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5 signs of low emotional intelligence
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5 signs of low emotional intelligence

Recognising the telltale signs is important for personal growth and fostering healthier connections with those around us
Low emotional intelligence
Representational image | Canva

Consider emotional intelligence as your own personal GPS to cruise across the intricate terrain of human emotions. If you have high emotional intelligence you can recognise, understand, and manage your own emotions and be able to empathise with the feelings of others.  Those without this in-built GPS system can find the emotional landscape a tough terrain to navigate.

Happiest Health lists out five signs of low emotional intelligence.

Having trouble identifying feelings

People with low emotional intelligence may find it challenging to recognise subtle facial expressions, body language, or vocal cues that convey different emotions. Difficulty in recognising emotions can impede a person’s ability to make the other person feel comfortable and at ease. It can lead to difficulty in establishing trust and rapport, which are critical to any interaction.

Such people might misinterpret meanings while having a conversation, as the nuances of what is being communicated are lost, according to Dr Kedar Tilwe, consultant psychiatrist, Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai. They may also find it difficult to comfort another person. “Having a genuine, open-ended, non-judgemental conversation with your trusted confidants can help you attain a better understanding and overcome such difficulty.”

Poor empathy

Those with low emotional intelligence may struggle to connect with others on an emotional level, making it difficult for them to comprehend and respond appropriately to the emotions and perspectives of those around them, says Dr Mazher Ali, consultant psychiatry, CARE Hospitals, Hyderabad.

Lack of empathy can result in discord in a relationship, says Dr Tilwe. Failure to read a situation can result in escalations or stagnation in conversations, often making a relationship potentially toxic. Actively seeking feedback from your trusted friends and family and then implementing the suggestions in future scenarios can considerably help.

Inability to manage stress

People with low emotional intelligence may find it difficult to manage stress and negative emotions. They may find it hard to regulate their emotions during stressful periods, according to Dr Ali. This inability can lead to impulsive reactions, heightened anxiety, or difficulty coping with pressure. Effective stress management is a key component of emotional intelligence.

Limited social skills

Social skills encompass the ability to navigate social situations, build relationships, and communicate effectively with others. People with low emotional intelligence may have difficulty in reading these situations accurately. This can often result in feeling detached and lonely and may also result in some form of social ostracism with impairment in forming meaningful relationships.

Making a conscious effort to understand social etiquette and norms required in a situation, along with regular efforts to learn and improve one’s current social skills go a long way in tackling this limitation, says Dr Tilwe.

Lack of self-awareness

Self-awareness is a fundamental aspect of emotional intelligence, involving an understanding of one’s own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and the effect one has on others. “A lack of self-awareness can manifest as individuals being oblivious to their emotional triggers, unaware of how their behaviour affects those around them, or inaccurately assessing their abilities and limitations,” says Dr Ali.

Practising mindfulness techniques or relaxation exercises along with being aware of our emotions can help improve our self-awareness.

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