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Unveiling the Link Between Toxic Phrases and Low Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in our daily interactions, shaping how we perceive and respond to others. While it may seem elusive at times, a simple trick can help us decipher the emotional intelligence level of those around us. By identifying toxic phrases and verbal tics, we can gain valuable insights into a person’s emotional intelligence. In this article, we’ll explore three toxic phrases that are indicative of low emotional intelligence and reveal what they tell us about the individuals using them. Brace yourself for a paradigm shift in how you perceive others and yourself.

Toxic Phrase No. 1:

“I know how you feel.” Imagine sharing your struggles or seeking understanding from a coworker, only to be met with a dismissive response: “I know how you feel.” This phrase, often followed by a self-centered monologue, signifies a lack of empathy and the desire to redirect the conversation to oneself. As you question whether you were boring or going on for too long, it becomes apparent that the other person’s emotional intelligence is lacking.

Toxic Phrase No. 2:

“Can’t you just … ?” A favorite among phrases that exhibit low emotional intelligence, “Can’t you just … ?” reflects a simplistic outlook on complex challenges faced by others. Instead of offering genuine support, this phrase suggests an oversimplified solution, implying that the person’s struggles could easily be overcome if they made a simple change. It fails to recognize the multifaceted nature of their situation, undermining their emotions and experiences.

Toxic Phrase No. 3:

“How are you doing–good?” At first glance, asking someone how they’re doing may seem innocuous. However, it is the underlying motive behind this phrase that unveils the speaker’s emotional intelligence deficit. When the person asking the question expects a specific answer, such as “good,” they disregard the genuine emotions and truth the other person may want to express. It reveals a lack of interest in understanding the person’s true state of being and a desire to maintain control over the conversation.

The Power of Observational Clues:

Understanding these toxic phrases helps us gauge the emotional intelligence of others. By keeping track of the conversations we have and the questions asked, we can distinguish between individuals who offer genuine support and those who consistently shift the focus onto themselves. High emotional intelligence is often accompanied by support responses, where the conversation revolves around the other person’s needs and experiences. Conversely, low emotional intelligence is characterized by shift responses, diverting attention away from the other person and onto the speaker’s own perspective.

Shifting Perspectives and Self-Awareness:

Recognizing the impact of emotional intelligence goes both ways. Just as we consider our own imperfections, we should also evaluate whether others possess the self-awareness and emotional intelligence necessary for deeper understanding. It is essential to remember that emotional intelligence, like cognitive intelligence, is not constant and can vary from person to person and situation to situation. Comparing it to seeking legal advice from a preschool-aged child, we must acknowledge that individuals may lack the emotional intelligence required to comprehend certain aspects fully.


By paying attention to the language used and applying the observational trick outlined in this article, we gain a powerful tool for deciphering the emotional intelligence of those around us. Toxic phrases such as “I know how you feel,” “Can’t you just … ?,” and “How are you doing–good?” serve as red flags, indicating low emotional intelligence and a potential lack of empathy. Armed with this knowledge, we can navigate our interactions more effectively, fostering deeper connections and understanding. Remember, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be developed, and by heightening our awareness, we can strive towards a more emotionally intelligent society.


  • WaxMia

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