How Can Emotional Intelligence Improve Relationships
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EQ for short) has become one of the most popular workplace skills. With its growing popularity, companies are offering courses and seminars on how to improve your own EQ and teach it to others.
With more than half of all relationships ending in breakup, developing your empathy and understanding can help prevent or at least mitigate conflicts.
You don’t need to be married to show that people live longer when they have high levels of emotional literacy. A recent study found that those with higher EQ lives an average of five years longer than individuals with lower scores.
While there is no sure-fire way to develop your emotional quotient, practicing certain strategies will make a difference. Here are eight ways you can increase yours.
1. Use “I” statements
This doesn’t mean saying things like, "She's so stubborn." Instead, try using phrases such as, "It seems like she's always trying to prove me wrong," or, "We had an argument about _________. I felt _________________"
The first part of this sentence uses a personal pronoun ("I") along with a verb (to feel). This creates focus, giving you a better idea of what feeling is and why it's important.
2. Refrain from judging
Too often we place judgment onto other people, thinking something must be behind their behavior.
A second important factor in improving your relationships is teaching yourself to have more control over your emotions. When you are able to contain your emotions, they can shift into a better place.
This is especially helpful in tough times. If you’ve been hurt by something or someone, you may feel angry or resentful at them.
But if you can take some time away from what happened and focus only on yourself, you will realize that you will be all right. You will think about things so that you can figure out how you felt before going back to work on rebuilding your confidence as person and being.
You would also look at ways to prevent similar situations from happening in the future. This way, you can keep yourself safe and avoid repeating mistakes.
Self-confidence is an excellent quality. But it can be tricky to find when you’re not sure of yourself and those around you don't seem to agree with you.
Be honest with your partner
It’s easy to assume that because of who you are, what you know, and how well you perform in certain areas of life that your loved one will trust you or even respect you. But being trustworthy is not just about having enough money to be credible, it’s also about being truthful.
Being true to yourself means telling the person you love everything you want to do and everything you think they would like to hear. Being true to someone else means avoiding attempts to influence their thinking through positive comments or argumentations.
It can be difficult to tell whether something is a lie when you’re talking to somebody, but if you could see things from your lover’s perspective, then you might be able to detect deception.
Be honest with your friends
When you are spending time with someone, it is important to be aware of their emotions so that you know what’s going on for them.
If you notice that they seem down or depressed, ask if there is anything wrong. Is something happening at work that is bothering them? They may feel like they can’t talk about it because they don’t want to make things worse.
By being aware of other people’s feelings, you will have a better idea of what needs attention and what can wait until later.
The more open they become about how they are feeling, the easier it will be to fix the problem.
Be careful not to put too much pressure on them to ‘fix’ everything, but if you see that they are struggling to relax then try to distract them or do something with them so that they feel relaxed and able to speak freely.
Be honest with your family
Sometimes, in relationships, people try to cover up their emotions for as long as they can bear them.
This usually happens when there is no one around to witness the emotion that person has under control. When this becomes too much, they eventually let go and say something or do something that they have been trying to avoid.
By saying these things then, they may actually hurt someone else – which is not what you want to happen.
So, being able to recognize and understand other’s feelings is important. Being able to identify those feelings and how to address them is even more important.
If you are having trouble addressing an issue head-on, it might be time to look into your emotional intelligence.
There are many ways to develop your EQ including through self-reflection and counseling.
Be honest with your coworkers
Sometimes, in the workplace, we get into situations where someone is not quite right for the job or the position. You know what they are doing that makes you uncomfortable, so you keep quiet to avoid any conflict.
However, emotional intelligence (or EQ as it’s often referred to) allows you to recognize when something isn’t working and how to address it. If you want to see changes happening, then you need to be open about the situation and what needs to change.
Be honest with your customers
As mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence is making sure to control your own emotions and understand what effect your actions have on others. This includes being honest with yourself and those around you!
By this we mean saying things like “I’m not feeling very motivated today” instead of simply giving up because you don’t feel like doing something. You will find that your colleagues and friends will respect your honesty and work harder to keep you engaged in the process.
At the same time, be aware of how your mood may impact those around you and try to put some effort into adjusting it so that they won’t get too discouraged by your down-state.
And while it might sound obvious, make an attempt to stay in close touch with people who are important to you.
Be honest with your peers
Sometimes, in relationships people say things that hurt each other’s feelings or make fun of each other in front of others.
This is usually done as a way to gain some kind of advantage either by making the other person look bad or because they feel targeted or picked on.
But what most people don’t realize when doing this is that it can be very important for their friendship later.
By being able to read someone’s emotions and expression, you will know if they are willing to repair the relationship at a later date.
If they are, then great! But if not, then there will be little hope for the future.
So, how could having higher emotional intelligence help you in a relationship?
You would have to be more aware of how your partner feels about you and whether they want to keep working together as friends or partners.
Develop your emotional quotient
A lot of people think that EQ is only about having lots of feelings, but this isn’t it at all. That would be like saying social skills are only knowing how to talk about things and being able to read other people’s emotions.
EQ actually has three main components. They are called self-awareness, or understanding yourself; self-regulation, or control over your own behavior, thoughts, and reactions; and empathy, or understanding what actions effect others.
You can improve your emotional intelligence by practicing these concepts in both internal and external settings.