Know Signs of Emotional Intelligence and How to Increase It

Know Signs of Emotional Intelligence and How to Increase It

Many studies have shown that the more emotional smarts someone has, the better they perform in their everyday life. So, what are the signs of someone being emotionally smart? A Harvard University psychologist, Daniel Goleman, says that mastering emotional intelligence doesn't just happen naturally; it can be developed.

According to him, emotional intelligence has four main areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Furthermore, there are clear signs of someone being emotionally smart. Here are some of them, as quoted from the EU Business School website.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is all about understanding, handling, and responding to emotions, both your own and those of others, in a healthy and productive way. It means being able to recognize your feelings, control how you react emotionally, and use your emotions to guide your decisions and social interactions.

It also involves the ability to spot and resolve conflicts, build strong relationships, and show empathy toward the feelings and perspectives of others. Emotional intelligence is a crucial part of both personal and professional life. It helps people deal with stress, improve their communication, and achieve their goals more effectively.

Signs of Emotional Intelligence

So, what are the signs of people with emotional intelligence? Let's check out the discussion below!

1. Embracing Change

Individuals with emotional intelligence welcome change with open arms, as they maintain a steadfast sense of self in any situation. In contrast, they actively seek out new opportunities for personal growth.

2. Cultivating Strong Self-Awareness

Emotionally intelligent individuals possess a deep understanding of themselves, including the recognition of their strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness is crucial as it enables them to make a positive impact on their surroundings and seek assistance from others when needed.

3. Displaying Empathy Towards Others

When people are in tune with their own emotions, they become more capable of connecting with others. They can empathize with various emotional states and offer appropriate support, envisioning how others might feel in different situations. This empathy strengthens their relationships and enhances their ability to communicate effectively.

4. Striving for Progress, Not Perfection

Many might think that having high emotional intelligence means someone has achieved perfection. In reality, it means they've stopped pursuing the unattainable. Emotionally intelligent individuals accept themselves as they are. It doesn't mean they've stopped growing; instead, they see themselves on a never-ending journey of improvement.

5. Striking a Life Balance

Individuals with high emotional intelligence value balance in their lives. They recognize that a laser focus on just one aspect of life can result in neglecting other vital areas. They understand the importance of self-care because they realize that achieving their objectives hinges on maintaining good health and happiness.

Emotionally intelligent individuals acknowledge that achieving balance isn't about perfect equilibrium at all times but rather about making conscious choices to allocate time and energy to different aspects of their life, including personal, professional, and social.

6. Lifelong Curiosity and Eagerness to Learn

Emotionally intelligent individuals exhibit and inherent thirst for knowledge. They view life as a perpetual classroom filled with opportunities to learn. Their innate curiosity drives them to explore more about the people they encounter and the world they inhabit.

Unlike those bound by ego or a fear of revealing gaps in their knowledge, emotionally intelligent individuals eagerly acknowledge and seek to fill these voids. They value learning over pretense, continually seeking growth and understanding.

7. Embracing Gratitude

In contrast to fixating on shortcomings, emotionally intelligent individuals embrace gratitude as a cornerstone of their emotional intelligence. They take the time to recognize and appreciate the myriad aspects of their lives.

This practice goes beyond mere acknowledgment; it involves a deep appreciation for both the big and small elements that make life meaningful.

By fostering gratitude, emotionally intelligent individuals cultivate a positive outlook, reinforcing their emotional well-being and enhancing their capacity to empathize with others. Gratitude becomes a source of resilience, boosting their ability to navigate through life's ups and downs with grace and resilience.

8. Confident and Clear Communication

Individuals with emotional intelligence often exhibit confidence and finesse in their communication. They have the ability to establish personal boundaries and articulate their wants and needs without encroaching on the rights and boundaries of others. This means they can express themselves directly and effectively, ensuring their message is heard without being overbearing or inconsiderate of others.

9. Open to Feedback

Emotionally intelligent individuals aren't afraid of others' judgments. Instead, they can reframe various things that might be seen as negative into a different perspective. Smart individuals always view input, criticism, or assessments from others as valuable for their personal growth.

10. Skillful Troubleshooters

Individuals possessing emotional intelligence demonstrate remarkable problem-solving skills. They tackle difficulties and challenges with a versatile approach, showing a willingness to adjust and evolve their strategies to discover effective solutions. They don't get stuck in one way of doing things but instead adapt to the situation at hand.

11. Masters of Conflict Resolution

Emotionally intelligent people shine when it comes to handling conflicts. They don't shy away from disagreements but rather meet them with a positive and constructive attitude. Their goal is to find resolutions that not only resolve the issue at hand but also benefit all parties involved. They understand that resolving conflicts can lead to stronger, healthier relationships.

12. Profound Active Listeners

Being a proficient listener is a fundamental aspect of emotional intelligence. Emotionally intelligent individuals are not just passive recipients of information; they actively engage in listening. They pay close attention to what others are saying, and their responses are infused with empathy and understanding.

They seek to comprehend not only the words spoken but also the underlying emotions and intentions behind them. This deep level of listening fosters stronger connections and more effective communication.

13. Steadfastness in Challenging Times

Individuals with a high degree of emotional intelligence demonstrate unwavering determination when facing adversity. Instead of succumbing to setbacks, they harness them as valuable stepping stones for personal development and growth. In the face of difficulties, they exhibit the resilience needed to weather the storm, emerging stronger and wiser.

