10 things people with high emotional intelligence do when talking to others

Lucas Graham by Lucas Graham | May 1, 2024, 11:14 pm

Ever met someone who just seems to be really good at talking to others? They always know what to say, and how to say it.

Their secret? It’s something called emotional intelligence, or EI for short.

EI is all about being in tune with our feelings and the feelings of others. It helps us communicate better, solve problems, handle stress, and avoid fights.

Intrigued about how these emotionally intelligent folks do it? Well, buckle up!

Here we go with 10 things they do when they’re engaged in a conversation.

1) They listen more than they speak

People with high emotional intelligence have a superpower: they’re amazing listeners.

They don’t just hear words; they absorb them. They pay attention to what you’re saying, and also to what you’re not saying. They read between the lines.

By focusing more on listening than speaking, they’re able to understand others better and respond appropriately.

2) They pay attention to body language

Words are important in a conversation, sure. But people with high emotional intelligence know that there’s a lot more to communication than just words.

They pay close attention to the non-verbal cues, like body language and tone of voice.

They understand that a crossed arm, an avoided gaze, or a nervous tone can speak volumes about what a person is truly feeling. By tuning into these unspoken signals, they’re able to get a deeper understanding of what’s going on in the conversation.

It’s like they’re fluent in another language – the language of emotions!

3) They understand others’ feelings

One of the hallmarks of someone with high emotional intelligence is their ability to empathize with others.

They can put themselves in another person’s shoes and understand their perspective.

For example, I remember a time when a friend was sharing about her stressful day at work. Instead of simply saying, “That sounds tough,” I tried to really understand her feelings.

I thought about a time when I had a similarly challenging day and how it made me feel.

This helped me respond in a more understanding and supportive way, saying, “You must have felt so overwhelmed dealing with all those tasks at once. It reminds me of a time when…”.

This empathy makes conversations with emotionally intelligent people feel more meaningful and connected.

4) They don’t answer in a hurry

They don’t feel the need to rush their responses in a conversation.

They take their time to process what’s been said, consider their own feelings and the other person’s feelings, and then respond thoughtfully.

Here’s an interesting fact: pausing before responding in a conversation can lead to better decision-making and predictions.

So, those few extra seconds that emotionally intelligent people take before they respond? They’re not just being slow – they’re being smart!

5) They say nice things about others

There’s something special about people with high emotional intelligence – they have a knack for making others feel good.

They often say kind and positive things about others, but here’s the catch: they mean it.

They’re not just saying nice things for the sake of it, they genuinely see and appreciate the good in others. And it’s not just flattery or empty compliments, it’s heartfelt praise that can really lift someone’s spirits.

Think about a time when someone gave you a sincere compliment – didn’t it make your day? That’s the magic these emotionally intelligent people bring to their conversations!

6) They say sorry when needed

They understand that saying sorry isn’t about admitting defeat, but about acknowledging that they’ve hurt someone else.

I’ll share a personal example: once, I accidentally made a sarcastic remark that upset a close friend. I didn’t intend to hurt her, but I could see that I had. Instead of defending myself, I quickly apologized.

Saying sorry didn’t make me weak; it showed that I valued our friendship more than my ego. This ability to apologize sincerely is something you’ll often see in people with high emotional intelligence.

7) They control their feelings

Let’s get real here.

People with high emotional intelligence aren’t emotionless robots. They feel things deeply, just like everyone else. They experience anger, sadness, joy, and fear.

But here’s what sets them apart: they don’t let their emotions control them. They might feel the heat of anger rising or the weight of sadness pressing down, but they don’t let these feelings dictate their response in a conversation.

Instead, they acknowledge these emotions, take a breath, and choose a response that aligns with their values and respects the other person’s feelings.

It’s not easy, and it takes practice – but boy, does it make for healthier and more constructive conversations!

8) They are open to different ideas

They have a unique characteristic.

They’re always open to hearing different opinions. They don’t shut down ideas just because they don’t agree with them. They listen, consider, and even challenge their own beliefs.

People who are open to opposing views are more likely to be creative, flexible in their thinking and less likely to fall into confirmation bias – the tendency to only accept information that confirms our existing beliefs.

Being open-minded doesn’t just make for great conversations – it makes for better thinking too!

9) They are real

They’re genuine. They don’t put on a facade or pretend to be someone they’re not, just to impress others or fit in. I’ve always admired this quality in people.

For instance, I have a friend who’s very comfortable in her own skin. She doesn’t feel the need to exaggerate her achievements or hide her failures. She’s honest about her feelings and isn’t afraid to show vulnerability. This authenticity makes her so relatable and easy to talk to.

It’s a trait you’ll often find in people with high emotional intelligence – they’re beautifully, unapologetically themselves.

10) They use ‘I’ statements

Now, let’s talk about something a bit tricky: disagreements.

People with high emotional intelligence know that disagreements are part of life. But here’s how they handle them differently: they use ‘I’ statements instead of ‘you’ statements.

Instead of saying, “You’re wrong,” they’ll say, “I see it differently.”

This way, they’re not attacking the other person – they’re simply expressing their own perspective.

It’s a small change, but it can make a big difference in making conversations less confrontational and more respectful.