Emotional Intelligence Won’t Make People Like You

Shannon Ashley

This may be a tough pill to swallow.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0Sgxz6_0Xi1uEtm00Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Among the biggest misconceptions about having a high emotional intellect is this notion that people are always going to like you for it. You know, that you’re going to be popular and beloved by all, you emotional smartypants.

Make no mistake. A high EQ is imperative for a more peaceful, productive, and successful life. But it is hardly the secret to a conflict-free one. And it’s certainly not going to make everybody love you.

High emotional intelligence means being okay with the fact that people won’t like you.

What I love about the study of emotional intelligence is that we are talking about a deliberately positive response to the challenges of life.

And one of the biggest challenges people seem to have today is coming to terms with the fact that they aren’t liked by everyone. Social media and technology has made it easier than ever to connect, but that possibility can add extra pressure to be more likable.

Yet a high EQ means that some people will actually like you less.

Weird, right? When we think of emotional intelligence, we have the tendency to assume that such people are diplomatic to a fault. We might even think it means being “Switzerland.”


But real emotional intelligence means that a person knows how to pick their battles. That they know how to respond to uncomfortable situations with integrity, even when it’s hard.

Ultimately, people with high EQs don’t allow others to drag them down or take up residence in their heads. They are cognizant of the emotional energy they spend, and careful to expend energy when and where it matters most.

That means a person with a high EQ isn’t going to “play the game” as people around them might desire. And people don’t like it when those around them don’t do what they want or expect them to do.

You can’t win them all, but you can embrace the truth.

It’s taken me, well, decades to finally up my EQ and quit getting so bent out of shape over every little thing. As a woman with autism and mental illness, the pursuit of greater emotional intelligence has changed my entire life.

It’s not as if I don’t have a long way to go, because I do. Although I’m still learning, I understand my emotional strengths and weaknesses much better today. Which now allows me to enjoy a significantly better quality of life.

But one of the hardest lessons of all has been this: emotional intelligence means you quit falling into the people-pleasing trap. You’ve got to learn how and when to say no throughout your life. And that means you’re going to disappoint plenty of people along the way.

That’s not a bad thing. As you hone your personal EQ, you’ll also learn how to disappoint them with empathy, wisdom, and maturity. If they can’t handle when you let them down, that’s something for them to work on.

Not you.

Becoming a more emotionally intelligent person won’t make you popular. It won’t solve all of your problems, either.

What it will do is make those problems much more manageable.

And that’s a much better pill.

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Single mama, full-time writer, ex-vangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. I cover real-life issues, like family, parenting, relationships, and spiritual abuse.

Cleveland, TN

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