You’ve probably heard the term “emotional intelligence” used in relation to career performance, leadership, and success. But your level of emotional intelligence (EQ) has a profound impact on your relationship satisfaction and success, according to a number of studies. It is essential for cultivating a conscious, evolved connection with your partner.
In his book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, psychologist Daniel Goleman suggests that EQ may be more important than IQ, since standard intelligence scores are quite narrow and don’t reflect the full scope of human intelligence.
Our ability to relate well with other people, particularly our intimate partners, has more to do with our long-term success and happiness than our reasoning and analytical abilities.
Goleman’s book popularized the importance of EQ, but the term “emotional intelligence” was originally created by two psychologists and
researchers, Peter Salovey and John Mayer, who pioneered this new view of what intelligence encompasses 먹튀검증업체.
Emotional intelligence includes the ability to express and control our emotions, as well as the ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others. Salovey and Mayer devised a model with four factors that they believe comprise emotional intelligence.
1. Perceiving Emotions: To understand emotions, you need to perceive them accurately. This perception can involve understanding nonverbal cues, like body language and facial expressions.
2. Reasoning with Emotions: This step involves using your emotions to prompt thinking, reasoning, and analysis. Emotions help us prioritize what we pay attention to and react to and how we respond emotionally to these things.
3. Understanding Emotions: The emotions we perceive from others can reflect many things. If someone is showing anger, we have to interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean. This involves a more sophisticated ability to discern various possible reasons without jumping to conclusions.
4. Managing Emotions: Your ability to manage emotions effectively is a crucial part of EQ, especially when it comes to your love relationship. Regulating your own emotions and responding appropriately to the emotions of others are part of emotional management.
So what does all of this mean for you and your partner?
When you both work to develop the skills of emotional intelligence and apply them to your relationship, you increase self-awareness, learn to manage your emotions in heated or difficult situations, and develop abilities such as empathy and active listening that make you more caring and effective partners.
Developing your EQ is a lifelong process that involves creating many new habits, not just one.
Unlike IQ, which doesn’t change significantly over a lifetime, your EQ can evolve and increase as you continue to learn and grow within your relationship.
The longer you work on developing these EQ habits over time, the more intimate and satisfying your relationship will become. It should be no surprise that low EQ in one or both partners is correlated with relationship dissatisfaction.
Below is a list of emotional intelligence habits that you might want to focus on. Take a moment to read through the list, and make notes about where you might need some work.
-Managing and regulating your emotions, especially during stress or conflict
-Speaking kindly and respectfully to your partner
-Reading nonverbal cues like facial expressions and body language
-Expressing your own emotions calmly and clearly
-Expressing physical affection
-Having a realistic sense of your own strengths and weaknesses
-Having relationship goals and values
-Having self-assurance and confidence
-Being able to laugh at yourself
-Showing empathy and sympathy for your partner
-Listening attentively and actively to your partner without becoming defensive
-Showing a consistent willingness to follow through on commitments
-Practicing flexibility and compromise
-Initiating conflict resolution
-Showing interest in your partner and his or her interests
-Sharing equally in household tasks and responsibilities
-Being vulnerable with your partner
-Apologizing and forgiving easily
We cover many of these EQ habits in more detail later, so if you decide to work on one of these, be sure to read the related information in this book. Let’s go over how you can work on developing the habits of emotional intelligence to improve your relationship.
How to Develop This Habit
Start by choosing the EQ habit you want to work on.
Look through the list of behaviors and decide where you need the most improvement in your emotional intelligence.
-Do you have trouble controlling your emotions?
-Is it difficult to express how you feel?
-Do you get easily defensive or critical?
-Do you frequently neglect to honor your word?
Choose just one behavior to focus on at a time, as it will feel overwhelming trying to change too many new habits at once. Speak with your partner and ask him or her where you need to focus your efforts, as you may have a blind spot to your own EQ weaknesses.
You may not agree with your partner’s assessment, but if your partner sees a lack of skill in this area, then working on it can only improve your relationship and your partner’s trust in you.
Write down your past low EQ behaviors.
Make a list of all your past behaviors that show a lack of emotional intelligence related to the skill you want to work on. For example, if you want to express your emotions more clearly and calmly, how have you been expressing them in ways that aren’t clear and calm? What are some specific examples?
Again, you may want to ask your partner for feedback, as he or she may have more awareness around the specific behaviors than you do. It may be hard to hear this feedback, but it’s important to look honestly at your own behaviors before you can change them.
Just being mindful about how you are behaving with low emotional intelligence can go a long way in motivating you to change bad habits into better ones.
Commit to a new EQ habit you want to develop.
Isolating a specific new habit and working on it regularly can be difficult because so many relationship habits occur in response to unplanned situations or conversations that trigger you.
However, if you make a point of proactively practicing a new habit every day, even when you aren’t triggered by circumstances, you will find it becomes a more natural response when situations arise organically.
For example, going back to the habit of expressing your emotions more clearly and calmly, it may be hard to remember to perform this new habit every time the situation merits it. But if you decide in advance that you will express yourself this way at a particular time every day, then you will train yourself to make this new behavior more automatic when you need to use it.
It may feel awkward and out of context to approach your spouse at 4:00 each day and say something like, “I feel frustrated when you spend so much time on your computer and neglect to connect with me.” But if you tell your spouse you are working on this habit, he or she will be more receptive to your efforts.
Some EQ skills will be easier than others to practice on a daily schedule, such as showing physical affection or speaking kindly to your spouse. The point is, regardless of the skill you are working on, you want to do something every day to reinforce the new behavior, even if it feels a bit stilted at first.
Use the rubber band method for changing your behavior.
Review the list of your past low EQ behaviors related to the habit you want to develop. If you have been practicing these behaviors for a long time, they have likely become a knee-jerk, unconscious response to your partner.
It will take some effort to unlearn these bad habits, so we suggest the “rubber band” technique to help you. Put a rubber band on your wrist, and every time you notice yourself reverting to low EQ behaviors related to your new habit, move the rubber band from one wrist to the other or gently pop it on your wrist. This physical interruption of the behavior reminds you to stop what you are doing and replace the old habit with the new one.
For example, if you want to start speaking in a kinder manner, and you notice yourself saying something unkind, stop yourself and move the rubber band. Apologize to your partner, and tell him or her you want to begin again. Then rephrase what you want to say in a kinder way.
Ask your partner for accountability.
Communicating with your partner will help you stay committed to your efforts, especially if he or she encourages this positive habit. Tell your partner exactly what you are working on and how you plan to build this new behavior.
During your regular relationship meetings, ask your partner for feedback on how you are doing with your new habit and how your efforts have made him or her feel. You can make alterations to your habit work based on the feedback you are getting, if necessary.
Move on to another EQ habit after a few weeks.
Once this first new EQ habit has become more automatic and natural for you, then you can begin working on another EQ behavior. Go through the same steps outlined here, and continue to practice the first habit in more organic situations that previously triggered a low EQ response from you.
Note: To learn more about emotional intelligence in relationships, we suggest that you read Dr. Goleman’s book Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships to get a better understanding of how your EQ impacts your relationships.