In school, Maths and English are the foundational subjects that are most associated with our base intelligence. But they don’t represent anywhere near the full spectrum of our intellectual abilities.
The education system as we know it has no interest in teaching us how to treat others, but instead focuses on our capacity to remember facts and repeat them on demand.
Emotional intelligence doesn’t even come close to figuring in the conversation of basic life-skills, despite it being one of the key ways we relate to one another.
Without it, we tread water in our relationships – unable to respond to each other’s needs. It’s the measure of how well-attuned you are to both yourself and those around you.
Yet, it remains undervalued and misunderstood by so many. Emotional intelligence isn’t a fixed quantity, but a combination your of empathy, beliefs, and other interpersonal skills.
Here are some of the most common signs that you’re already on the right track:
1. You’re Able to Form a Considered Response to Conflict Instead of Reacting
The tendency for many people is to address conflict head-on with an immediate response.
But the reality is, the quicker you act, the more likely it is that you’re re-acting. When tempers flare, you speak without thought. You blurt out things that escalate the situation, which, in hindsight, you wish you could take back.
However, the unfortunate truth is some things can be forgiven – but not forgotten.
When you’re coming from a place of emotional stability, your default position is one of restraint. You pause for consideration before committing yourself to a course of action.
As a result, you’re a much more effective communicator and are able to resolve – and even diffuse – conflicts before they’ve had a chance to gain traction.
2. You Question Your Own Behavior and How It Affects Other People
One of the biggest challenges that hold people back is a lack of personal accountability.
It means taking ownership of your actions.
If you’re unwilling – or unable – to look at yourself in a critical light, you put yourself at serious risk of falling into a cyclical pattern of making the same mistakes over and over again. Your growth becomes stunted.
When you develop the habit of questioning yourself on a regular basis, it allows you to make positive changes, both in your behavior and how you relate to other people.
Each person has a preferred style of communication that they respond to best. And you need to be willing to adapt your approach as and when needed.
Being mindful of this helps you build more authentic and person-centered connections.
3. When Someone Lets You Down or Lashes Out You Don’t Play the Victim
One of the most common traps we fall into is the “victimized ego.”
When you’re rooted in this mindset, you often cast yourself as being the source of other people’s frustrations.
For example, if someone becomes confrontational – seemingly out of nowhere – the automatic reaction is defense. You take it personally.
But you’re rarely the cause of their problems.
In most instances, you’re simply the person who got caught in the line of fire after a series of escalating incidents created a heightened emotional state.
It’s not your fault. But you think it is…
When you’re able to identify other people’s dramas, you can bring a sense of clarity to your relationships. You acknowledge that you’re not the center of everyone else’s focus.
And in doing so, you can operate from a place of empathy.
4. You Can Identify People’s Needs and Help Them Feel Validated
Everyone has a need of some description.
When you’re in conversation, people will invariably share some of the challenges they’re facing as they begin to open up. And from this, comes the opportunity not just to act as a sympathetic ear, but to offer some thoughtful input.
If someone is telling you about a difficult family member or situation they’re dealing with, they’re mentioning it for a reason. They have an emotional need that is going unmet.
In 99% of cases, they almost certainly won’t be expecting you to solve their problems. However, talking with someone who’s able to relate to what they’re saying is extremely cathartic.
When you start paying attention to the subtleties of what people are projecting with their emotions as well as their words, you can respond in kind and demonstrate solidarity.
You can validate the struggles that others are going through.
5. You’re an ‘Active Listener’ and Don’t Judge People’s Shortcomings
There’s a difference between hearing someone and truly listening to them.
Listening is an empathetic and emotional skill.
Most people are simply waiting for their turn to speak. And in doing so, they completely ignore what the other person is saying in favor of injecting their version of the truth.
It becomes a battle for airspace instead of a mutual exchange of ideas – each person trying to steer the narrative of the conversation.
When you’re an ‘active listener,’ your attitude is one of genuine interest.
You take on board what’s being said and offer a response that addresses the thoughts of the person you’re engaged with in a constructive way – one that adds to the story.
Your concern is their concern, not the desire to make everything about yourself.
6. You Can Forgive Those Who’ve Wronged You and Move Forward
Holding grudges only hurts one person – and that’s you.
It’s natural to feel resentment towards those you’ve been in conflict with. And in many cases, it can be extremely difficult to let go of those feelings – especially if there was some kind of abuse involved.
But regardless of the circumstances that have led to your current situation, the longer you hold onto these feelings, the more they’re going to eat away at you.
At the basic level, forgiveness can be broken down into a two-stage process. The first step is forgiving yourself for any imagined or perceived wrongdoing before you can then forgive the person(s) who’ve caused you harm.
The person – not the action.
Forgiveness is a process that can take a long time to complete, and something that you do for your own sake – nobody else’s. It’s not a sign of weakness.
It’s one of the bedrocks of emotional stability.
7. You Offer Constructive Advice Over ‘Uncomfortable Truths’
Everyone makes mistakes. They’re what make us human.
And from time to time, we’ve all felt the need to steer our friends in the right direction to help them avoid certain disaster…
But taking the route one approach of pointing out someone’s flaws isn’t the best way to go about offering advice. In fact, it can be pretty demoralizing for those who aren’t ready for it.
Highlighting where people have gone wrong is necessary, but it can be done with kindness. People’s feelings are delicate, no matter how tough they might appear on the outside. And by focusing only on the negative, you’re in danger of reinforcing their flaws.
It does both you and them a disservice.
When you’re acting from your emotional intelligence, you offer solutions over criticisms.
Your motivation is to help people improve themselves – not to judge them.
About the Author
Sam Boomer is a Beyond Quantum Healing Hypnosis practitioner. He creates profound transformations in those he works with, helping them resolve deep-seated emotional traumas, chronic health issues, and discover their true purpose in life. If you’re ready to take the next step in your personal development and healing journey, you can find out more at Awake and Align.