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12 Things Emotionally Intelligent People Don’t Do

12 Things Emotionally Intelligent People Don’t Do

One of the most important skills for being successful in life at work and at home, is not just being intelligent (meaning having a high IQ) but also being emotionally intelligent (EQ), which is the ability to understand, manage, and monitor your emotions constructively. We have all met people that seem to have the innate ability to stay calm and to be emotionally mature.

So what is the difference between someone who is emotionally intelligent and someone who is not? Here are 12 things that emotionally intelligent people don’t do, ever:

1.They don’t have temper tantrums.

They don’t do this because they have control over their emotions, and they know that when they have a temper tantrum, the people around them will shut down. They have learned it is more effective to stay calm and logical in order to communicate. When their flight is cancelled or delayed at the airport, they remain calm and try to work with the airline agent to find a solution. Because they are perceived as nice, the airline people want to help them.

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2. They don’t behave insensitively.

Emotionally intelligent people are keenly aware of other people’s emotions and feelings. Because of this awareness, they make sure to be sensitive to how other people are feeling. When in a store, they may say to the cashier “how is your day going?” They show true concern about other human beings and how their approach to interactions affects others. This can also be described as empathy, which is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.

3. They don’t have drama in their life.

They are not involved in gossip, or in constantly getting caught up in conflicts with friends, family and coworkers. They do not enjoy talking negatively about others, and generally avoid it. When they meet a person who has a lot of drama in their life, they generally tend to not make friends with them and avoid associating with them.They know that people who are overly dramatic can be an emotional drain on their life.

4. They don’t blame others for their problems.

People who are emotionally intelligent don’t blame other people for their problems. They would rather take ownership and responsibility for their own lives. They never say phrases like “well, it’s not our fault, it’s the marketing department’s fault.” They don’t make excuses and point fingers at other people. They take ownership. They don’t say “well, I could be doing better if it wasn’t for the stupid _________.” (fill in one of the following: government/company/customers/traffic/products/person).

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5. They don’t say “I can’t help it – I’m just wired that way.”

They say instead, “I realize I got upset about the situation and I shouldn’t have. I’m working on having better control of my emotional responses, because I realize my behavior currently is not helping me.” Unlike people who have road rage, the emotionally intelligent person has “road calm” and maintains their ability to stay calm while driving because they realize it is a complete waste of time to get upset about things that they cannot control. What is the point?

6. They don’t guess why someone is upset or angry.

When faced with someone they think is upset, people who are emotionally unintelligent automatically think that the person is angry or upset with them, and don’t ask the person why they are upset. Emotionally intelligent people ask questions and often find that the other person is not upset at them, but that something else happened that morning on their way to work etc. Emotionally intelligent people don’t assume that they are the source of someone’s anger, but make an effort to determine what is going on.

7. They don’t ignore the situations make them upset.

People who are not emotionally intelligent, often get upset, but when you ask them why they don’t really know. People with emotional intelligence have taken a good look at their emotions and understand exactly the circumstances or situations that are emotional triggers for them and know how to handle them when they happen. Then when they experience a circumstance which is an emotional trigger, they don’t experience an unpleasant surprise. They also have a better response in mind that they’ve developed in advance.

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8. They don’t have friends who are emotionally unintelligent.

People who are emotionally intelligent realize the quality of their life is in direct correlation to the quality of the people that they associate with. One of their criteria for who they associate with is someone who is emotionally intelligent. This by default also means they’re probably a more optimistic and proactive person. If someone is emotionally unintelligent, they decide not to maintain the friendship with that person, because they know they may drag them down with them into an emotional abyss.

9. They don’t avoid topics because they are uncomfortable or difficult.

Unemotionally intelligent people will avoid a topic when it comes up because it is difficult or uncomfortable to discuss. They will say “let’s talk about that later.” Emotionally intelligent people realize it is much better to address the topic sooner rather than later, because situations don’t get better, they get worse unless they are addressed. Besides, it feels better to address things that are difficult sooner and get them out of the way.

10. They don’t ignore the importance of being sensitive when discussing sensitive topics

People who lack emotional intelligence do not know what to say when sensitive topics arise, and don’t know how to address sensitive situations. For example if someone mentions that one of their relatives is critically ill and in the hospital, they will say something inappropriate and something that is not comforting. Someone with emotional intelligence knows how to be sensitive and say the right thing in these circumstances.

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11. They don’t avoid asking themselves how they are feeling.

People who lack emotional intelligence often don’t ask other people how they are feeling, and they almost never ask themselves how they are feeling. People with emotional intelligence are constantly monitoring their own feelings, and thinking about how they feel about each circumstance. The way they do that is by asking themselves internally how they are feeling at that particular time. This self-monitoring creates more self-awareness about their true feelings throughout the day.

12. They don’t ignore the importance of body language

People with emotional intelligence are always monitoring their own body language to see how their body is reacting to life around them. If they are driving to work each morning feeling very tense, they think about what it means and if they are in the right job or right career. Body language is a great litmus test to learn more about how they are really feeling.

As Daniel Goleman once said, “Emotional self-control– delaying gratification and stifling impulsiveness- underlies accomplishment of every sort.”

Featured photo credit: Alone with his thoughts/ Viktor Hanacek via viktorhanacek.com

More by this author

Shawn Doyle

Shawn is a certified professional speaker, author and an Executive and Life Coach.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

More Tips About Making Influence

Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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