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Four Signs You Have A Low EQ (Emotional Intelligence)

By Dr. Jean Greaves

At a recent training session, an IT executive asked me, "What are some specific things that I might say, feel, or think that will clue me in to the fact that I should work on my emotional intelligence (EQ)?" As it turns out, there are clues that we all can watch out for. If you're ready to practice catching yourself in a low EQ moment, here's the do-it-yourself approach. Look for the following four clues that your EQ needs work, and learn what you can do when they surface. 

CLUE #1: You can't explain yourself.

Your first clue is a moment when you're stuck for words because you really don't understand what you're feeling or why. Typically someone else asks you about it. For example, someone might come over to you after a meeting and say, "Were you bored in there?" If you feel surprised, or didn't even realize what you were doing, it's time to become more self-aware, find out what's really going on inside, or learn how you come across to others. 

What to do when it happens: Take time to think about what you were feeling. You may want to mull it over for a while, or you may decide that it was nothing. Perhaps you didn't mean to appear rude or bored. With additional understanding, you acquire a little more self-awareness, and can decide how to operate in your next meeting.

Watch Reese Witherspoon pretend she's not upset.

CLUE #2: You can't help yourself.

If you tell someone, "I couldn't help myself," you’re admitting that you didn't want to do something but did it anyway. This is a perfect moment to acknowledge that you missed an important chance to self-manage. Don't let the phrase "I can’t help myself" become what you are known for. Those who exemplify restraint learned from their mistakes before the rest of us did, and they continue to do so. All you have to do is join in.

What to do when it happens: "I can't help myself" is your cue to stop making excuses. Grab the moment and tell yourself that you couldn't help yourself this time, but you will try to catch yourself early and do things differently next time. If you need help figuring out what to do differently, ask the people around you for suggestions. They might even help you by reminding you that this is the moment that you were waiting for!

Watch Mathew Broderick knowingly do the wrong thing.


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