Emotional Intelligence and Analysts: Finding What Works

Analyst personalities often get a bad rap when it comes to emotional intelligence. People, especially of other personality types, are quick to point out Analysts’ perceived flaws while failing to acknowledge the strengths that they do possess. Emotional intelligence consists of more than just talking about feelings and expressing emotions. Assertiveness, problem-solving, and even impulse control are all skills that are aspects of this type of intelligence – and Analysts are often able to apply them very successfully. Their shared personality traits do make them more likely, however, to gravitate toward excelling in some areas while they struggle in others.

Specifically, their Thinking trait encourages these personality types to approach situations with logic and rationality. This can be helpful when solving problems like balancing their budget or finding the most efficient route for their upcoming road trip. When dealing with an especially emotional situation, however, their focus on efficiency over empathy can be downright detrimental.

Fortunately, there are many ways that Analysts can leverage their strengths to balance out any issues that they may be dealing with. The following paragraphs will discuss several areas of emotional intelligence that Analysts are likely to be proficient at. This will be followed by ideas on how they can use these strengths to improve on other areas where they may struggle.

What Works

Being intellectually oriented has its perks, and one of those perks can be a high level of confidence. This is especially true for Analysts with the Assertive Identity trait. Whether or not other people appreciate their abilities, Analyst personality types are often able to maintain self-assurance in their skills and ideas. This confidence also encourages them to be assertive. Rarely do these types just sit back and allow others to make all of the decisions.

The opinions of others do little to influence their own ideas and beliefs either. Analysts are notoriously independent individuals who refuse to let others hijack their thought processes or emotions. Their abilities to solve problems and test their ideas against reality are less likely to be compromised as a result of this independence. It’s much easier for these personality types to test a theory objectively when they are not being influenced by others’ expectations.

In addition to being excellent skills for their personal development, a balanced use of these traits can be beneficial both socially and professionally. Being able to offer input calmly during a heated discussion among coworkers, for example, can improve the workplace environment while also providing solutions to the issues being debated. Friends will also respect an Analyst who is able to provide them with advice without being overwhelmed by the emotional aspects of the situation.

Overall, Analyst personalities display emotional intelligence traits that are often overlooked during discussions of this topic. Confidence, assertiveness, independence, and excellent problem-solving skills, when well balanced, are important aspects of this type of intelligence. There is potential for these traits to be exhibited in negative ways such as cockiness or self-righteousness. However, Analysts who are able to balance these skills with consideration for the feelings and ideas of others will set themselves up for success in every area of their lives.

What Doesn’t Work

When stereotyping Analysts (which we strongly discourage), they are often pegged as insensitive and immune to the feelings of those around them. At times they can even be thought of as robotic and uncaring. Those individuals who get to know them, however, understand that any aloofness isn’t a result of an inability to have compassion or make connections with others. The truth is, Analyst personalities tend to find expressing their emotions difficult or even unnecessary.

This tendency may give Analysts the impression that they are not influenced by the emotions of themselves or those around them. The reality is, however, that emotions affect everyone, whether they acknowledge them or not. Emotional awareness, or how emotions affect one’s behavior and attitudes, is something that Analysts may find themselves struggling with. If these personality types don’t take the time to assess how they feel when confronted with a difficult situation, they may react in ways that only serve to exacerbate the problem.

A disagreement with a partner can turn into a full-blown argument if an Analyst insists on putting logic above empathy. For example, their partner could indicate that they would appreciate more romance in the relationship – perhaps something like bringing home an occasional bouquet of flowers. The Analyst may become defensive and focus on disputing the necessity of such actions: “Why should I have to buy something, especially if it’s just going to die anyway, to prove my feelings for you?”

While this statement is valid, it misses the point that their partner was trying to make. What their partner was focused on wasn’t the item (flowers), it was increased intimacy. The Analyst may believe that they are making a rational argument against a seemingly unnecessary action, but they are really letting their own anger and frustration dictate their behavior. Additionally, they are failing to see the importance of continually expressing their feelings through both words and actions. This lack of emotional awareness, and the subsequent refusal to express their emotions, can create significant barriers to achieving meaningful relationships.

