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4 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People

4 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People



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Emotional intelligence is the result of good habits, not nice ideas. And if you want to improve your emotional intelligence, commit to these practices:

Let go of unhelpful thoughts

Accept difficult emotions

Handle your mistakes with co...

While our instinct to think more and think harder serves us well most of the time, there are still a lot of situations when more thinking makes things worse

Thinking hard is a tool. And like any tool, it can be used well or poorly.

Emotionally intelligent people und...

  • When an irrational worry is spinning through your mind, thinking more about that worry rarely fixes anything and usually makes you feel more anxious.
  • When you’re lying in bed at 2:00 am not sleeping, thinking more about why you’re not sleeping is only going to keep you awake longer....

It’s natural to run away from painful feelings. But that only makes them stronger in the end.

How you react to things—especially emotionally charged things—teaches your brain what to think about those things in the future.

More than understanding that just because something feels bad...

  • If you consistently try to escape your grief by using alcohol or drugs, you’re teaching your brain that grief and sadness are dangerous. Now you’re anxious about grieving.
  • If you immediately try to calm yourself down any time you feel anxious, you’re teaching your brain that it’s bad...

The habit of self-critical negative self-talk doesn't motivate us to be better in the future. All it does is discourage you because it keeps you feeling anxious, insecure, and full of self-doubt

What if you changed your self-criticism habit into a self-compassion


  • We tell ourselves that if we don’t study harder we’ll fail and not get into a good college.
  • We tell ourselves that if we don’t “suck it up” and “push through” our coach will think we’re lazy and we won’t get to play.
  • We tell ourselves that if we keep acting awkward no one i...

The heart of emotional intelligence is the ability to subordinate your feelings to your values.

The problem is when you get in the habit of making decisions based exclusively on how you feel because your feelings will get you into trouble just as often as they will help you.


  • Is your feeling of desire for that bag of potato chips more “authentic” than your desire to be healthy and fit?
  • Is your feeling of anxiety and self-doubt more “authentic” than the evidence that you’ve given presentations like this dozens of times and they’ve always been well-received...

If it helps, try to get in the habit of thinking about Little-W wants and Capital-W wants:

  • Little-W wants are things like the pleasure of tasting a candy bar or the relief from anxiety when you take those first couple shots of vodka. While not necessarily bad, Little-...

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