Lately, new ways to describe human interactions, social behaviours, and many facets of psychology have emerged on the social network scene. One of those descriptions is ‘high emotional intelligence’.
What is emotional intelligence, and why do people who have it tend to do well in all areas of their life?
Psychology Today says, “Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.”
Usually, the following three skills are included:
1. Emotional awareness, along with being able to identify your personal emotions and the emotions of others;
2. The ability to harness emotions and apply them to activities like thinking and problem solving;
3. The ability to regulate emotions, including the ability to control your own emotions, and the ability to cheer up or calm down another person.
If you are wondering if you have high emotional intelligence (EI), or if you are interested in improving your EI to achieve personal goals in your life or career, here are eleven traits that people with emotional intelligence commonly share:
1. They Are Not Perfect
Perfectionism tends to get in the way of a lot of things, like finishing tasks and achieving goals. This happens because perfectionists have trouble starting things; they procrastinate, and are always searching for the perfect answer when there usually isn’t one. For this reason, people with EI are not perfectionists. They understand that there is no such thing as ‘perfection’, and they move forward. When mistakes are made, they learn from them and make adjustments accordingly.
2. They Understand The Balance Between Work And Play
When you work all day and all week, without making time for yourself, you add stress and health problems to your life. This is why people with EI know when to give themselves a break, and make time for play. In other words, if you need time to disconnect from the world, take the time. Unplugging from the daily grind will certainly reduce your stress levels and make you generally more happy.
3. They See Change As A Welcome Part Of Life
Rather than becoming distraught when change occurs, emotionally intelligent people understand that change is a part of life. Change encompasses both the good and the bad, and it is better to accept it than to fight it. Don’t be afraid of change. Instead, adapt to the changes around you and work with what you have.
4. They Are Curious About Others
Regardless of whether someone is outgoing and loud, or quiet and reserved, emotionally intelligent people are curious about others around them. This curiosity stems from being empathic. Empathy is one of the main contributing factors of EI, so it should be no surprise that the more you care about others, the more you will be curious about them as well.
5. They Experience Empathy
Empathy plays a huge part in emotional intelligence. Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, told The Huffington Post that empathy is one of the five components of emotional intelligence. He explained in a TED talk on compassion:
There’s a spectrum that goes from complete self-absorption to noticing to empathy and to compassion. The simple fact is that if we are focused on ourselves, if we’re preoccupied — which we so often are throughout the day — we don’t really fully notice the other.
Being more mindful, instead of completely absorbed in your own world, plants the seeds of compassion – an imperative part of EI
6. They Know Their Strengths And Weaknesses
Those with EI know what they are good at and not so good at. Not only do they accept their strengths and weaknesses, but they are also aware of how to make the most of the skills they do have and work on the ones that require improvement.
7. They Are Self-Motivated
Children often do things because there is a reward at the end of it. However, if you were one of those kids who did things because you were working towards a goal, that might have helped in the development of your EI. Those who have the “go-getter” attitude possess another trait of emotional intelligence.
8. They Do Not Live In The Past
People who have high EI refuse to dwell in the past. Why is this? Well, it’s because they are far too busy contemplating the possibilities of what tomorrow may bring. Past mistakes never weigh them down, and they do not hold grudges. Remember, moving forward, not looking back, is what helps us to grow.
Goal setting enables you to see the impossible as possible.
9. Their Focus Is On The Positive
Those who are emotionally intelligent would prefer to spend their time and energy contributing to the solution, rather than focusing on the problem. They concentrate on what they have control of, instead of wasting time focusing on all of the things that have gone wrong. They also tend to associate more with other positive people.
10. They Are Difficult To Offend
Having high EI also means knowing who you are. If you have a firm grasp of what it means to be “you”, then it’s pretty difficult for someone to say or do anything that will upset you. Emotionally intelligent people usually have high self-confidence and an open mind.
11. They Create And Maintain Boundaries
Some people may think that those with high EI are easily manipulated, or that they are pushovers due to their kindness and sincerity. However, they do know how to set boundaries, and enforce them. In other words, they know how to say “no”.