What is Emotional Intelligence? Signs of Low Emotional Intelligence and Ways to Improve it.

emotional intelligence-write to aspire

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to recognize, control, and reveal your emotions and feelings and manage others’ emotions. Furthermore, it helps us to understand ourselves better and leads to a happy and balanced life. In addition, emotional intelligence affects our point of view and attitude towards life. It can help us to minimize anxiety and avoid depression. People with high emotional intelligence enjoys good health and overall wellness. 

Emotions are an essential part of our personal and professional lives. Likewise, people with higher emotional intelligence are good at building healthier and fulfilling relationships, and more successful at school and work. 

Five Components of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman:

Five critical components of emotional intelligence include:

1. Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the capacity to recognize your own feelings, actions, and their consequences on other people around you. It is an important part of emotional intelligence. To be in a state of complete self-awareness, you must be capable to identify your emotions and observing different emotional reactions, and also keep track of emotions. Along with, self-awareness involves knowing your feelings, what your feelings mean, and know your strengths and weaknesses.

Ways to Improve Self-Awareness:

  • Write down your thoughts (Journaling)
  • Slow down when you experience intense emotions (such as anger) and think about why you are experiencing this
  • Understand what motivates you

 2. Self-Regulation

 Self-regulation is the capability to control and manage your emotions. But, it doesn’t mean that you start hiding your feelings. In fact, the best this is that wait for the right moment to convey your feelings. This is associated with being flexible, managing difficult situations, adapting to changing circumstances, and taking responsibility.         

Se-regulation is about communicating your emotions appropriately. 

 Ways to Improve the Ability to Self-Regulate

  • Practice being calm
  • Know your Values
  • Hold yourself accountable

3. Motivation

Intrinsic motivation plays a critical role in emotional intelligence. Intrinsic motivation means that a person is ambitious to fulfill his own needs and targets rather than other monetary and non-monetary rewards, such as recognition, money, fame, and status. For instance, people who are intrinsically motivated are action-oriented and committed. They possess the ability to handle any situation.

Ways to Improve Motivation

  • Know where you stand
  • Re-evaluate why you are doing your job
  • Always find something positive and be hopeful
  • Be realistic
  • Be prepared to leave your comfort zone

 4. Empathy

This is the capability to identify the emotional states of others and understand how others are feeling. In other words, empathy includes relationship building and maintaining skills and understanding power dynamics. Particularly, it plays a vital role in managing conflicts.

Ways to Improve Empathy

  • Give attention to your body language
  • Respond to feelings
  • Put yourself in someone else’s shoes
  • Acknowledge what people are saying

 5. Social Skills

This is the capability to interact and connect well with others through skills such as active listening, verbal, and nonverbal communication.  Moreover, social skills involve good communication skills, time management, and the ability to lead and handle conflicts.

Ways to Improve Social Skills

  • Learn how to praise others 
  • Learn conflict resolution
  • Improve your communication skills
  • It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it

Individuals with low emotional intelligence are unable to recognize. They control their own emotions, reveal their feelings, and be unable to manage others’ emotions.

Indicators of Low Emotional Intelligence

1. They are Unable to Control Their Feelings

 As we know, people with low emotional intelligence avoid talking about how they feel. On the other hand, emotionally intelligent people understand their emotions and feelings, and they express their feelings. When you are unaware of your feelings, your feelings can’t manage your actions in productive ways. As a result, such people use vague language to express their feelings. They are unaware of their emotions and moods.

2. They Struggle in Relationships

 Undoubtedly, low, emotionally intelligent individuals are trouble makers in relationships.  Furthermore, most of the time they are problem creators that results in conflicts and misunderstandings. Such people have very few friends and they lack compassion and emotional support. They can’t maintain good relationships, whether in personal life or at the workplace.

3. They are Clueless About the Feelings of Others

Another clear indicator of low emotional intelligence is unable to understand emotions in other people. They misread others’ emotions that lead to severe problems. On the other hand, emotionally intelligent people know about the feelings of others. They know when their partner is angry or stressed.

4. They have Weak Social Skills

Low, emotionally intelligent individuals have weak social skills. They lack communication and interaction skills. Hence, can’t maintain healthy social relationships with others. On the other hand, highly emotionally intelligent people have strong social skills since they have good communication skills, time management, and the ability to lead and handle conflicts.

5. They Take Everything Personally

People with lower emotional intelligence take things personally that lead to severe problems. Surely, they take criticism as an offense. For instance, they can tend to interpret any constructive feedback as a personal attack.

6. They Have Poor Coping Skills

An inability to cope with emotional situations can be a sign of low emotional intelligence. People can’t deal with strong emotions. So, they will often move away from such cases not to have to deal with the emotional fallout. For that reason, they hide their real feelings.

7. They Blame Others

People with lower emotional intelligence blame others for their actions and problems. When they don’t understand the situation or do something wrong, they find someone else to blame. Consequently, they hold others accountable for their actions as well.

8. They don’t Know their Strength and Weaknesses

Emotionally unintelligent people are unaware of their strong and weak points. In fact, they don’t know how to use their strengths and how to convert their weaknesses into strengths. Certainly, they are afraid of negative evaluations.

9. They have Inappropriate Boundaries

Individuals with low emotional intelligence are unrealistic in terms of the time and energy required for a task or project. They are unaware of their limits, and they don’t know when to say “No.”

10. They are Unable to Keep Commitments

A person’s inability to stick to the commitments is another indicator of emotional unintelligent people. They keep on ditching you. Like they cancel plans at the last moment without informing you. 

11. They Commit Mistakes

Low emotionally intelligent individuals don’t let go of mistakes. Especially, such people can’t keep themselves away from errors. Moreover, they are afraid of failures so they commit mistakes more often. Besides, they forget their mistakes and don’t learn a lesson from them. 


 We can conclude that emotional intelligence is an essential skill in our lives. We interpret, manage, and control our emotions with this kind of intelligence we have. On the contrary, having low emotional intelligence can create problems in our life as it directly affects our personal and professional relationships. However, being aware of your low emotional intelligence skills is very important to improve them for a balanced life and relationship with the outside world.

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