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10 Things High EQ People Don’t Do

10 Things High EQ People Don’t Do

Many people hang their success in life on their IQ level. Yet, there is something that can be an even stronger predictor of success. We all know really smart people who are limited in their lives because they just don’t play well with others. They have high IQs, but horribly low EQs. The good news is that while your IQ may be a bit harder to change, anyone can work on developing a better EQ.

Why should you care about enhancing your EQ? Because people who have developed their emotional intelligence enjoy more success in every area of life: social, emotional, physical, and financial. This is because life almost always involves interacting in some way with other people, and high EQ people just make each interaction more rewarding for everyone.

While EQ isn’t always easy to change quickly, with a bit of effort, most people can improve their emotional intelligence with coaching, self-introspection, and feedback from others. The other good news is that EQ naturally increases with age, even if you don’t conscientiously work on furthering it.

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    There are four main pillars that support a healthy emotional intellect.

    • High EQ people are self aware. Instead of just feeling without understanding the source, they can trace their emotions back to their origins and see them logically. They also have a realistic grasp of their strengths and weaknesses.
    • High EQ people conduct self management. They can rein themselves in, delay gratification, account for the needs of others, and balance their desires accordingly. They can also walk the middle ground between initiative and patience. They handle change well and follow through with commitments.
    • High EQ people are socially aware. They understand and tune into other people’s emotions and can adapt to unspoken social cues. They can also see the interpersonal interactions within groups and larger organizations.
    • High EQ people excel at relationship management. They just play well with others, inspire and influence people positively, communicate well, and manage conflict proactively.

    In short, high EQ people draw you in and make you want to stay in their circles. How do you know if you have a high EQ? One way is to look at what emotional intellectuals don’t do.

    1. They don’t react rashly.

    Instead of reacting, high EQ people craft calculated responses. Life is full of stressors. Everyone has their own battles. However, people with high EQ learn to manage their responses to triggers in a proactive way. They learn how to calm down and relax in situations where low EQ people revert to panic and fear. They manage their more basic tendencies to react emotionally and filter that through their reasoning abilities to default to stress management activities.

    High EQ people learn to not make decisions when angry, hurt, or scared. Instead, they self manage, get to a better mental state, and then make better decisions after reviewing the situation from their happy place.

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    2. They don’t avoid new experiences, ideas, or people.

    I’m not saying that people with high EQ don’t have strong beliefs or ideas. They do. However, they are not afraid of learning more about other perspectives or having their beliefs challenged. They are open in their thinking vs. closed. They are intellectually curious. They often have friends from every walk of life and faith. They always seek new possibilities. They understand that they can’t always be right, and have the humility to embrace the fact that there is always more that they can learn.

    Even when they do disagree with a concept, they consider why their first initial response was to dislike the idea and self analyze why this occurs. They refrain from reacting solely emotionally, and instead respond intelligently.

    High EQ individuals see the best in other people. They aren’t afraid to accept help from others, as they realize their own limits and lean on trusted mentors when necessary.

    High EQ people are not afraid of change and don’t need rules and structure to feel secure. They don’t remain emotionally unavailable to others or withhold intimacy from their loved ones. They aren’t afraid to have their beliefs or ideas challenged. They also don’t stubbornly cling to concepts and refuse to even entertain new facts that are presented to them.

    3. They don’t focus only on self.

    This is not to say that high EQ individuals don’t take time for themselves when needed. In fact, going into martyrdom mode is also not healthy. However, high EQ people are empathetic towards others. When it comes to people, they focus more externally vs. being self-absorbed. Instead of seeing life through the lens of their own needs and wants, they have the ability to look at the world from a bigger perspective and walk a mile in another person’s shoes. They are also more forgiving of themselves and others.

    High EQ people don’t attack, judge, interrupt, invalidate, criticize, command, lecture, or blame people. They also don’t try to analyze others when they try to share their feelings. They aren’t jealous over loved one’s successes, but celebrate their victories.

    4. They don’t become bitter.

    Many people don’t take responsibility for their feelings; instead, they blame outside sources for them. However, if you think about it, this is a very basic way to behave. What happens if you take a toy from a child before they are ready to give it up? They cry and throw a tantrum.

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    You may have met people who still react like a two-year-old child when they are challenged. It’s so much more healthy for people to grow up emotionally as they grow up physically, but this doesn’t always occur. We can all usually “see” what’s wrong in a situation, but most low EQ people don’t move past that step of identifying the problem to finding a solution for it. Instead, they follow the predicable negative chain reaction that can lead to implosion.

    High EQ individuals are also not afraid of a challenge, and don’t throw in the towel when they realize that they are not on the correct course. They make adjustments and keep working on solutions to their obstacles.

    High EQ individuals don’t go through life feeling like the world owes them. They look within to determine why they do what they do, so they aren’t doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over.

    5. They don’t stay ignorant about inner motives.

    Ultimately, it comes down to what Socrates proclaimed so long ago. To have high EQ, you must “Know Thyself.”

    High EQ individuals understand the chain reaction that occurs that brings about their emotions. They also can explain why they are experiencing certain feelings without blaming someone else. High EQ people are never emotionally dishonest and don’t withhold information, or downright lie, about what they are feeling. They also don’t minimize or exaggerate their emotions, nor do they let things build up until they blow up.

