Since the first day we have been asked to wear masks, I have seen discarded masks virtually everywhere. What goes through someone’s mind when they decide to not only litter (which I don’t understand) but discard a used face mask? Does it occur to them that someone has to pick it up? That they are potentially harming someone because they were too lazy to put something in the garbage can?
I know your response, “They don’t care about others,” right? They aren’t even thinking about other people and how their actions impact someone else.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”lcbDc” via=”yes” ]Emotional Intelligence is the ability to interpret emotions so that it guides our thinking and actions. Do you have low emotional intelligence? Check out these often-misread cues that you do.[/ctt]
Emotional intelligence is the ability to interpret emotions so that it guides your thinking and actions. If you have low emotional intelligence, you cannot accurately perceive emotions, in both yourself and others, and to use that information to guide your thinking and actions.
Emotional intelligence is essential to every aspect of life and is stated as being more important than IQ in determining overall success in life.
However, there are times when we are all just clueless about how our actions impact others. That isn’t good. The good news is that it is easy to identify, and I’ve given you some tips on improving your EI.
As I was researching this article, I realized there are times when I’m that clueless person! The fact this bothers me is a good sign. If you read through this list and identify that you are also potentially guilty, you are in a position to fix the situation too. Sometimes we all need to be a little more aware of how our actions impact others.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”weGA5″ via=”yes” ]There are times when I realize that I’m that clueless person! Check this out to see if you have low emotional intelligence.[/ctt]
- Are you able to agree to disagree? Low emotional intelligence shows itself by arguing a point to death and refusing to listen to what others have to say. They will argue your facts are wrong, argue relentlessly (even with strangers), and seem to be unable to let the issue go. The need to be right, at any cost, appears to be the goal.
Hmmm… sadly, this refers to a lot of people when it comes to political discussions. Are they low on the emotional intelligence scale? Can you have a respectful debate and agree to disagree, or do you insist they are listening to “fake news”? Pay attention to how you disagree with others. Do you listen respectfully? Do you assume they have wrong facts? Do you like to argue for the sake of arguing? These signs could indicate low emotional intelligence, which is affecting the relationships you have with others. Permit yourself to walk away from an argument, not defend your point of view, and agree to disagree. Your relationships and reputation will thank you.
- Do you sometimes say the wrong thing in uncomfortable situations? Do you find yourself wanting to crack a joke at a funeral, laugh at a car accident, smile when someone falls? A sign of low emotional intelligence is insensitive behavior. It goes beyond knowing what to say in difficult situations and shows itself in your reactions.
The article I recently wrote about a friend Sue being diagnosed with COVID was a perfect example of how people show this emotional intelligence weakness. When Sue reached out to those she had been in contact with to let them know she had tested positive, some of them lashed out at her behavior instead of showing any compassion for her diagnosis. Instead of showing caring, they accused her of deliberately putting them at risk. By not being aware of Sue’s emotions, her “friends” showed a lack of emotional intelligence. I can imagine that had I received those comments that it might affect my future friendship with them. Their insensitive comments were hurtful.
Take a minute and think about how what you are about to say will be heard by the other person. Sometimes saying nothing at all in uncomfortable situations is much better than saying the wrong thing!
- Do you always say “Me too!” in conversations? People with low emotional intelligence make the conversation always about them. We all have that “me me me” friend who turns dominates every conversation, story, or situation into something they did better, faster, or whatever! No matter what you say, they’ve been there, done that, only it was better (or much worse) than what you experienced. Having conversations like this continually is exhausting.
I’ve written many articles about stealing conversations and ways to ensure you don’t do that. Don’t be that friend that steals conversations. Don’t make every conversation about you. Focus on the person you are speaking to, and don’t worry about needing to relate. Show interest, not dominance.
- You get stressed very easily. When we are low on emotional intelligence, we tend to bury our feelings (because we don’t always know what to do with the emotions). By stuffing or ignoring them, we aren’t managing the issue, causing us stress.
By learning to deal with what is causing your stress, you will learn to more emotionally intelligent. Statistically, people who fail to use their emotional intelligence are twice as likely to experience anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and even thoughts of suicide. Take a stress course, read a book, listen to a podcast, go for a run, talk with a friend. Don’t sweep it under the carpet and hope it goes away.
- Do you often feel that people just don’t understand you? When we have a hard time expressing ourselves, it is often difficult to know how we impact others. We don’t see how our words are hurtful or helpful. It’s frustrating to feel misunderstood all the time and easy to blame others for not understanding.
I was coaching a client a few years ago who had the greatest of intentions with his team. But he was consistently unsuccessful trying to get his message across, and they accused him of bullying, arrogance, and being a horrible manager. He was a great guy who just lacked a lot of emotional intelligence. He didn’t see anything wrong with communicating the message that something was “a stupid mistake.” He didn’t see how that made the person who made a mistake feel like he was calling them stupid. When we discussed it, he insisted it was a stupid mistake and that the person was stupid at that moment, but he wasn’t calling them stupid all the time. He was frustrated that his words were misunderstood.
We worked together for a few months, and he learned to write out what he wanted to say so that he could look at it from another perspective (or even have his wife look at it for him). He couldn’t see why the words were hurtful, but he was willing to have someone else look at his intent and help walk him through how to phrase things moving forward.
You can train yourself to increase your emotional intelligence. It takes awareness though (see the Catch 22 on this?) and willingness to admit that our intent and the receipt of that intent aren’t always in sync.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”_lZ5d” via=”yes” ]You can train yourself to increase your emotional intelligence. Check out these quick tips.[/ctt]
I will still get frustrated when people drop their masks or garbage on the ground. I will coach myself that perhaps they just aren’t thinking about others when that happens, and remind myself that I sometimes do things that others don’t understand. Emotional intelligence is something we can all improve on.