16 Signs Of Low Emotional Intelligence


signs of low emotional intelligence

Low emotional intelligence is when one cannot perceive emotions accurately. It’s a serious issue that can affect your relationships, career and quality of life. Emotional intelligence might be more impactful than IQ when it comes to succeeding in life.

What Is Low Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is our ability to read, understand and work with the emotions of ourselves and others. Individuals with high emotional intelligence are more likely to enjoy higher psychological well-being and have satisfying professional and personal relationships. Seth J. Gillihan, PhD, licensed psychologist and author, explainsIntelligence isn’t just about being book smart. In recent decades, psychological research has revealed that emotional intelligence can also have important effects on our lives.”

low emotional intelligence
16 Signs Of Low Emotional Intelligence

Individuals who lack or have low emotional intelligence are often unable to identify the emotions of others and are barely capable of recognizing their own emotions. This makes them incapable of connecting with others and building deep, meaningful relationships. Author and entrepreneur Kerry Goyette, LCSW writes in CNBC “The most emotionally intelligent people know that in addition to understanding their own emotions, it’s important to perceive the emotions of others and the way that their environment impacts those emotions.

So how can you know if you have low emotional intelligence?

Signs of low emotional intelligence

An individual’s level of emotional intelligence is often referred to as his or her emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ,” explains author and educational consultant Kendra Cherry, MS.

Here Are A Few Common Signs Of Low Emotional Intelligence That You Need To Look Out For:

signs of low emotional intelligence info
16 Signs Of Low Emotional Intelligence

1. You can’t read others

Emotional intelligence enables us to recognize and understand the emotions of other people. It helps us realize when someone we love is upset, stressed or happy. When we are unable to read others’ emotions effectively, it can not only hamper our ability to connect with others, but also damage our existing relationships.People who have weak emotional intelligence skills have a lack of awareness and are often completely oblivious to the feelings of other people,” adds Kendra.

Seth J. Gillihan, PhD, writes “Correctly reading others’ emotions makes it easier to respond effectively, like making amends with your partner who’s upset at you or saying a kind word to someone who’s feeling overwhelmed.

2. You lack empathy

Empathy is our ability to sense and share feelings and experiences of other people. It depends on our ability to think or imagine what it feels like to be the other person. When we have low emotional intelligence, we tend to lack empathy. Seth adds “Maybe you know yourself that empathy isn’t your strong suit.” 

People might even see you as a narcissist as you are incapable of showing empathy. Kendra adds that people with low emotional intelligence “do not get what others are feeling, so it is impossible for them to place themselves in another person’s shoes.”

Related: Empathy Is A Choice And We’re Choosing To Avoid It, Says Science

3. You think others are over sensitive

Insensitive behavior is one of the common traits of people who lack emotional intelligence. When you have low EQ, you might end up making jokes in tragic situations like a funeral and think that others are highly sensitive. This might make you seem insensitive to others. As people with low emotional quotient “have difficulty understanding the emotions of others, it’s no surprise that they are unable to interpret the emotional tone after such events” explains Kendra Cherry, MS.

4. You don’t understand your own emotions

Our emotions often drive our thoughts, behavior and actions. When you can’t recognize your own emotions, it can lead to unproductive actions and passive-aggressive behavior.When you lack emotional intelligence, you’ll wonder why you or someone else feels the way they do,” writes psychologist Seth J. Gillihan, PhD. This makes it difficult for you to make sense of emotions in general.

Related: 12 Warning Signs Someone Is Emotionally Unstable

5. You’re incapable of managing emotions

Emotional intelligence is primarily about managing your own emotional state. It helps you determine when you need to calm down, when you need to express love and gratitude, and when you defend your emotions. “The ability to regulate emotions is one of the five critical components of emotional intelligence,” says Kendra.

When you have low emotional intelligence you will likely struggle with controlling your own emotions. Kendra adds that people with a low EQ often “have unexpected emotional outbursts that seem overblown and uncontrollable.” You might adversely react and lash out at someone without realizing what they are going through emotionally.

Seth J. Gillihan writes “If emotional intelligence isn’t your strength, you may be prone to losing your temper or not being able to recover when you get upset. Emotions that aren’t managed effectively will likely lead to problems in your relationships.

6. You have difficulty with relationships

Low emotional intelligence can adversely affect your relationships significantly. Not only you will experience constant misunderstandings and conflict in your relationships, but you will also face problems with romantic attachments. Low EQ will lead to multiple breakups with romantic partners and friends. Moreover, your relationship with your family, coworkers and other social relationships might also be strained.

Kendra writes “Because low EQ people often come off as abrasive and unfeeling, they have difficulty maintaining friendships. Close friendships require a mutual give-and-take, sharing of emotions, compassion, and emotional support, all of which low EQ individuals struggle with.”

Related: 3 Tips For Men To Increase Their Emotional Intelligence in Relationships

Here are some other signs of low emotional intelligence as explained by author and entrepreneur Muriel Maignan Wilkins in Harvard Business Review article:

  • You feel frustrated and impatient most of the time as you think others don’t understand you.
  • You believe others often overreact to your jokes and comments and that is surprising to you.
  • You believe that being liked by others is unimportant and overrated.
  • You are always prompt with your beliefs & assumptions and you don’t hesitate to defend them strongly.
  • You hold yourself to very high standards and expect the same from others as well.
  • Your first instinct and initial response when something goes wrong is to blame others. You fail to take any responsibility for your own mistakes.
  • You become irritated and frustrated when your friends and family expect you to understand how they feel.
  • You often end up offending and hurting people and you don’t exactly understand why and how.
  • Your emotions often prevent you working productively and looking for probable solutions.
  • You are incapable of coping with situations that are emotionally driven.
low emotional intelligence
16 Signs Of Low Emotional Intelligence

Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence

Can you identify with some or all of these signs of low emotional intelligence? Or do you recognize someone with these traits? If you wish to improve your emotional quotient, then the first thing you need to do is be aware of your own emotional intelligence. By taking a close, honest look at yourself you will immediately show emotional maturity. This is the first step towards strengthening your emotional intelligence. 

