People who are emotionally intelligent have the ability to identify and manage their own feelings. But just as importantly, they are also good at recognizing when someone else is feeling a certain way, and empathize with them. This makes them good friends, good partners, and good leaders.
Emotionally intelligent people:
1. Think about feelings.
Emotional intelligence is largely about awareness, both of self and others. Self-reflection is key, as is empathy. You may not agree with someone, but you can see where they’re coming from.
2. Try to control their thoughts.
You may not be able to control how you feel all the time, but you can control how you react by monitoring your thoughts. If you can rein in your thoughts, you can avoid becoming a slave to your feelings.
3. Can take constructive criticism.
Negative feedback isn’t fun, but even when it’s unnecessary or false, it can be used as a learning experience. Emotionally intelligent people can ask the question: “How can this feedback help me improve?”
4. Think before acting.
The simple act of taking a moment to stop and think before acting — or reacting — is a sign that you’re able to consider the appropriateness of your reaction and avoid making rash decisions based on a momentary feeling.
5. Are authentic.
This doesn’t mean you express every thought or emotion, but that you’re guided by principle.
6. Praise others.
When you praise someone for a job well done or for their character, you satisfy their need and build trust. Emotionally intelligent people are specific in their praise.
7. Apologize when they need to.
It takes guts to apologize. But doing so demonstrates empathy and humility. Giving an apology doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wrong, but it does mean you place the relationship above your own ego.
Emotionally intelligent people can move on from a disagreement or offense. They know that holding a grudge doesn’t allow emotional healing.
9. Serve others.
Selflessness is one of the hallmarks of an emotionally intelligent person. When you’re secure in your sense of self, you naturally look to help others and see how you can give of yourself.
10. Don’t allow emotional sabotage.
Emotionally intelligent people can feel it when someone is trying to manipulate them, and know when to back away.
These are the kinds of people you want in your life — the kind that can handle their own emotional healing and even help support yours. Surrounding yourself with emotionally intelligent people can bring more joy into your life.
By Dr. Bradley Nelson