If you’ve already been through a failed relationship then you probably don’t want a repeat performance. If you’re considering getting into another relationship you should know that emotional intelligence is critical to relationship success.
Gottman Institute research in 1999 showed that 65% of men do not have a high level of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and that 80% of their relationships fail. Gender bias? It’s a cultural and social phenomenon. As a society we tend to encourage girls to develop their emotional intelligence, and shame it out of boys (boys don’t cry, don’t throw like a girl, etc.).
So, these are research statistics. We know there are certainly women out there with low emotional intelligence. I’ve listened to numerous emotionally intelligent men who have suffered in a relationship with a woman who seems to have low emotional intelligence. Mental health issues like narcicisstic personality disorder and bipolar disorder will result in low EQ.
The point is, if you’re wondering whether your new partner is a keeper, consider their level of emotional intelligence. If you’re confused about what this emotional intelligence stuff is, consider geting on board because it can make a huge difference to your long-term relationship success and happiness. It can improve your relationship with your children and help them develop into functional adults. Finally, it can make a significant difference to your performance in the workplace (bonus!).
People with high emotional intelligence:
💜 will accept their partner’s influence.
💜 are interested in their partner’s emotions, not in ‘fixing’ them, but in understanding them, understanding their perspective and appreciating them.
💜 work to de-escalate conflict.
💜 take responsibility for their feelings and behaviour.
💜 turn towards their partner’s bids for connection (e.g., turn off the TV when you ask to talk).
People with low emotional intelligence:
💥 view their relationship as a power struggle, ‘you’re not the boss of me!’.
💥 are not interested in your emotions.
💥 work to escalate conflict and continue the battle.
💥 blame you for the way they feel and their behaviour (‘you make me so mad!’, ‘you gave me no choice’).
💥 ignore your bids and turn away or shut you down. For example, if they are watching TV and you approach them to talk about something and they simply ignore you.
If your new partner seems to have a low level of emotional intelligence, consider moving on. Although emotional intelligence can be learned, you can not force someone to change; they must want to do so. While you can try to discuss it with them, be prepared because they’re likely to reject your bid for connection.
If you do want to encourage your partner to improve their emotional intelligence, please consider doing it together. Each of us can always learn something new, and improving our EQ can only benefit us. Working with your partner on this might provide an opportunity for more connection.
Emotional Intelligence is a large topic. If you want to increase your EQ (there is always room for improvement!) there are several options (ranging from least to most expensive):
❤️Read a bunch of blog posts. Look for blogs written by reputable counsellors/psychologists.
❤️Read a book.
❤️Take a course – search for ’emotional intelligence course’ and you’ll get a long list. Again, choose a reputable source.
❤️Work with a counsellor.
Remember, if it’s all about winning, then nobody wins. Especially the children.