What makes some people more successful in work and life than others? IQ and work ethic are important, but they don't tell the whole story. Our emotional intelligence -- the way we manage emotions, both our own and those of others -- can play a critical role in determining our happiness and success.
Not sure how emotionally intelligent you are? Here are 14 signs you have a high EQ.
1. You're curious about people you don't know.
Do you love meeting new people, and naturally tend to ask lots of questions after you've been introduced to someone? If so, you have a certain degree of empathy, one of the main components of emotional intelligence.
2. You're a great leader.
Exceptional leaders often have one thing in common. In addition to the traditional requirements for success -- talent, a strong work ethic and ambition, for instance -- they possess a high degree of emotional intelligence.The higher the rank of a person considered to be a star performer, the more emotional intelligence capabilities showed up as the reason for his or her effectiveness.
3. You know your strengths and weaknesses.
A big part of having self-awareness is being honest with yourself about who you are -- knowing where you excel, and where you struggle, and accepting these things about yourself. An emotionally intelligent person learns to identify their areas of strength and weakness, and analyze how to work most effectively within this framework.
4. You know how to pay attention.
Do you get distracted by every tweet, text and passing thought? If so, it could be keeping you from functioning on your most emotionally intelligent level. But the ability to withstand distractions and focus on the task at hand is a great secret to emotional intelligence.
5. When you're upset, you know exactly why.
We all experience a number of emotional fluctuations throughout the day, and often we don't even understand what's causing a wave of anger or sadness. But an important aspect of self-awareness is the ability to recognize where your emotions are coming from and to know why you feel upset.
6. You can get along with most people.
Having fulfilling, effective relationships -- that's a sign of emotional intelligence.
7. You care deeply about being a good, moral person.
One aspect of emotional intelligence is our "moral identity," which has to do with the extent to which we want to see ourselves as ethical, caring people. If you're someone who cares about building up this side of yourself (regardless of how you've acted in past moral situations), you might have a high EQ.
8. You take time to slow down and help others.
If you make a habit of slowing down to pay attention to others, whether by going slightly out your way to say hello to someone or helping an older woman onto the subway, you're exhibiting emotional intelligence. Many of us, a good portion of the time, are completely focused on ourselves. And it's often because we're so busy running around in a stressed-out state trying to get things done that we simply don't take the time to notice (much less help) others.
9. You're good at reading people's facial expressions.
Being able to sense how others are feeling is an important part of having a good EQ.
10. After you fall, you get right back up.
How you deal with mistakes and setbacks says a lot about who you are. High EQ individuals know that if there's one thing we all must do in life, it's to keep on going. When an emotionally intelligent person experiences a failure or setback, he or she is able to bounce back quickly.
11. You're a good judge of character.
You've always been able to get a sense for who someone is pretty much right off the bat -- and your intuitions are rarely wrong.
12. You trust your gut.
An emotionally intelligent person is someone who feels comfortable following their intuition. If you're able to trust in yourself and your emotions, there's no reason not to listen to that quiet voice inside (or that feeling in your stomach) telling you which way to go.
13. You've always been self-motivated.
Were you always ambitious and hard-working as a kid, even when you weren't rewarded for it? If you're a motivated self-starter -- and you can focus your attention and energy towards the pursuit of your goals -- you likely have a high EQ.
14. You know when to say "no."
Self-regulation, one of the five components of emotional intelligence, means being able to discipline yourself and avoid unhealthy habits. Emotionally intelligent people are generally well equipped to tolerate stress (a bad-habit trigger for many of us) and to control their impulses.