14. Catalysts for Empowerment and Inspiration

Emotionally intelligent individuals wield the extraordinary ability to serve as catalysts for empowerment and inspiration to those in their midst. Through their motivational prowess, they ignite the spark of potential in others, encouraging them to reach new heights. Their presence fosters a nurturing and positive atmosphere that empowers individuals to explore their capabilities.

15. Advocates for Inclusivity and Diversity

People with a well-developed emotional intelligence actively champion the cause of inclusivity and diversity. They not only acknowledge but also celebrate the unique qualities that make each person distinct. By fostering an environment where diversity is cherished, they ensure that every individual feels not only valued but also genuinely included in all aspects of life.

Tips To Increase Emotional Intelligence

Now you know what the emotional intelligence signs are. So, how to increase it? Here are the ways you should try.

1. Cultivate Self-Control

Developing strong self-control is a way to enhance one's emotional intelligence (EQ) to ensure that you respond appropriately in various situations. When emotions run high, it's easy to act irrationally or let tears flow.

Redirecting those emotions into a positive activity can be a smart solution. However, it's important not to suppress your emotions entirely while trying to manage them. Instead, aim for a balanced approach to the emotions that come your way. Acknowledge them, take a deep breath to stay calm, and handle them reasonably.

2. Foster Motivation

Someone with high emotional intelligence remains motivated even when things don't go as planned. They are resilient individuals who can bounce back from setbacks and maintain their determination when facing goals that may not align with their original intentions. It's worth noting that not all highly ambitious individuals are necessarily emotionally intelligent.

3. Show Empathy

Empathy isn't just about feeling what others feel; it's about understanding someone else's perspective, challenges, and strengths. You don't have to agree with another person's point of view, but it's a valuable tool for comprehending why they act or think as they do. Additionally, improving emotional intelligence by discussing other people's feelings may seem like a time-wasting exercise, but in reality, it aids in boosting productivity.

4. Avoid Reacting Impulsively

Everyone encounters frustrating situations at some point, and they can easily affect your mood and disrupt your day. Therefore, practice emotional intelligence by staying calm when you're angry. You can take a deep breath or have a glass of water to clear your mind. Remember, reacting impulsively won't solve problems; in fact, it may lead to new ones.

5. Hone Communication Skills

The ability to engage in light-hearted conversations can foster positive relationships and create a comfortable atmosphere with others. Communication isn't limited to spoken words; you can also communicate and understand others through body language and facial expressions. Improving emotional intelligence through communication skills can only be enhanced through direct practice.

6. Embrace Open-Minded Thinking

This is another way to boost your EQ. With open-minded thinking, you can accept criticism and advice from others. People with low emotional intelligence tend to be closed off to criticism and advice from others, often believing that they are always right. However, constructive feedback and suggestions are intended to help you address your shortcomings and improve.

7. Managing Negative Emotions

You can also train your emotional intelligence by effectively managing the negative emotions you experience. With good management, the goal is that these negative emotions won't influence your thinking and actions.

The first step is to avoid jumping to negative conclusions about situations you dislike. Instead, assess various potential causes for the situation. For instance, when someone is angry with you, it doesn't necessarily mean they hate you; they might be tired or facing other issues that easily trigger their emotions.

The second step is to reduce the fear of rejection by designing alternative options or strategies. For example, offer several ideas for an upcoming office project. If one of your ideas gets rejected, there's a chance that other ideas will be accepted.

8. Express Emotions to Close Ones

Most people have close relationships with others, be it a partner, family members, friends, and so on. Don't hesitate to express your emotions to them. You can do so through words (asking how they are, expressing affection, etc.), body language (smiling, making eye contact, hugging), and actions (giving gifts, offering help during difficult times, being a listening ear).

9. Courage to Express Difficult Emotions

Some emotions may be challenging to express, like saying no without feeling guilty, disagreeing with someone's opinion, prioritizing yourself (without being selfish), and so on. During an argument with a partner, for instance, it might be hard for you to explain how you feel, which might lead to accusations and anger.

Use the XYZ technique, saying, "I feel X when you do Y in situation Z." For instance, "I feel upset when you keep playing with your phone while we're talking." This is clearer for your conversation partner compared to accusing them of never paying attention. Using this approach, you'll find it easier to express your emotions.

10. Self-Reflection

Take time for self-reflection. Consider how your emotions have influenced your decisions and behaviors over time. Also, try to understand other people's emotions by contemplating a few things: Why are they feeling sad, angry, or disappointed? Are there unseen factors contributing to their emotions? This way, you'll better understand the role of emotions in influencing people's thoughts and behaviors.


In conclusion, emotional intelligence is not merely a buzzword or a fashionable concept but an invaluable skill that empowers individuals to navigate the complex web of human emotions effectively. It enables us to not only understand ourselves better but also to connect with others on a deeper level.

The journey to enhancing emotional intelligence is a continuous one, marked by the development of self-awareness, empathy, and a host of practical skills. By practicing emotional intelligence, we can manage our emotions, adapt to changing situations, and foster healthier relationships.

As we strive to foster our emotional intelligence, we not only enrich our personal lives but also unlock the doors to professional success, harmonious interactions, and a more profound understanding of the world around us. So, let us embark on this transformative journey, fostering our emotional intelligence to lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Faisal "The successful warrior is the average man, with laserlike focus." - Bruce Lee

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