I’m Highly Emotionally Intelligent And I’m Not Hiding Anymore

Jon Tesser
2 min readFeb 18, 2022

I’ve worked my ass off over the last 12 years or so to become more emotionally intelligent. Building this skill, just like building any other skill, is hard work, and there’s always more to do. But it’s a skill, just like playing the piano, learning coding, or playing a sport. And just like any other skill, the more you work on it, the better you get.

I’m proud to say that I’m really good at this skill. And yes, I’m also proud to say that I’m probably better than most people at Being Emotionally Intelligent.

I don’t want to be humble about this anymore. Humbleness has only led to disappointment, as being a modest emotionally intelligent person meant that I assumed others were on my level. But I’ve met few people who have worked on themselves as diligently as I have, so here I am waving my Personal Development flag loudly and proudly.

Let me give you an example of how this plays out.

For any testy interaction where difficult emotions are exchanged with someone, I always ask three questions:

1) Did I respond appropriately? Could I have handled it better?

2) How much “transference” was happening on my end based on my emotional baggage?

3) Where were they coming from, and how much of their reaction was about me versus dealing with their own shit?

I naturally assumed that everyone performs these calculations all the time. It’s something I do so effortlessly these days.

But the truth is, most people aren’t at my level in this skill. They react on impulse, and would prefer to blame others and play the victim card rather than implicate themselves. It’s too painful for most people to look inside and say “Yeah, I have my own shit and that was part of the equation.”

I used to be ashamed to say this, as if somehow I am a better person than others for being more reflective and emotionally aware.

But now? Well, I can chalk up a lot of bad interactions with people to “they just don’t know any better.” And this, my friends, is what freedom feels like. Because now, “it’s not you it’s me” makes a hell of a lot more sense. I can stop shaming myself when emotions get out of hand, and look at situations from a “it is what it is perspective.”

This is big for me. I’m happy to own my progress. And for those that think this makes me arrogant, well, maybe it does. But at least I’m arrogant and happy.



Jon Tesser

I use data to understand people. I also help early career professionals find career happiness.