Last week, NFL player Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson was in court and was caught on tape and seen by those in the courtroom when he butt slapped his attorney. It seemed an innocent move, done as an "atta boy" but a very good example of the power of emotional intelligence (EQ).
Part of EQ is responding in appropriate ways based on how you read the environment and what is most appropriate behavior. In many cases, as with Johnson's, perfectly appropriate behavior in one situation can be completely wrong in another if you lack situational awareness and accurately reading the environment.
The tipping point between high and low EQ is subtle but incredibly important. It requires presence of mind and an ability to manage impulsive reactions. Poor Chad, it happens to the best of us. Just usually not so publicly.