Where do gifted adults fall on the Emotional Intelligence scale?

Giftedness is most often defined with reference to an IQ score of 130+.  But not everyone who is intellectually gifted is successful in life.  Why?  Some say it has to do with our EQ, or Emotional Intelligence…

It’s great to be smart, to be able to think your way out of complex situations.  Sometimes thinking doesn’t quite get you far enough though.  When emotional factors come into play, more that just high intelligence is necessary. And this is sometimes where gifted adults fail.

Although a gifted person’s IQ may be through the roof, there is much less attention given to their emotional development, at least as expressed in many formal definitions of giftedness.  In other words, someone can have a reasonably high IQ and a reasonably low EQ and still be gifted.

Emotional Intelligence, “a form of intelligence relating to the emotional side of life, such as the ability to recognize and manage one’s own and others’ emotions, to motivate oneself and restrain impulses, and to handle interpersonal relationships effectively,” can vary widely among the gifted.  Variations in EQ can make a difference in how easily and effectively we interact with others and therefore may also influence our external success.

Steve Hein of the EQ Institute wrote “The Ten Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People” (1999).  Reading these habits may give us a quick glimpse into where we stand in terms of emotional intelligence.

High EQ people:

1. Label their feelings, rather than labeling people or situations. “I feel impatient.” vs “This is ridiculous.””I feel hurt and bitter”. vs. “You are an insensitive jerk.” 

“I feel afraid.” vs. “You are driving like a idiot.”

2. Distinguish between thoughts and feelings. Thoughts: I feel like…& I feel as if…. & I feel thatFeelings: I feel: (feeling word)
3. Take responsibility for their feelings. “I feel jealous.” vs. “You are making me jealous.”
4. Use their feelings to help them make decisions. “How will I feel if I do this?” “How will I feel if I don’t”
5. Show respect for other people’s feelings. They ask “How will you feel if I do this?” “How will you feel if I don’t.”
6. Feel energized, not angry. They use what others call “anger” to help them feel energized to take productive action.
7. Validate other people’s feelings. They show empathy, understanding, and acceptance of other people’s feelings.
8. Practice getting a positive value from their negative emotions. They ask themselves: “How do I feel?” and “What would help me feel better?”They ask others “How do you feel?” and “What would help you feel better?”
9. Don’t advise, command, control, criticize, judge or lecture to others. They realize it doesn’t feel good to be on the receiving end of such behavior, so they avoid it.
10. Avoid people who invalidate them, or don’t respect their feelings. As much as possible, they choose to associate only with other people with high EQ.
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  • http://fluffylittleidiot.blogspot.com/ Elizabeth Braun

    I did one of those on-line EQ tests, albeit a fairly detailed one, (and so probably not as wildly inaccurate as many are!!) and got an EQ of about 119. As the average of a number of IQ tests was 138, I felt a bit disappointed with this -esp as I’ve done a lot with emotion related stuff, but I realise that I probably scored lower than I might have done owing to lack of glaring self confidence (they seemed to think anyone who wasn’t cocksure they could climb Everest had some issues!) and natural modesty!!

    I wonder if anyone else avoids doing detailed IQ tests for fear of getting less than 130?? If I did, I would instantly lose all the confidence finding out I seem to fit the ‘gifted’ definition gave me!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get that!!=)

    • Bongstar420

      Yes, god forbid that you get a score less than almost a genius which is definitionally not possible for average people to ever attain.

      Most people will be around 100 forever by definition. Accept it.

      My best “score” of 140 was from hardly even paying attention to it. I was pretty loaded at the time on pot and pills.

  • Brandon

    I’m not buying people with genuinely high IQ will believe this high EQ nonsense. Speaking about your feelings often, and respecting people’s feelings all the time, is not something an intelligent person would do in modern society. I sure as hell won’t, and am pretty sure I’m not emotionally deficient.

    • Bongstar420

      Lots of high IQ folk lack the ability to ascertain “feelings”

      That is bad because most humans are not evolved for operating mostly on intellect. It makes for less effective group management.

      • Brandon

        You missed the point entirely.

    • Jocelyn Townsend

      Hey Brandon,

      I wanted to address your comment, even though it was posted six months ago, I just came across it today. Emotional giftedness is just as prevalent in our society as intellectual giftedness. There are certain developmental aspects we have in common with the intellectually gifted, and places where we differ. Similarly to my intellectually gifted friends, I am able to vividly recall experiences from before the age of two. Unlike some of my gifted friends, most of these memories are in relation to the conceptualization of the feels I was exposed to such as the sensations of birth, being alive, the roles a caretaker, etc. Like you have difficulties understanding why anyone would want to acknowledge emotions as a valid subject to master, I had that difficulties, as a child in an accelerated academic program that had me learning long division and four languages before the age of six, in understanding the importance of mastering these things if the time needed to master then diverted me from expressing myself and my understanding of others throuh story telling, philosophical contemplation and time in nature. In fact, my emotional intelligence as proven not only an asset to myself but to my gifted friends, this is one of the reasons that EQ is necessary in society. There are stressors that effect a person’s ability to prosper. There are children that are abused, people with sensitivities that struggle with illness, those that can’t understand what it is in their environment that disable their ability to prosper. The emotionally gifted individual solves these problems the way that an intellectually gifted adult solves a puzzle or discovers science.
      We have challenges, because we are aware of so much about people, we often become caretakers (this is the emotionally gifted versus the emotionally intelligent or person of average emotional intelligence). At a young age if a person becomes a caretaker, they may not be able to develop their own skills and talents until later in life, which can lead to our own feelings of existentialism. In fact one of the reasons why I’ve always loved having gifted friends was that we have such a symbiotic relationship. I love to write! They love to read! I love to learn about science and listen to scientist speak! They have an aptitude for discovery. Some of them have difficulties keeping friends, I know how to make a social situation feel comfortable so that everyone feels satisfied. In fact, when I feel disheartened because I, as a child and still an adult, have struggled with meeting the needs of others for my own survival feel self-deprecated, my gifted friends often remind me that my talents are plenty, and my abilities to sense and intuit others is a gift, whether or not is it recognized by Mensa. We’ve joked about founding ‘Womensa’ for the emotionally and spiritually gifted. I wouldn’t say that you are emotionally deficient, but stating the EQ is something that is nonsensical or doesn’t exist causing the same alienation to the emotionally gifted community as would have been experienced by gifted people with Aspergers. In fact, a lot of emotionally gifted people have been considered twice exceptional. The therapists that is studying my abilities hypothesized that because I had dyslexia (and still have but I’ve taught myself to read and write by stilling letters in my head and reading upside-down…too complicated to explain), I learned to apply my gifted tendencies towards understanding people, the self, animals, cultures and society. Despite that many people throughout life have suggested giftedness to me, I’m unable to excel on an IQ test. I’ve scored above average, but in part, it feel arbitrary because I can’t relate to numbers the way I relate to living things. Some research has shown that the emotionally gifted have higher amounts of mirror neurons and oxytocin receptors. That is just how our brains were designed. So Brandon, I hope after having read this that you can hold some insight to what it is to be emotionally gifted. If you’d like to still discredit it, that’s fine, but I’d like to have respect for you and it’s challenging to respect a person when they disregard the way you experience reality. So much of respect comes from trying to practice empathy, whether it’s done intuitively or by intentional practice. That being said it’s hard to empathize with something you say doesn’t exist.

  • Bongstar420

    Sorry guys…validating all “feelings” does not constitute the action of a high IQ of any sort.

    “Feelings” drive animals more than “intellect”

    catch my drift?