Four signs that you have high emotional intelligence

By Jose M. Mestre, Cadiz University and Kimberly A. Barchard, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Emotional Intelligence (IE) can mean the difference between behaving in a socially acceptable way and being out of place in a given social situation. In other words, EI can make the difference between good or bad social functioning. Although most people will have heard of IE, few know how to detect it, neither in themselves nor in others.

Essentially, emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, express, understand, and manage emotions. And it is important because the more we understand these aspects of ourselves, the better our mental health and social development will be.

You may think that you are one of those people capable of developing these qualities without being aware of it. Or you may or may not already know that you need to develop these skills.

In any case, if you improve your IE you will notice that it will have been very useful to do it in different types of circumstances, whether at work, at home, at school or even when you are socializing with your friends.

So if you want to know if you are emotionally intelligent or not, just check out the following list of four signs denoting proper IE.

1. Think about your reactions

In certain circumstances, such as a discrepancy that ends in a discussion, EI can make the difference between different reactions: the good would be to try not to take it personally, and the bad would be to get carried away by anger and end up disrespecting to your interlocutor.

Indeed, emotions can contain information useful for personal and social functioning, but sometimes these emotions can also overwhelm us and make us act in ways that we later regret.

People who lack emotional intelligence rarely tend to think well about situations like the one described, and are more likely to react without taking the time to weigh the pros and cons of how to deal with that situation.

Think first. Pexels.

People less able to regulate their negative feelings are also more likely to have difficulty functioning socially, which can exacerbate depressive feelings.

People with severe depression have shown difficulties in understanding and managing their emotions. Research also shows that there are more depressive symptoms in people with less IE, even if they are not clinically depressed.

2. See situations as a challenge

If we are able to recognize negative emotions in ourselves and see difficult situations as challenging – focusing on positive emotions and persevering – we will most likely have high EI.

For a moment, imagine that your job is in jeopardy; Well, in the face of this job uncertainty, an emotionally intelligent person can perceive an increase in their anxiety and stop worrying and start dealing with this situation (note that it is enough to remove the prefix "pre" to start dealing with anxiety mentally); In this case, your IE would help you regulate your anxiety and try to overcome this challenge.

However, if he had little IE, in the same situation he could begin to ruminate on his job uncertainty, starting a spiral of hopelessness, constant concern until he fell into depression.

People with high emotional intelligence do not give up. Pexels.

3. Modify your emotions

Of course, there are times when emotions can take away the best of ourselves, but if you are an emotionally intelligent person, chances are that when this happens you will have the skills to control yourself.

For example, in the previous case of anxiety due to job uncertainty, while a moderately low level of anxiety can improve cognitive performance, increasing concentration and motivation to face that situation, a very low level of anxiety would not help motivate oneself. and a high level of anxiety would make it difficult for us to stay focused due to constant worry. Knowing the adaptive value of moderate and low levels of anxiety to meet life's challenges can be helpful. So, if you can modify your anxiety, taking it to moderate levels, you will know that you have more possibilities of dealing with the situation that generated uncertainty.

Emotionally intelligent people can regulate their emotions. Pexels

Emotionally intelligent people know that they need to regulate the level of activation of their emotions appropriately. For this reason, it has been shown that adequate IE is related to lower levels of anxiety.

4. Put yourself in the other's shoes

If you are able to extend these skills beyond your own personal functioning, then that is another sign that you have high levels of emotional intelligence.

EI can be particularly important in positions that require intense "emotional work", such as customer service – a professional performance in which workers must manage their emotions and those of clients in accordance with company standards . Although, sometimes a disappointed customer is yelling at them.

emotions are not fixed. Pexels.

For this reason, training in emotional intelligence in the workplace is now commonplace. The most effective IE training focuses on managing and expressing emotions, which are directly linked to good job performance and improved communication with clients and coworkers.

It is also worth noting that EI is a cognitive competence that can improve throughout the life cycle. So if you think you don't have any of these four capabilities, don't be afraid, because you still have time to work and develop your emotional intelligence.

Jose M. Mestre, Professor of Emotion and Motivation, Cadiz University and Kimberly A. Barchard, Associate Professor in Quantitative Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This article was originally published in The Conversation. Read the original.