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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

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Shawn Doyle

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

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

  • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
  • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
  • Answer a few Superpower Questions

Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

  • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
  • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
  • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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