    Being self aware helps you understand why you react as you do and if needed, to take steps to change it. You must learn who you are, and more importantly, not let others define you with their self-imposed expectations. As you become more self aware and manage your emotions more effectively, you also are able to subsequently better understand the reactions of others. This ultimately creates better personal relationships and overall happiness.

    Some great questions to help you discover more about your inner workings are, “Why do I act like that?” “Why do I believe this way?” “Why am I afraid of having that concept challenged?”

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    6. They don’t clam up or blow up.

    High EQ individuals are communication masters. They have excellent verbal and non-verbal communication and listening skills. They manage conflict better, have stronger relationships, and are able to convey thoughts in a non-threatening, respectful manner. Good communication also increases their ability to influence others in a positive way.

    High EQ people, in addition to being more aware of their feelings, are also not afraid to share those feelings with others. And, they check their ego in at the door when it comes to gaining wisdom, insight, and feedback from trusted sources.

    High EQ people often use phrases such as “I feel..” to express their emotions. However, they don’t use “I feel that…” This phrasing is often a tip off to a thought disguised as a feeling. For example, “I feel like you…” While the true “I feel” messages give necessary information in a non-threatening manner, the “you” messages usually do not reveal the person’s actual feelings, but can be thinly-veiled accusations.

    High EQ individuals also don’t lay guilt trips on others. Instead, they always tell them where they honestly stand in the relationship. Instead of acting out their feelings by resorting to negative actions like door slams, moodiness, passive aggression, or silence, they talk about them calmly.

    High EQ people also never resort to playing emotional games and manipulating others. They are excellent listeners, and do not interrupt or invalidate. They are open to other opinions and won’t try to “win” an argument by focusing on facts over feelings. They also don’t act superior or use intellect to judge and criticize others without considering the impact of their actions.

    7. They don’t forget about balance.

    High EQ people look at life from a balanced, positive viewpoint. They aren’t overly pessimistic or unrealistically optimistic. They tend to be happy and successful. They recognize the good in others and in themselves. They are forgiving of flaws. They make the best out of difficult situations, embracing hardships to help fuel their personal development and improvement. They also keep their sense of humor and find the light side of their trials. High EQ people understand what is within their control, and what is not. They don’t beat themselves up for things that they have no ability to influence.

    8. They don’t embrace negativity.

    High EQ people are not dominated by fear, worry, guilt, shame, embarrassment, obligation, disappointment, hopelessness, powerlessness, dependency, victimization, or discouragement. They do not give or receive manipulation.

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    High EQ people let their own personal goals and desires motivate them—not power, wealth, status, fame, or approval. They don’t do things because of a false sense of duty, guilt, force, or obligation. They balance out their feelings with reality checks of logic when needed. They are independent, intrinsically motivated, and self reliant. They also aren’t afraid to push out of their comfort zone to reach new heights.

    9. They don’t let others get to them.

    Do you know people who cause others to walk on eggshells? If you are unlucky enough to inadvertently make them upset, do they carry grudges? This is a sign of very low EQ.

    People who have matured emotionally are resilient, able to agree to disagree, and do not internalize failure. Even if they have had a difficult life, they have managed to learn from the pain and become an even more amazing individual. They don’t dwell on the past, but learn from it. They realize that the past is out of their control, so they choose to live in the present and shape it into a better future.

    Individuals with high EQ never hold onto self-destructive belief systems and negative self talk. They refuse to feel inadequate, bitter, disappointed, resentful, or victimized. If they have a pity party, it ends quickly and they certainly don’t send out invites. Instead of focusing on their weaknesses, high EQ people target their strengths.

    High EQ people refuse to entertain insecurities or cling to negative experiences. They will not be defensive and freely admit when they make a mistake and apologize. They never avoid responsibility by saying things like, “I had no choice!” They never allow other people to make decisions for them, but take the steering wheel of their lives. They are patient people and can roll with the punches when life doesn’t go as planned.

    High EQ people never shut out others. While they realize relationships can be painful, they understand the value far exceeds the hurt. They will never seek out substitute relationships with less threatening and more controllable subjects like pets or imaginary people to replace the real thing.

    10. They don’t fight with their head and heart.

    High EQ people are able to get in touch with what they are feeling, are interested in other people’s feelings, and are comfortable talking about their emotions. However, they also can recognize that feelings don’t equal fact. They tend to look at situations logically, understand why they feel a certain way, and then work through it proactively.

    Emotional intelligence is certainly not easy to obtain and requires a lot of introspection and work; which is why it is so rarely found. However, once you have mastered this skill you will stand out from the crowd, and will soon discover better interpersonal relationships, career success, happiness, and peace. That will bring about a lot more inner satisfaction than bumping up your IQ score any day!

    Featured photo credit: Young woman with guitar in forest in early autumn via shutterstock.com

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    Sarah Hansen

    A corporate-sales professional turned entrepreneur

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    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

    Posture

    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

    Facial Expressions

    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

    2. Relax Your Face

    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

    3. Smile More

    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

    4. Hand Gestures

    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

    5. Enhance Your Handshake

    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

    Final Takeaways

    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

    Reference

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