Are You An Emotional Idiot?

Image by Nikki Ovadia from Pixabay

Emotional intelligence, emotional leadership, emotional quotient – it goes by many names; but it refers to your capability to not only recognize your own emotions but also those of others.

Additionally, being book smart doesn’t make you street smart or people smart. On that note, here are 5 signs of emotional immaturity – and what can be done to improve. 

They Always Have To Be Right

Emotionally immature people feel the need to always be right. Worse, they need to be the only one that’s right. They’ll stand their ground and continue arguing till their point is made (and taken). However, emotionally mature folks are able to expand their perspectives and accept that there are other opinions and solutions. In fact, they’ll try to integrate those opinions into their train of thought and to reconsider their suggestion accordingly.

What To Do Instead: 
Firstly, you can admit (even if it’s just to yourself) that you don’t have all the answers. Try saying “maybe there’s another way”, or even a simple “I don’t know” might be a good start in times of arguments. Rather than completely running away from this phrase, it paradoxically brings you a sense of calm.

They Get Defensive

Emotionally inept people tend to get defensive when they are proven wrong. You can expect  them to throw a tantrum, dismiss the issue, or even some name-calling. While emotionally mature people can get angry (sometimes, furiously mad!), they will not resort to putting you down or walk away from the issue as a solution. 

What To Do Instead:
If you find yourself getting really angry, don’t dismiss the feeling. It’s alright to be angry, let the other person know how you’re feeling and that you need to take a moment to calm down and be in a better state of mind. When you’ve calmed down, try to approach the topic in a more objective-driven manner. 

They Are Passive-Aggressive

As they’re not able to accept other people’s opinions and decisions, emotionally immature people would usually get passive-aggressive in their responses. Rather than conveying what they need in a mature manner, they’d rather give snide remarks to evoke a reaction. However, emotionally mature people are thoughtful in their actions and responses, and will get the message across in a non-condescending manner. 

What To Do Instead:
It might be hard to react maturely in the heat of the moment, take a step back and see the bigger picture. What did you truly want out of the conversation and focus on the objective. The mantra is: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

They Ignore Others' Needs

It’s all about me, me, me; when ti comes to emotionally immature people. Emotionally intelligent people tend to empathise better, making it easier for them to understand the needs of others. While it’s completely human to be selfish time and again, it’s important to keep the balance between the need to pursue your own goals and the need to consider other people’s feelings.

What To Do Instead: 
For those who feel a little self-absorbed, take some time to reflect on your actions. Do you say ‘no’ to suggestions more than a ‘yes’?

For this, you can start by saying ‘maybe’ more often. Rather than rejecting other ideas immediately, say ‘perhaps’ first; then take time to weigh the pros and cons. Alternatively, a fun activity to challenge those who likes to take control of conversations is to truly keep quiet until the other finishes talking; or ask questions instead of only sharing your opinions.

You’ll see that the more you hear, the more you’d know (and that can’t be too bad thing).

Bonus: 5 Components of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Being emotionally intelligent will have the advantage when it comes to work as you will know how to deal with people better. According to author Daniel Goleman, there are five main elements of emotional intelligence. Here are some competencies to improve your EQ: 

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social Skills
Written by

Cheryl Toh

Last updated on

December 13th 2019, 6:30 pm

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