8 Things Emotionally Intelligent People Don’t Do

Emotional intelligence is a basic requirement for healthy relationships, be they professional, romantic, or social. It grants us the ability to recognize our own, and other people’s, emotions, and to use that emotional information to guide our behavior in healthy ways.


Without it, relationships lack the natural give-and-take dynamic that successful ones always have. They lack ease, fun, and that certain spark that keeps them sustainable. Here are 8 things emotionally intelligent people don’t do.

1) They don’t blame other people when things go wrong 

In other words, they keep their side of the street clean. When things go wrong they’ll do what they can to help the situation and whatever’s beyond it; they’ll let it go and leave it up to others who can effect change. This is about personal responsibility and acting with integrity when we do take action. It’s not about pointing fingers or adding more complication than necessary to existing problems. 

2) They don’t try to manipulate people

Attempting to manipulate people or situations to go in our favour happens when we don’t trust ourselves to be able to produce (or be worthy of) the outcomes that we want naturally. Emotionally intelligent people understand that what is, is, and we can no more manipulate other people into acting in our favour than we can “change” them. They recognize when something’s not working and they won’t try to push or force things — that’s a losing game. 

3) They don’t seek or expect perfection

Emotionally intelligent people know their capabilities and limits, and are willing to accept others’ too. They don’t expect anyone to go above and beyond a job requirement or relationship requirement in an impossible way and they don’t continually search for someone who can. They get that one person can only do what one person can do, and that there comes a time when that has to be accepted. 

4) They don’t expect anyone else to make them happy

We can’t expect anyone else to provide us with an emotional state that we’re not ourselves capable of being — if we don’t love ourselves, we can’t accept some deep, life-changing, intimate love from someone else. If we’re not able to have a good time in our own life, we won’t be able to consistently “be granted” a good time by someone else. No one else has the power to “make us” happy if we ourselves are not able.

5) They don’t fear change

Those who are emotionally intelligent don’t cling to rigid self-imposed structures for fear of what will happen if they let go. Instead, they’re able to accept change and the growth opportunities it brings. They trust themselves to be able to do what they need to do in order to “ride the waves” and support themselves however they need support in the face of possible adversity. 

6) They don’t hold grudges

Grudges are huge energy blocks that hold back our potential for forward-motion — keeping them doesn’t “punish” anyone but us. Emotionally intelligent people know that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean condoning someone else’s bad behaviour, but rather is about freeing ourselves from a situation that’s keeping us in the past. It’s about accepting that what’s done is done, and understanding that wishing the past could be different doesn’t serve us. 

7) They don’t think their feelings will kill them

Or, they don’t assume that feeling bad means that life is terrible or that they’re doomed. They accept their feelings for what they are — feelings, not necessarily death sentences. Feeling our feelings is a necessary part of healing, and of being human. If we try to bypass them, we can’t fully heal. Feeling our feelings (but not dwelling on them) is our emotional responsibility — we have to do it in order to get our minds out of the past and the future and be present.

8) They don’t create, or get caught up in, drama

Emotionally intelligent people recognize drama for what it is, and will seek out more constructive conversations to participate in. They know that drama is distraction, is chaos, is just planting seeds of negativity. We have to pick and choose our battles. Spending our time and energy on what really matters is a choice we make.

Kait Fowlie is a Toronto-based freelance writer, digital marketer and collector of wellness wisdom.