wonderful to love yourself. It is even a must. However, excessive focus on your own feelings and needs, especially if it's at the expense of others', may mean you need to increase your emotional intelligence.

7. Hypersensitivity/lack of sensitivity - some people have a tendency to exaggerate. We call them “drama queens”. They overreact to various little things, especially if they have to take criticism. Some people are at the opposite extreme - they behave as if they feel nothing at all - no emotions, no feelings, and no reactions. Either way, it may be a case of low emotional intelligence. 

8. Empathy - what is it? Empathy is our ability to understand another's feelings and thoughts, to put ourselves in their shoes, to "walk in their shoes". If you often hear accusations and appeals to you that you need to see things from someone else's point of view, then maybe it's time to work on your empathy.

9. Lack of regard for others' emotions. It's one thing to understand other people's emotions, it's quite another to relate to them. Emotionally intelligent people always consider how the way they behave would affect other people's emotions. Thus, they strive not to hurt others with their actions, even unintentionally.

Beyond Good Intentions: 6 Common Ways You Might Unintentionally Hurt Others and How to Prevent Them  

Finally, we can point to a few more behavioral patterns that may be due to insufficient emotional intelligence.

  • Overconfidence bordering on egocentrism
  • Reluctance and inability to accept criticism or disagreement 
  • Unwillingness to take responsibility for our own emotions and actions
  • Black and white thinking

Even if you think you or a loved one has some of these behaviors, it's okay. This is something we can change with ease. There are various mechanisms to increase our emotional intelligence. Here are just a few of them:

✅Try to actively listen, to hear, to communicate.

✅More often "step into the shoes" of the others. Maybe then you will understand their behavior.

✅Remind yourself that people have the right to think differently, to perceive life differently, and this is not a bad thing.

✅Practice gratitude.

✅Share more and be sincere.

✅Allow yourself to love with all your heart.

✅Manage stress and negative emotions. Find what brings you joy and practice it more often.  

✅Try to do something good for someone at least once a week... and do it wholeheartedly.  

If you feel you need help to manage your emotions better, you can seek a professional, such as a psychologist or psychotherapist.     

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