How to Find Balance

Fortunately for Analysts, any obstacles that they may face in the development of their emotional intelligence can be overcome with a positive attitude and practice. Having problem-solving, confidence, and determination as some of their greatest strengths provides these personality types with the tools to improve themselves and their relationships. The following steps can help Analysts learn to find an emotional balance that works for them.

1. Become Aware of Emotions

Independence can be a very useful tool in helping Analyst personality types become more aware of their own emotions and how they are influenced by them. Removing their assumptions about others’ behaviors and focusing on their own reactions and thoughts is one way to use independence to become more emotionally aware. Analysts can do the following brief exercise to help them identify some of the emotions they have experienced and how they were influenced by them:

  • Consider a time when you reacted in a way that made a situation worse instead of better.
  • Write down, in five sentences or less, what occurred that caused you to have a poor reaction.
  • Next, write down exactly what thoughts were going through your mind when you had that reaction or engaged in negative behavior.
  • Now, give an emotional label to each of those thoughts that you had.

Example: You remember a fight that you had with your brother. In a few sentences, you describe how he made rude remarks about you in front of relatives at a family gathering. You reacted by stomping away from the group and not speaking to your brother for the duration of the event – and noticeably so.

The thoughts you were experiencing at the time were, “How could he talk about me like that in front of our relatives? He wasn’t that rude before everyone else arrived. And I really can’t believe that everybody laughed when he was saying those things.” When writing down emotional labels for those thoughts, you realize that you had felt hurt, angry, and embarrassed.

2. Engage in Emotional Expression

Making their ideas and opinions known is generally easier for Analysts than sharing their feelings about a particular topic. Assertiveness can help these personalities overcome any such block by using the same techniques to express their emotions that they use to express their ideas. Specifically, Analysts can embrace confident honesty by using the following exercise:

  • Think of an individual who is very important to you, someone you engage with on a regular basis – such as a parent, spouse, or coworker.
  • Right now (before you have a chance to reconsider), prepare to write them a short text message or email.
  • In this text or email, write down one thing that you have enjoyed doing with this person.
  • Keep it short – you are more likely to second-guess what you’ve written or decide not to send the message at all if you try to make it too long or detailed.
  • Send the message.

Example: You haven’t always gotten along with your mother-in-law, but you still appreciate her and decide to send her a text. You write, “Hello. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your help with the kids this week. I’ve been able to get a lot of work done around the house, and I couldn’t have done it without you.”

3. Practice Empathy

Many people confuse sympathy with empathy. This is one particular area where Analyst personality types can use their problem-solving skills to understand and practice this aspect of emotional intelligence more effectively. Sympathy is a more cognitively oriented ability that helps an individual acknowledge the emotions that someone else is feeling. Empathy, however, is the ability to actually experience another person’s emotions simultaneously. Analysts can learn how to practice empathy by using their problem-solving skills and the following exercise:

  • Find a news article that describes a situation where someone is experiencing a loss or pain of some kind.
  • Put yourself in that person’s shoes – consider exactly what emotions you would be experiencing if you were going through the same ordeal.
  • Ask yourself if you see this person’s situation differently now that you have thought about experiencing it yourself.

Example: You find a news article about a man who lost his home to foreclosure. Reading his story thoroughly, you learn that he and several thousand others were recently laid off by a major auto manufacturer. As a result of the job loss and subsequent financial stress and foreclosure, he found himself going through a divorce as well.

Putting yourself in his shoes, you consider how it would feel to lose your job through no fault of your own. You feel the fear, frustration, and uncertainty that this man must have felt as he lost his income, home, and family. You realize how easily you could end up in a similar situation and find yourself appreciating the comfort and security you currently have.


While it may seem daunting, improving one’s emotional intelligence is a task that even the most skeptical Analyst can achieve. Practicing these skills will not only help these personality types better understand themselves, it will improve their relationships and careers as well. Gaining a deeper understanding of how their emotions influence their actions can help them express their emotions more effectively. In turn, these personality types will find that they are more successful when communicating with friends, coworkers, and loved ones alike. Analysts who put effort into practicing and developing emotional intelligence skills will find that what once seemed to be irrelevant is actually extraordinarily beneficial.

Further Reading

Emotional Intelligence: Having “Smart” Feelings

Empathy Is Important Regardless of Your Type

The Analyst Role

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