If you want to succeed in life, it helps to have a high EQ. It’s your emotional quotient (a.k.a. emotional intelligence) and basically, it’s how well you understand your own emotions and those of the people you interact with. When you’re keyed-in, observant and reflective when it comes to feelings, you can be a better leader, spouse and overall human being. Unfortunately, not everybody has this ability.

Think about the people you know who aren’t great at reading non-verbal communication, those who are oblivious about how their constant negativity wears on others, or the people who get angry when having to deal with feelings or confrontation. This kind of stuff happens all the time, but only truly emotionally intelligent individuals know how to respond in a way which steers the situation toward a positive outcome.  

Spell it out

When dealing with someone who’s not great at discerning your mood or sentiment, you might as well just tell them what you’re thinking. After all, it has been said that 55 percent of communication involves body language, 38 percent is your tone of voice, and only 7 percent is comprised of spoken words. If it’s important to you that the other person understand how you feel, there’s no point in playing a silent game or waiting to see if they’ll figure it out. If he or she has a low EQ, they won’t.

Restrain yourself

If you’re feeling something strongly, but the person you’re up against is averse to emotion, you’re wasting your time to explain yourself so as to change their way of thinking. You won’t. Chances are, your tears, worry, frustration or anger aren’t going to help them sympathize with you. Rather, they’re likely to regard you with less esteem, get mad themselves or retreat. Instead, remain calm and state your case succinctly and then stop talking.

Have empathy

One problem with people who score low in emotional intelligence is that they’re unable to empathize with how and why people feel a certain way. If you believe yourself to have a high EQ, then you need to use the assets you’ve been given to be the bigger person. Someone who drones on with lengthy stories is really looking for others to validate their worth. Yes, you can be rude and cut them off. Yes, there actually are fake-call apps you can use to stage an exit. But supposedly, you’re the one with the high EQ, right? Listening to a boring story won’t kill you, and it certainly won’t last forever. Listening with attention and empathy is a kindness and you can leave the encounter feeling like a good person.