Here’s Your Sign: 10 Clues that give away your Emotional Intelligence

by Julie Canfield
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The current buzzwords in the working world today are Emotional Intelligence.

Although the term was coined in the 90s when Dr. John Mayer and Dr. Peter Salvoney first hypothesized then proved their theory of its existence, it didn’t gain traction as a must-have intangible skill until recently.

With decades of research supporting this concept of emotional intelligence, or as some call it emotional quotient, recruiters, and human relation specialists have embraced it as a determining factor to a person’s success.

Studies have proven people with average Intelligence Quotients (IQs) 70{44c8773cfc5435cd81ad20e0c4d9124b8149e87e023df21bb722cbe5a8d7cc51} of the time outperform those with the highest IQs. This throws a monkey wrench into the school of thought that declares smarter people are more successful. Instead, what has been shown is that 90{44c8773cfc5435cd81ad20e0c4d9124b8149e87e023df21bb722cbe5a8d7cc51} of the top performers in any category have high emotional intelligence.

The first article in this series on EI defined what it is. For those who didn’t get a chance to read it, I’ll sum it now: EI is a person’s ability to navigate the murky waters of social interaction, manage personal behavior and emotions, which allow them to make good positive choices.

How do you know if you’re emotionally intelligent? EI tests do exist, but they are wicked expensive. If you’ve been recently interviewed or had to answer supplemental questions on an application, you may have encountered some multiple-choice questions about how you would handle certain situations. These are similar to what you respond to on an EQ test. If not, and you are wondering about your emotional intelligence, here are ten signs to look for in your life.

You Might Be Emotionally Intelligent If:

1. You have a Superb Emotional Vocabulary.

Anyone can say they feel bad or good. An emotionally intelligent person can go beyond the vague summation by choosing a word that tells more and accurately pinpoints what they are feeling. Unfortunately, research has shown that only 36{44c8773cfc5435cd81ad20e0c4d9124b8149e87e023df21bb722cbe5a8d7cc51} of all people are capable of doing this. The inability to label precisely what you are feeling can lead to making poor decisions and counterproductive reactions.

2. You Know You And You Take No offense

If you are emotionally intelligent, not only do you know how to express what you are feeling, but you know your strengths and weaknesses as well. When you know understand what or pushes the buttons that motivate you to do your best work, then you know how to lean into that strength and use it. Likewise, if you know what weaknesses want to pin you down, you can manipulate them and turn them into a positive instead of letting them remain negative.

People who know themselves have thick skin. They’re self-confident and openminded. It takes more than a goading word to get an adverse reaction. Instead, they are willing to poke fun at themselves. High EI’s also know where the mental line id drawn between humorous jesting and open degradation.

3. No One Can Hide Themselves From You

A person of High Emotional Intelligence not only knows themselves, but they also know how to read others. They have the superpower of quickly summing up and judging another person’s character. This is basic social awareness. Those who have this superpower can see underneath a person’s skin and gaze upon the hidden motivations, as well as their open ones.

4. You Don’t Carry Around a Bag of Mistakes and Grudges

Everybody makes mistakes. An emotionally intelligent person learns from them, puts them on a shelf, and only pulls them down when they need to remind themselves of the past lesson. There is a difference between remembering when needed and holding onto. Holding onto a mistake is the same as dwelling on it. This is baggage that weighs you down until you’re stuck in a quagmire unable to advance. Completely forgetting a mistake is like the saying about history. Those who fail to remember it are doomed to repeat it.

Carrying a grudge in your bag sends your stress levels up. The constant thinking about it puts you in a fight or flight survival mode. This mode, when used in a non-emergency situation, raises your blood pressure, and contributes to heart disease. If you are a high EI, you know your personal well being isn’t worth the cost of a grudge.

5. You Avoid The Toxic Zone

Since high His know how to read others, they see a toxic person and steer clear as often as possible. Sometimes, however, interactions between toxics and EI’s must happen. When it does, a high EI knows how to develop a game plan and stick to it. They evaluate their emotions, refuse to bend to anger or show frustration, and rationally see the big picture for what it is.  They assess the toxics viewpoint, discard their differences, and concentrate on building a bridge between the points they agree so that a solution may be found to the problem. Should a high EI lose their focus, they regain it by taking the toxic with a grain of salt and two aspirins to keep the toxicity from infecting them.

6. You Unplug From The World

Everybody has stress, even high EIs. The difference between them and others is they know the secret to managing it lies in escaping to a tech-free world. No one can work 24/7, but if your smartphone is on and near you, then the siren wail of work beckons, and you like a mariner follow the call. Studies prove stress isn’t reduced by working more. It’s released by downtime. Unplug your phone, put your computer to sleep, and do something you enjoy. Whether it’s reading, knitting, some physical activity, or just vegging in front of a TV screen, time away from your work life improves your productivity when you return and keeps your stress manageable.

7. Imperfection Works For you

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who strive to be a perfectionist and those who know perfection doesn’t exist.  Perfectionists always fail. Others may say their work is perfect, but they see things that can improve it. A high EI knows setting yourself up for failure is a waste of time. Instead, they chose to learn what they could have changed, get excited about what they accomplished, move towards future achievements waiting for them.

8. You Step On Your ANTS

In Dr. Daniel Amen’s book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, he explains the dangers of ANTS, automatic negative thoughts. Someone with a low EI will let the ANTS invade and overrun their picnic while a high EI will stomp them out as soon they begin creeping in. A negative thought is not an action, but only a grouping of mental words whose goal is to derail you enjoying the positives in your life. A high EI knows how to separate fact from thought, see the positives, accept the negatives, and move on.

9. Curiosity Doesn’t Kill You

Curiosity may kill cats, but a person with a high EI thrives on it. Whether they are introverted or extroverted, anyone who takes an interest and questions another has entered into gaining empathy. Empaths are not born with an exceptional ability to read feelings; they develop that skill by asking questions. The act of questioning happens in the field of arts and sciences daily. With a writer, it takes the form of what happens if.  With a researcher, its what happens when the variable changes? With a high EI person it’s in the form of asking questions of another to gain insight on how someone else feels, reacted to or handled a situation, then discerning the nugget of wisdom the people offered and storing them away fro future reference.,

10. Your Joy is Unstoppable

When you let others feed your sense of happiness or satisfaction, you have given up controlling your emotions. That’s not something a high EI does. Instead, they don’t let other people’s opinions bother them when they are feeling good about an accomplishment. They take it in stride because they know their sense of self-worth comes from within, not from how they compare to someone else.

Tally up how many of these signs can be stuck on you. The ones that can’t be are achievable. Next time I’ll discuss how you can improve your Emotional Intelligence level.

Julie Canfield

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