7 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People

It’s very important that you know and accept yourself, but it’s equally essential to be capable of empathy and putting yourself in the place of others.
7 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People
Raquel Aldana

Written and verified by the psychologist Raquel Aldana.

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Emotionally intelligent people are able to appropriately manage their feelings as well as the feelings of others.

For years, you’ve probably heard about the importance of developing and making the most out of your emotional intelligence.

But it’s possible to become so saturated with the idea that in the end, all you know is there are a lot of skills you need to acquire, without any idea of whether you’re on track or how to maintain them.

“Anyone can get angry. It’s very easy. What’s not so easy is being angry with the right person, at the right time, for the right purpose, and to the right degree.”


The truth is that tapping into your emotions and being smart about it at the same time can be very complicated, but it all depends on how you set and achieve your goals.

Everyone, with no exception, can light the fire within themselves to control their emotions, set their own boundaries and create emotional limits.

That’s why for simplicity’s sake, in today’s article we want to expose some of the characteristics that are often present in emotionally intelligent people.

Two people hugging

1. Emotionally intelligent people know who they are

Emotionally intelligent people are able to understand what could cause them to feel one way or the other. They can properly identify the location and source of their feelings, and this makes them better at handling conflict or difficult times.

This is no simple task because your emotional life can be very complicated. Knowing what triggers very strong emotions like anger, fear, and joy can be particularly difficult.

2. Emotionally intelligent people are decision makers

These people may also sometimes be afraid, but they don’t rush into making decisions. Instead, they’re able to weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Developing your emotional intelligence will help you recognize and accept your responsibility for your future, making it easier to make plans to get what you want out of life.

We recommend:

How to Make Better Decisions

3. Emotionally intelligent people can manage their emotions

For Daniel Goleman and other scholars on this subject, self-awareness is one of the cornerstones of emotional intelligence. This capacity also helps you recognize your moods, emotions, and feelings.

In addition, being self-aware means that you know how your moods can affect others. Learning to manage your emotions is a key component of emotional intelligence.

The ability to regulate your emotions is synonymous with establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship, both with others and within yourself. Once you’re aware of what you feel, you are the one who governs your emotions, and not the other way around.

Couple holding a heart in their hands

4. Emotionally intelligent people are able to empathize

“Emotions can be contagious. Everyone knows this from experience. When you’ve had a pleasurable coffee date with an old friend, you feel better. When a clerk is rude to you in a store, it makes you feel bad.”

-Daniel Goleman-

Empathy, or the ability to put oneself in another person’s shoes, is another pillar of emotional intelligence. Knowing what others are feeling facilitates your relationship and helps you manage any situations that may occur between you.

You might be able to numb your senses, but you’re not able to escape from your own or another’s emotions. Indeed, people who make a habit of managing their emotions well are better able to control this dimension.

Also read:

5 Easy Ways to Feel Better

5. Emotionally intelligent people open their hearts

Openness and trust in a relationship are a key signal that you’re dealing with high emotional intelligence. That is to say that by opening up and setting your reservations aside, you promote a healthy relationship.

At the same time, being emotionally intelligent not only allows you to experience and manage your emotions appropriately, but it also helps you express them clearly.

6. Emotionally intelligent people are highly motivated to reach their goals

Although they may be concerned about making a certain change in their lives, they know that management of fear is a key to success.

They’re willing to take a leap of faith and make that change because they know it could improve their life, moving them one step closer to achieving long-term goals.

In addition to this, because they’re so well equipped to deal with their emotions, they can tolerate high levels of frustration and delayed gratification as they await long-term satisfaction.

7. Emotionally intelligent people are responsible for their own lives

Being accepting of yourself and having self-confidence can make you more aware of how to commit to things. That means that you become responsible for your joys and failures, making the burden of solving problems up to you and you alone.

How can you improve your emotional intelligence?

“There is zero relationship between your IQ and your emotional intelligence. These are controlled by different parts of your brain.”

-Daniel Goleman-

There’s also no correlation between what we mean by academic intelligence and emotional intelligence. A person can be highly educated, excelling at school, but not in life.

Boy walking along a tight rope

This is why in your everyday life there are various actions you can take to help you achieve a better understanding of your emotions:

  • Get to know yourself better. Ask questions, think about your behavior and know your own values. Some daily introspection can help you mark the before and after in your emotional development.
  • Control your emotions. This isn’t an easy task, but it’s worth making the effort to control your emotions. If you feel you’re responding to something in a childish manner, remove yourself from the situation for a minute. Don’t forget that only you have control over your life and how you behave or feel.
  • Empathize with others. Put yourself in the place of those around you, even in times that it might cause you pain. That will help you understand that everyone has their own story, and the experience will help you cope better with more difficult situations.
  • Find your daily motivation. Wake up every morning with the hope of advancing your emotional intelligence. Great achievements come from small successes – don’t forget that.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.