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11 signs that you lack emotional intelligence

April 23, 2020

The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.

When the term ” emotional intelligence ” became popular, it helped people realize something: People with average intelligence beat the job of those who are smarter 70% of the time. This anomaly demonstrated that culture or agile mental are not enough to succeed in life.

Decades of research have shown that emotional intelligence is a critical factor that makes people stand out from the rest. The connection of this index to success is so great that 90% of the best professionals have high emotional intelligence.

11 signs that you lack emotional intelligence11 signs that you lack emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is “something” within all of us that is intangible. It affects how we manage our behavior, navigate social complexities, and make decisions to achieve positive results.

Despite its importance, it is difficult to really know how much emotional intelligence a person has and what can be done to improve it. Scientifically validated tests can be taken, but unfortunately they are not free.

I began to analyze hundreds of tests that we have done in my TalentSmart company to identify the typical behaviors of people with low emotional intelligence. These are actions that you should try to avoid in the future.

1. You stress easily

When you eat your feelings, they accumulate to generate feelings such as tension, stress and anxiety. Ignored emotions harm the body and mind. Emotional intelligence helps you better manage stress by helping you identify situations that overwhelm you and deal with them appropriately on time.

People who don't use their emotional intelligence tend to rely on other, less healthy, methods of managing pressure. They are twice as likely to experience anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and even attempt suicide.

2. It's hard for you to be assertive

People with good emotional intelligence have a good balance of good manners, empathy, and warmth, but are able to set limits. This combination is ideal for handling conflict. When most people are angry, these people with good IE stay calm and balanced as they stay away from poorly managed emotions. This allows them to neutralize difficult or toxic people without generating enemies.

3. You have a limited emotional vocabulary

All of us express emotions, but only a few are able to clearly identify them as they occur. Our research shows that only 36% of people can do this, which is problematic because poorly understood emotions generally cause misunderstandings, irrational choices, and counterproductive actions. People with good IE control their emotions because they know how to identify them and they have a large vocabulary to name them. Many people simply define their mood as “bad”, emotionally intelligent people can say “frustrated”, “anxious”, “irritable”, etc. The more specific the word, the better knowledge you will have of what you are feeling, what causes the sensation and what to do about it.

4. You assume things quickly and defend your positions with vehemence

People lacking IE quickly form opinions and succumb to vague information that supports their own positions and ignores anything that might contradict them. Very often they argue ad nauseam to defend a point. This is especially dangerous for leaders, as their under-analyzed ideas can become the strategy of an entire team. Emotionally intelligent people marinate their thoughts because they know that initial reactions are driven by feelings. They let their thoughts unfold and consider possible consequences and counter arguments. They then communicate their idea in the most effective way possible, considering the opinions of the audience.

5. You hold grudges

The negative emotions that come with grudges are, in fact, a response to stress. Just thinking about the offense you received causes your body to go into “survival mode,” a mechanism that makes you get up and fight or run away from a threat. When danger is imminent, this reaction is essential for survival, but when the danger is over, saving that stress is very damaging to your body and can have devastating consequences over time. In fact, Emory University researchers found that saving stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding a grudge means you're holding back the stress of anger, and emotionally intelligent people know they should avoid this. Letting go of things not only makes you feel better, it can also help your health.

6. Don't let go of your mistakes

Emotionally intelligent people shy away from their mistakes, but don't forget them. By keeping them at a safe distance, they can remember the teachings they left for future success, but they don't let them stop them. They know how to handle very well the fine line between remembering and reviving. Reliving mistakes too much makes you anxious and afraid of trying new things, while forgetting them completely makes you repeat them. The key to balance is your ability to transform failures into lessons that help you improve.

7. You feel like people don't understand you

When you lack emotional intelligence it is difficult to understand how others see you. You feel little understood because you can't deliver your messages the right way. People with high IE know that even with practice there is not always 100% effective communication. They know how to realize when people are not understanding them, they adjust their strategy and they recompose their idea until they make themselves understood.

8. You don't know what your triggers are

We all have triggers, situations or people who pressure us and lead us to act impulsively. Emotionally intelligent people study these triggers and avoid situations or individuals that can make them lose their minds.

9. don't get mad

It's not that emotionally intelligent people don't get mad, but they do better with managing their discomfort to get the best possible result. Sometimes this is simply showing that you are angry, sad, or frustrated. Constantly hiding your emotions with a false positive attitude is neither genuine nor productive. People with good IE use negative and positive emotions in the right situations.

10. You blame others for how they make you feel

Emotions come from within. It is very tempting to attribute your feelings to the actions of others, but you must take responsibility for them. NOBODY CAN MAKE YOU FEEL SOMETHING YOU DON'T WANT TO FEEL . Thinking otherwise just slows you down.

11. You get offended easily

If you know very well who you are, it is difficult for the things that others say or do about you. Emotionally healthy people are confident and open-minded. They can even make fun of themselves because they know very well what is the boundary between humor and degradation.

In conclusion…

Unlike IQ, IE is very malleable. You can train your brain by repeating smart attitudes and actions. When your brain reinforces these behaviors, the responses above are erased from neural pathways. Before you know it, you'll be responding with more emotional intelligence.

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