Are You Emotionally Intelligent? Here’s How You Know You’re An Expert At Feelings

Emotional Intelligence author Dan Goleman defines it as ”being aware that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), and learning how to manage those emotions – both our own and others – especially when we are under pressure.” Emotional intelligence is necessary to have healthy and happy relationships with others; it’s a source of stability, strength, and success. Do you have it? Here are 12 signs you do:

  1. You’re willing and able to take an honest look at your feelings. A huge part of emotional intelligence (EI) is being able to take a magnifying glass to your feelings. It’s moving through fear to take a close look at what’s going on for you. As someone with a high EI quotient, you’ve done this a million times. You’ve swallowed your pride and looked honestly at how you’re feeling and why.
  2. Talking about the nuances of your feelings is easy for you. It’d be pretty pointless if you just looked at your feelings but didn’t do anything with them. Life is all about being in relation to others. Once you’ve taken a close look at what you’re feeling, then you’re willing to be vulnerable enough to share your findings. You tell those close to you what your needs are and what you don’t like.
  3. Active listening is something you do well. Being in relationships isn’t all about examining yourself and communicating; it’s also about deeply listening to those around you. Active listening is more than waiting to speak. It’s adjusting your body language and response cues so that the other person knows you’re with them while they’re speaking. Being an active listener takes practice and you’ve got it down pat.
  4. Other people’s opinions don’t impact you too much. You love relating to others and communicating in effective ways, but you don’t let their opinions change the choices you make. As a highly emotionally intelligent person, you know that every person has an opinion, but the one that matters most in your life is your own. You let the opinions of the critics roll off your back and instead tune into your own beliefs.
  5. You’re a great judge of character. You have a little voice in your gut that can read someone from a mile away. When you meet a person, you can tell they’re bad news almost immediately by the unsettled feeling you get in your gut. Similarly, if you meet someone who’s good news you get a sense of calm in your gut. You’ve learned to trust your judge of character because it’s proven you right over and over again.
  6. You have a moral compass that’s important to you. Beyond assessing other people’s character, keeping your own character in check is tremendously important to you.  After all, a big part of being emotionally intelligent is knowing the impact your actions have on others. If you do something harmful, you know you have to live with it on your conscience and you won’t be able to just forget it.
  7. You can accurately assess your strengths and weaknesses. You’re someone who knows what they’re good at and where they could improve. You don’t act like you’re better at something than you are, just as you don’t act like you know less than you do. Assessing strengths and weaknesses, then living your life with that information is how you’re guided in all the right directions.
  8. Negative self-talk doesn’t rule your life. Everyone has chatter in their heads about their insecurities. You’re not exempt from this negative self-talk, you’ve just started to turn down the volume. Learning to live with the voices in your mind has meant taking an honest look at them and parsing out which ones are false. You’ve found that actually most of them are full of crap, so you don’t let them rule you.
  9. Change doesn’t totally throw you for a loop. You have a tremendously strong sense of self. It’s very hard to rock you since you’re so comfortable in your skin. This means that even when awful external events happen like a death or losing a job, they don’t completely destroy you. You’ve walked through pain, feelings, and life experiences before. Change is just another opportunity to do it all again.
  10. You practice gratitude. You’re only human, you’re not grateful for every little crappy thing that happens. Nonetheless, you know there’s always something to be grateful for even in the hardest of situations. Part of having emotional intelligence is refraining from being drowned by life’s calamities and instead finding the metaphorical rose amidst the thorns.
  11. The word “no” is definitely in your vocabulary. In order to keep all of the amazing parts of your life, you’ve gotten comfortable with saying “no” to people. Sure, it’s hard to let people down, but you know that it just means you’re saying “yes” to yourself. After all, if it were up to the world, others would drag you in a million different directions. Instead, you’re aware that only you truly know what’s best for you.
  12. Balance is an important part of your life.You’re analyzing your feelings, communicating well, drawing boundaries, and doing lots of great things to take care of yourself as well as others. Nonetheless, you’re careful not to burn yourself out. As a highly emotionally intelligent person, you know when enough is enough. There’s no shame curling up at home and unplugging for a while. Your well-being depends on it.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at