Emotional intelligence can mean the difference between behaving in a socially acceptable way and being considered to be way out of line. While most people will have heard of EQ, not many people really know how to spot it in themselves or in others.

Either way, improved emotional intelligence can be very useful in all sorts of circumstances, be it in work, at home, in school or even when you are just socializing with your friends.
So if you want to know if you are emotionally intelligent, simply check the list below.

1. You think about your reactions

Emotional intelligence can mean the difference between a good reaction and a bad reaction to circumstance. Emotions can contain important information that can be useful to personal and social functioning, but sometimes these emotions can also overwhelm us, and make us act in ways we would rather not.
You think about your reactions

People who lack high EQ are more likely to just react, without giving themselves the time to weigh up the pros and cons of a situation and really thinking things through.

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

People with major depression have been shown to have difficulties understanding and managing their emotions, and research has also shown that more depressive symptoms are present in people with lower emotional intelligence, even if they are not clinically depressed.

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2. You see situations as a challenge

If you are able to recognize negative emotions in yourself and see difficult situations as a challenge, focusing on the positives and persevering, chances are that you have got high emotional intelligence.

You see situations as a challenge

Imagine for a moment you lost your job. An emotionally intelligent person might perceive their emotions as cues to take action, both to deal with the challenges and to control their thoughts and feelings.

But someone with poor emotional skills might ruminate on their job loss, come to think of themselves as hopelessly unemployable and spiral into depression.

 3. You can modify your emotions

Of course, there are times when your feelings can get the better of you but if you are an emotionally intelligent person, it is likely that when this happens you have skills needed to modify your emotions.
For example, while average levels of anxiety can improve cognitive performance, probably by increasing focus and motivation, too much anxiety can block cognitive achievement.

You can modify your emotions

So knowing how to find the sweet spot, between too much and too little anxiety, can be useful tool.

4. You can put yourself in other people’s shoes

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

High EQ can be particularly important in workplaces that require heavy “emotional lab our” where workers must manage their emotions according to organizational rules.
This can include customer service jobs, where workers may need to sympathize with customers, despite the fact that customers may be yelling at them.
You can put yourself in other people’s shoes

This is why workplace emotional intelligence training is now common with the most effective training focusing on management and expression of emotions, which are directly linked to communication job performance.

It’s also worth pointing out that EQ is a cognitive ability that can improve across your lifespan.
So if you have not recognized much of yourself in the traits listed above, fear not, there’s still time for you to work on your emotional intelligence.

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