We all know how important intelligence is in life.
However, if you want to be successful in your career, just being a smart cookie will only get you so far.
Your emotional intelligence (also called EQ and EI) can also be an important factor in your success.
But how can you tell if you’re self-aware enough to recognize and respond to emotions (your own and those of the people around you)?
Well, here are five subtle signs that your emotional intelligence is strong, even if it doesn’t feel like it:
1. You say ‘sorry’
Yes, we all know the dangers of saying “sorry” too much. After a while, the word loses its meaning.
However, if you’re a person who can muster up a genuine apology when you’ve done wrong, that’s a sure sign of emotional intelligence, according to “Hiring for Attitude” author Mark Murray writing in Forbes.
2. You question yourself
Questioning yourself probably doesn’t sound like a great trait. Confidence is key, right? Well, there’s a difference between overwhelming self-doubt and self-reflection. As Justin Barro wrote for Inc., it’s important to hone your emotional intelligence by asking yourself whether or not certain things need to be said. These questions shouldn’t make you doubt yourself, they should simply boost your self-awareness.
3. You never sugarcoat
This one sounds a bit counterintuitive. Isn’t emotional intelligence all about making other people feel good? Well, no. Not really.
As Murray writes for Forbes, “Emotional intelligence requires recognizing emotions in others, but this other awareness doesn’t mean shying away from speaking the truth or using tricks to try and soften the blow of tough feedback. People with emotional intelligence know how important it is that tough messages get heard.”
4. You’ve gone to therapy
According to Sarah Fader writing for Psych Central, attending sessions with a good therapist will allow you to become better in-tune with your emotions. This, in turn, will equip you to better recognize those emotions in others.
5. You’re not just a happy person
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about emotional intelligence. As Dr. John D. Mayer writes for Psychology Today, “…journalistic accounts of EI often have equated it to other personality traits. Emotional intelligence, however, is not agreeableness. It is not optimism. It is not happiness. It is not calmness. It is not motivation.”
It’s simply being able to manage your own and others’ emotions.
*Originally published on Yahoo.