Emotional Intelligence in a Relationship: Everything You Need to Know


Every day we can observe how much trouble happens when people commit acts under the influence of emotions. An incorrectly chosen tone of voice can spoil the evening. An unrestrained boss can break a career, a hot-tempered husband or naughty wife – destroy the marriage. And so on ad infinitum, up to wars and revolutions.

All because of the fact that many of us make rash decisions because of the abundance of the heart, not understanding what is really happening and what other people feel. It may even seem to an impetuous person that if an offensive word was spoken in a burst of emotions, it may serve as an excuse: “I didn’t want to offend you, I just was very angry”! However, only very loving people will accept this excuse. All the rest will try to escape or simply respond accordingly because they will be angry too.

why is emotional intelligence important

There are those who are not accustomed to vent their anger on others because they know the real reason for their bad mood. These are those who understand the feelings of others, who know how to manage their emotions and do not allow them to overwhelm. These are people who distinguish between an event and their reaction to it. And the reaction is a very subjective thing. According to American psychologists, these people have a high emotional intelligence (EI) - it is sometimes also referred to as EQ (emotional quotient). This is the ability to recognize and control one’s own and other people's emotions. Today, high EI is even more important than IQ.

What is emotional intelligence?

For the first time, the term “emotional intelligence” was formulated by American psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer. They defined it as "a form of social intelligence, including the ability of a person to observe one’s own and other people's feelings and emotions, to distinguish them and act on the basis of the received information." The main components of emotional intelligence are self-control, social skills, self-knowledge, empathy, and motivation.

Scientists were so fascinated by the topic that they launched a series of experiments proving that “emotional intelligence” is not the meaningless flight of imagination of young psychologists but a promising concept that will give an opportunity to understand a lot of interesting things about human nature.

For example, in one of the experiments, they showed a group of people a film with a very sad ending. The results were the following: those of the participants who in principle are able to determine what emotions they are experiencing cheered up faster than those who cannot understand what they feel. Another experiment showed that if a person correctly recognizes the feelings of others, they adapt more easily to changes in the surrounding reality.

Why is emotional intelligence important?

Today, psychologists and scientists are increasingly talking about the importance of developing emotional intelligence. The ability to manage emotions and correctly interpret the feelings of other people affects all areas of life.

In essence, emotional intelligence is a moderator that controls our decisions and actions and helps to make better use of our mental potential. It affects the formation of personality, the development of empathy, the ability to communicate, create strong marital relations, and raise children properly.

components of emotional intelligenceOne of the remarkable consequences of the development of emotional intelligence is the reduction of negative emotions. High emotional intelligence allows you to quickly understand the causes of negative emotions and then assess the situation rationally and respond sensibly, rather than experiencing negative emotions for a long, long time.

A lot of successful people have a highly developed emotional intelligence. There are several reasons. Firstly, the development of emotional intelligence allows you to get rid of many fears and doubts, begin to act and communicate with people to achieve your goals. Secondly, emotional intelligence gives you an opportunity to understand the motives of other people and read them like a book. And that means finding the right people and interacting with them effectively. Thirdly, emotional intelligence can be developed and enhanced throughout life, unlike IQ.

Emotional intelligence in a relationship

The issue of emotional intelligence is highly relevant now - after all, the modern world is dynamic and ever-changing. And relations between people are influenced by the changes of the modern world. Therefore, the problem of relationships between a man and a woman, husband and wife must be solved not only from the outside - through the efforts of scientists and psychologists, but also from the inside - by increasing the knowledge of the spouses, developing the ability to manage their emotions and feelings. In marriage, there are always two emotional poles - he and she. Since childhood, girls and boys have different emotional worlds that form as they grow. Parents often talk about emotions with girls, explain them the essence of different feelings and the reasons for their occurrence.

With boys, on the contrary, most parents stay cool and teach them to restrain their emotions. As a result, girls receive emotional education, and boys do not. Women easily discuss their emotions, men do not know how to do it. For them, it is much more important to maintain restraint and independence.