Author Kerry Goyette, LCSW concludes “Our emotional intelligence exists within an ecosystem. And in order to achieve growth, we need to understand the individual motivators and perspectives of the people around us, as well as how the environment we’re in affects us altogether.With time, effort, discipline and commitment you will be better able to manage your own emotions and connect with others. 

Related: 13 Signs You Have Emotionally Intelligent Friendships

Here is an interesting video that you may find helpful:

Signs Low Emotional Intelligence Pin
16 Signs Of Low Emotional Intelligence

signs of low emotional intelligence pinop
16 Signs Of Low Emotional Intelligence
signs of low emotional intelligence pin
16 Signs Of Low Emotional Intelligence

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

The Zeigarnik Effect: The Reason You Feel Constantly Overwhelmed

The Zeigarnik Effect: Why You Feel Constantly Overwhelmed

Ever wonder why your to-do list seems to weigh you down, even when you haven’t touched it in hours? That’s the Zeigarnik effect in play! It’s the sneaky reason you can’t stop thinking about unfinished tasks and feel constantly overwhelmed. But don’t worry, we will discuss how to overcome Zeigarnik effect.

You know how having too many open Chrome tabs bogs your computer down?

The same happens to your brain.

Unfinished tasks keep “running” in the background.

It’s called the Zeigarnik Effect.

Here’s how it works and what to do about it…

Up Next

Why Do I Hate My Father? 8 Effective Ways to Mend Your Relationship

Why Do I Hate My Father? Tips to Reconnect with Your Dad

“Why do I hate my father?” – if you have ever asked yourself this question, then trust me, you are not alone. Not having a good relationship with your father is one of the most painful things to experience in life.

Father-child relationships can be really complicated in many cases, and it’s normal to feel a mix of emotions. Whether it’s due to past hurts, misunderstandings, or present conflicts, your strained relationship with him can be really challenging and hard to navigate.

But there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, and I have some good news for you: it is possible to improve your bonding with your dad. Today, we are going to talk about some of the best ways to strengthen your bond with your father, and turn things around for the better.

So, ready to know how you and your father can reconne

Up Next

8 Signs A Man Is The Source Of His Own Misery: Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

Signs A Man Is The Source Of His Own Misery: Self-Sabotage

Ever wonder why he’s always gloomy and unhappy? These 8 signs reveal how he might be the source of his own misery, with self-sabotaging behaviors being an obstacle his own path to happiness.

Self-sabotage is often the biggest obstacle to happiness.

Self-sabotaging behaviors, negative mindsets, and the absence of emotional intelligence can unknowingly pave the path to a cycle of unhappiness. While external circumstances influence our success and well-being, the biggest obstacles to happiness are often found within.

Up Next

How To Talk To Anyone With Confidence? 14 Psychological Hacks For Any Situation

How To Talk To Anyone With Confidence? Fun Tricks

Do you ever wonder how to talk to anyone with confidence? Small talk may be intimidating at times but it is an ability that everyone can learn – the art of conversation!

Be it a party, a romantic date, or an office environment; one can use certain psychological tips that will help with the process and make it even more fun.

So, if you have trouble finding the right things to say, or are always in the corner of a gathering, here is how to talk to people and participate actively in different social settings with confidence.

Up Next

Why It’s So Hard to Admit You’re Wrong: 7 Surprising Psychological Barriers You Didn’t Know About

Why Is It So Hard To Admit To Being Wrong? Psychological Reasons You Need To Know

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a heated debate, feeling that gnawing sensation that you might be wrong, but don’t want to admit it? Or maybe you are watching someone double down on their stance, even when all evidence points to the contrary, and wondering, “Why can’t they just say they’re wrong?” It’s a common scenario that plays out in classrooms, workplaces, and even family dinners, leaving many of us puzzled about why it is so hard to admit to being wrong.

Admitting we’re wrong isn’t just about swallowing our pride. For some people, admitting an error feels like a failure on a personal level, thus threatening their self-esteem and identity. Others worry about being judged and what consequences may follow. It’s not stubbornness alone, but this innate fear of exposure and vulnerability that makes it hard to

Up Next

3 Relationship Check In Questions On Love, According To A Psychologist

Relationship Check In Questions For Couples In Love

It’s common for us to push relationships down our list of priorities when we get busy. We think we’ll make up for lost time later, assuming everything will be fine. But what if everything isn’t fine? Below are 3 crucial relationship check in questions for couples to make life simpler!

According to a recent publication of Current Issues in Personality Psychology, discussions were shown to be an effective strategy for solving disagreements and improving the quality of relationships.

So, a monthly relationship relationship check in questions can help keep your love boat afloat. Once a month, you and your partner can sit across from each other and talk. It isn’t about pointing fingers or finding fault; it’s about feeding the connection

Up Next

7 Situations Where You Should Stay Silent (Even If You Don’t Want To)

Situations Where You Should Stay Silent At All Costs!

Have you ever realized that being quiet might sometimes be the smartest thing to do? That’s right – there are 7 situations where you should stay silent in life, not because you fear speaking, but because it simply means gaining control over your own actions and thoughts.

Sometimes, silence is indeed golden. It can save you from unnecessary drama, stop a fight from growing worse, or even make you seem more knowledgeable and composed than you really are.

This is not about being scared to voice your opinions; it’s about knowing why you should remain