|EQI Core Home | How to
Develop Emotional Intelligence
of High and Low EQ
Listed below are general
characteristics of people with high and low EQ. It is
important to note that by "EQ" we mean a
person's level of emotional skill and emotional health -
in other words, how well his innate level of emotional
intelligence has been developed. There is an important
distinction between a person's early potential for high
EQ and their actual development of it. A person's actual
emotional development is affected greatly by their
environment, and it can be significantly improved during
These are generalizations, but are
helpful as guidelines. Please note that these lists
include general signs of high and low self-esteem, as
well as other variables which have not in fact been
specifically correlated to emotional intelligence as
defined by Mayer and Salovey.
Signs of High EQ
A person with High EQ:
- Expresses his feelings clearly
and directly with three word sentences beginning
with "I feel..."
- Does not disguise thoughts as
feelings by the use of "I feel
like...." and "I feel that...."
- Is not afraid to express her
- Is not dominated by negative
emotions such as:
Fear, Worry, Guilt, Shame, Embarrassment, Obligation, Disappointment, Hopelessness, Powerlessness,
Dependency, Victimization, Discouragement
- Is able to read non-verbal
- Lets his feelings lead him to
healthy choices and happiness.
- Balances feelings with reason,
logic, and reality.
- Acts out of desire, not
because of duty, guilt, force or obligation.
- Is independent, self-reliant
and morally autonomous.
- Is intrinsically motivated.
- Is not motivated by power,
wealth, status, fame, or approval.
- Is emotionally resilient.
- Tends to feel optimistic, but
is also realistic, and can feel pessimistic at
- Does not internalize failure.
- Is interested in other
- Is comfortable talking about
- Is not immobilized by fear or
- Is able to identify multiple
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EQ for Everybody Book
of Low EQ
A person with Low EQ:
- Doesn't take
responsibilities for his feelings; but blames you
or others for them.
- Can't put together
three word sentences starting with "I
- Can't tell you why
she feels the way she does, or can't do it
without blaming someone else.
- Attacks, blames,
commands, criticizes, interrupts, invalidates,
lectures, advises and judges you and others.
- Tries to analyze you,
for example when you express your feelings.
- Often begins
sentences with "I think you..."
- Sends "you
messages" disguised as "I feel
messages" For example, "I feel like you
- Lays guilt trips on
- Withholds information
about or lies about his feelings. (Emotional
- Exaggerates or
minimizes her feelings.
- Lets things build up,
then they blow up, or react strongly to something
- Lacks integrity and a
sense of conscience.
- Carries grudges; is
- Doesn't tell you
where you really stand with her.
- Is uncomfortable to
- Acts out his
feelings, rather than talking them out.
- Plays games; is
indirect or evasive.
- Is insensitive to
- Has no empathy, no
- Is rigid, inflexible;
needs rules and structure to feel secure.
- Is not emotionally
available; offers little chance of emotional
- Does not consider
your feelings before acting.
- Does not consider
their own future feelings before acting.
- Is insecure and
defensive and finds it hard to admit mistakes,
express remorse, or apologize sincerely.
- Avoids responsibility
by saying things like: "What was I supposed
to do? I had no choice!
- Holds many distorted
and self-destructive beliefs which cause
persistent negative emotions
- May be overly
pessimistic; may invalidate others' joy.
- Or may be overly
optimistic, to the point of being unrealistic and
invalidating of others' legitimate fears.
- Frequently feels
inadequate, disappointed, resentful, bitter or
- Locks himself into
courses of action against common sense, or jumps
ship at the first sight of trouble.
- Avoids connections
with people and seeks substitute relationships
with everything from pets and plants to imaginary
- Rigidly clings to his
beliefs because he is too insecure to be open to
- Can tell you the
details of an event, and what they think about
it, but can't tell you how she feels about it.
- Uses his intellect to
judge and criticize others without realizing he
is feeling superior, judgmental, critical, and
without awareness of how his actions impact
- Is a poor listener.
Interrupts. Invalidates. Misses the emotions
being communicated. Focuses on "facts"
rather than feelings.
Adapted from EQ for
Everybody by Steve Hein, 1996,