Also, emotional intelligence in relationships affects what the spouses expect from the relations. Men always want to talk exclusively on business, and women try to find an emotional connection in every conversation. In other words: men do not realize the importance of emotional strategies for the preservation of marriage. And one more difference. Men tend to look at relationships through rose-colored glasses, and women, on the contrary, focus on difficulties and problems. In any case, lack of emotional intelligence in relationships can lead even to divorce.

How to create a healthy emotional reality? What are the ways of improving emotional intelligence in relationships? Psychologists advise following simple tactics. Men should not shy away from a conflict. It is more correct to try to understand that when their wives discuss problems and offenses, they show love and try to maintain relationships. At such moments, the irritation of a woman does not mean personal attacks. The most important thing that women want is that men recognize and appreciate their feelings.

Moments of disagreement enable the couple to bring emotional intelligence into marriage. Every strong feeling involves an urge to act. The ability to regulate these impulses is the basis of emotional intelligence. But very often, it is almost impossible during an argument – emotions are going wild. The only right tactic in such cases is self-complacency. In the moments of conflict, a person loses the ability to listen and clearly express their thoughts, so they just have to ask for a timeout and then try to listen to a partner.

Each spouse must remember: any negative reactions from the other should be perceived as an attempt to demonstrate the importance of a particular issue. Instead of reacting to attacks with attacks, it’s better to listen to a loved one calmly. Empathy is the most effective form of non-defensive listening. One spouse can truly experience the feelings of the other when their own emotions have subsided to a level where they are sensitive enough to the feelings of the spouse. Without this, one partner has an incorrect perception of what the other feels. Empathy disappears if the feelings of one partner are so strong that they do not allow any possibility of harmonization.

Another wrong emotional tactic is negative attitudes towards a spouse. The first thing you can do is catch these thoughts and try to reconfigure them in a positive way. How does it work? After a quarrel, you can decide that your partner is selfish and always thinks about themselves. This is a negative emotional setting. Your task is to give everything a positive direction. Just remember all the good deeds of your spouse. It will provide an opportunity for a positive solution to the problem.

emotional intelligence in relationshipsMany of the emotional reactions that we show in adulthood come from childhood, and they are not easy to correct. But if you want to save the marriage and build healthy family relationships, then you need to persevere and learn to create a common emotional intelligence in the couple. A little emotional competence - the ability to calm down, show empathy, the ability to listen to a spouse - will help in solving almost any problems. In such an atmosphere, people easily overcome any disagreements and eradicate flaws that can destroy a family.

A relationship is “work.” Everything comes with a price. And the relationship between men and women is a very complex foundation, which is laid brick by brick but can be destroyed instantly - under the influence of emotions.

How to improve emotional intelligence

Now you know the importance of emotional intelligence. Unlike IQ, it can be developed in any period of life. It is only necessary to want it and put a little effort. Here are some tips on how to increase emotional intelligence.

Every time when there are negative emotions, try to find a way that will nullify or smooth them. For example, listen to classical music, walk in nature, etc.

Realize yourself. Write down what you feel. Analyze why you have such a feeling and how you behave in different situations (in a state of peace, pleasure, joy, anger, etc.). It is the best way how to develop emotional intelligence.

In the event of a dispute or controversy, try to put yourself in the opponent's shoes and understand what he or she feels. Be interested in the opinions of people. It helps to develop empathy.

Find a person with whom you can share the most intimate things. It helps to discharge and relieve emotional stress.

It is impossible to control emotions, but you can control your reaction to them. Try to respond to negative emotions with a more restrained behavior. Do not let them overcome you. Look at the cause of an emotion from a different angle, maybe you have a different perception of the behavior. Try to get into your partner’s head, realize the reasons for their actions, maybe you will immediately understand it.

In the modern world, meeting and building relationships, becoming husband and wife, a man and a woman often forget about the need to listen, hear, and feel each other, which leads to rejection and possible divorce. Developing the ability to understand other people and their emotions can help save the family!