Emotional Intelligence

Are there any outward physical symptoms of low emotional intelligence?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. Not directly. Those with lower emotional intelligence don't outwardly look any different from the next person. But, because their emotional intelligence isn't top-notch, they may be more likely to seek out risk factors in their lives that they cannot control, possibly resulting in demonstrable illnesses. Those risk factors could serve as potential outward symptoms, and studies have borne out that people with high emotional intelligence tend to make better choices when it comes to their health. For example, smoking is a risk factor for many brain disorders, but a university study in Barcelona found that students with high emotional intelligence were less likely to take up the habit, while their fellow students with lower levels of emotional intelligence were more likely to smoke tobacco or marijuana. The takeaway was that the students with high emotional IQs were better able to regulate their emotions and so were able to resist the temptation to smoke.

    High or low emotional intelligence may even help a person eat well or poorly. A study from the University of Chicago showed that people with high levels of emotional intelligence made smarter product choices in the grocery store and thus consumed a healthier diet. It's not that the people with lower emotional intelligence did not understand nutrition, but that they had a harder time choosing the healthier options. An example of this phenomenon would be a compulsive eater who can't summon the wherewithal to stop consuming food when he or she is angry or sad. This inability to make wiser food decisions could, in some people, create a collision course with obesity.

    High levels of emotional intelligence have also been linked to better stress management and lower rates of depression.

    Taking these issues into consideration, it does seem as though some outward behaviors may not only result in the possibility of health problems but also may be suggestive of low emotional intelligence.

    More answers from Science Channel »

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