Emotional intelligence is the force behind socially accepted behavior and inappropriate behavior. For many people, the concept of emotional intelligence is not new, but only few can identify this quality in others or themselves.
Essentially, emotional intelligence determines how you identify, understand, manage, and express emotions. It’s a crucial quality because developing a strong understanding about your emotions and those of others improves not only your mental health but also your interpersonal relationships.
The emotional skills associated with emotional intelligence come naturally for some people, and they use them without consciously thinking about it. For many others, however, a lot of work has to be put in to gain these skills and continually improve them.
Whichever category you fall in, you’ll find that high emotional intelligence is useful in all the relationships in your life, namely, your family, friends, classmates, coworkers, and clients. The following are signs that you have high emotional intelligence.
1. You think things through before reacting
People who are emotionally intelligent are identifiable by how they react to situations. Your emotions play an important role in your interpersonal and intrapersonal relationship. However, these emotions can often become overwhelming, clouding your judgment and making you behave in unhelpful ways.
Being at the mercy of your emotions in many cases, it leads to poor choices. On the other hand, emotional intelligence gives you the power to make better choices because you have control not over which emotions you feel at any moment, but how you behave despite those emotions. Therefore, you think things through because you’re guided by reason rather than emotions.
In extreme cases, people who suffer from severe depressions are often unable to fully grasp and manage their emotional states. Moreover, research has found that people with low emotional intelligence are more prone to exhibiting depressive symptoms even if they are yet to be diagnosed with the condition.
2. You frame difficult situations as challenges
You have high emotional intelligence if you view tough circumstances as challenge and if you can identify your negative, unhelpful emotions with relative ease. The mental skills associated with emotional intelligence allow you to remain positive and identify aspects of the situation that you can actually influence.
A good example of a difficult situation is trying to overcome your fear of investing. As noted in the Timothy Sykes review for stock market investing, a person with high emotional intelligence will interpret their emotions as signals that they need to take positive action. Actions taken by such a person are aimed not only at dealing with the actual situation but also managing the emotions surrounding it.
In contrast, if you have low emotional intelligence, you will likely ruminate at length about your situation and spend a lot of time in the grip of paralyzing fear. You might allow the situation to heavily erode your self-esteem, which may result in you slipping into depression.
Closely related to seeing situations as challenges is being able to recover from adversity relatively easily. One of the guarantees of life is that, many times, it will be hard. Nonetheless, as an emotionally intelligent person, your approach to these situations will be to draw valuable insights. You are, therefore, able to critically analyze your circumstances in order to identify the best way to frame it.
3. You have some measure of control over your emotions
Maintaining control over your emotions is among the most difficult thing to do. Feelings usually have a way of suddenly appearing and taking a hold of you, leaving you with a sense of powerlessness. However, if you’re often able to turn down the volume on some emotions after some time and focus on others, then you’re emotionally intelligence.
For instance, a certain degree of anxiety has been shown to improve your cognitive ability during live trading. Anxiety is likely among the emotions programmed into us by evolution to cause an increase in motivation and focus. However, beyond a certain level—one typically exceeded in modern humans—anxiety has a crippling effect in which cognition is blocked.
Emotional intelligence provides you with the tools needed to find the level of anxiety that is useful. Proper management of emotions involves not completely eliminating emotions, but moderating them to a level that helps you adopt appropriate behavior.
One way to reduce your negative emotions is minimizing your negative personalization. You know you’re emotionally intelligent when you’re able to avoid making a negative conclusion simply because you have negative feelings about a stock or a company. Instead, you view the situation from more than one perspective before you take action.
Being able to manage the fear of rejection is another common sign of a high emotional intelligence. To minimize this fear, make sure you have a number of options in the situation in which you might be rejected. That way, even in case the worst happens and you’re rejected, you still have good options of moving forward.
4. You are able to see things from other people’s perspective
One of the surest signs of emotional intelligence is the ability to extend your emotional perceptiveness beyond yourself, and see situations from the emotional vantage point of others.
Emotional intelligence is a particularly useful skill in a workplace where you carry out a great deal of “emotional labor”. These include environments where the rules of the organization require you to manage your emotions in a specific way. Examples include jobs in the service industry, where you are expected to maintain a positive demeanor even in the face of hostility from customers.
It is for the above reason that a number of companies in the service industry require their employees to undergo training on emotional intelligence. The training is intended to equip you with the skills to manage your emotions and express them in a way that results in desirable customer experience.
Unlike your IQ (intelligence quotient), which stays mostly the same throughout your life, your emotional intelligence can be improved greatly over the course of your lifetime, provided you are willing to learn the skill and grow. Whether large or small-scale, your close and personal relationships stand to benefit greatly from developing emotional intelligence and improving it continually.