Reasons Emotionally Unintelligent People Mistrust Emotionally Intelligent People

There are emotionally unintelligent people who mistrust and dislike people with emotional intelligence. In a work setting, this can cause productivity and morale trouble. Teammates who don’t trust each other don’t perform well together. So we are left to explore why they mistrust others with more emotional intelligence. Well, it’s all about the gaps!



Emotionally Unintelligent People: Image is Grand Canyon gap

Why Emotionally Unintelligent People Mistrust Emotionally Intelligent People

Image by YoTuT via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Why Emotionally Unintelligent People Mistrust Emotionally Intelligent People

You might think that it would be easier to trust people who are emotionally intelligent. They are self-aware, self-confident, moderate their own extreme behaviors, and are often good listeners. Sounds good, right? Well, maybe not. It’s often easier to trust someone that’s like you. For someone who is emotionally unintelligent, emotionally intelligent people just seem too different. Remember, mistrust develops in the gaps between people.

The Three Gaps That Cause Mistrust

  1. Tolerance gap. As you develop emotional intelligence, you often become more tolerant of others. You don’t get upset as quickly at other’s gaffes, missteps, and failings. Although this can build trust, it can also trigger mistrust. Those with less emotional intelligence see your tolerance as odd. It actually scares them.

  2. Insecurity gap. Once again, you would think that insecure people would love to be around secure people. Yet someone who is very insecure can feel even more insecure around someone who is emotionally intelligent and very secure. In other words, they feel they could never live up to them. The gap is too big and mistrust creeps in.

  3. Fear / strength gap. This one may surprise you. Picture a strong emotionally intelligent leader. You would think that people would trust them and love to work with them. Yet, insecure emotionally unintelligent people see a huge scary gulf between them and the leader. They even say, “we’re not strong like you”, and even gravitate toward other leaders. Why? Because they think that the strong emotionally intelligent leader will expect them to be strong and confident too.


How to Close These Emotional Unintelligence Gaps & Build Trust

If you are emotionally intelligent and find that emotionally unintelligent employees, teammates, and colleagues don’t trust you …

  1. Show more of your humility. Share your failures and struggles. As you level the playing field, others can see how you are like them.

  2. Ramp up your empathy. Empathy connects people. It shows others how you are there for them. It is trust building magic!

  3. If you are leading others, reassure them that your wings can protect them. This reduces their fear of your strength.

  4. Be patient with them. Remember how long it took you to develop emotional intelligence. Patience along with empathy can build trust. Then with trust, you can help them grow more quickly.


Final Thoughts About Emotionally Unintelligent Employees

Train, develop, and mentor their emotional intelligence. Don’t promote them into management and leadership positions until they’ve made at progress in this area. Make sure you give them specific examples of where you would like them to grow. Ensure that the training is interactive, collaborative, and full of specific feedback on their progress. Emotional intelligence is critical to teamwork, productivity, and great morale. Jump in and create that culture in your organization!



What other gaps have you discovered that cause mistrust?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Post:
10 Ways to Work With Emotionally Unintelligent Teammates
13 Key People Skills for Career & Business Success

©2022 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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