How To Deal With A Spouse With Low Emotional Intelligence
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When you are in a relationship with someone who has low emotional intelligence, it can be frustrating for both you and them. You may feel like your efforts to fix this person go unreceived or even ignored, making it hard to want to continue trying.
There is a reason that people with lower EQs tend to have less happy relationships than those with higher levels of empathy. If your significant other does not understand how you feel and cannot identify what makes you feel good, they will not try to make you feel better by doing things such as washing the dishes or giving you a big hug every night.
They will also likely avoid talking about issues if they do not perceive that you would get angry or hurt when they bring up difficult topics. This could cause you to suppress your feelings and keep silent, which only makes them stay away more.
If this situation persists, it is best to break off the relationship so you can focus on individuals with higher EQs.
Look at your reactions
A lot of times, people with low EQ don’t know how to control their own emotions.
So, they go into emotional situations where they can’t keep their feelings in check. When this happens, it is very difficult for them to understand the level of anger or hurt that their actions put someone through.
This is why there are so many spouses who have a hard time letting go of past mistakes or issues. It could be something as simple as an argument about money that left you feeling bad for weeks. Or maybe it’s more serious like domestic violence or substance abuse.
By being aware of these warning signs, you will be able to help prevent any potential disasters. If you see things getting out of hand, do something!
Don’t wait for things to reach a breaking point before acting but instead, act when the situation first arises. Try talking to each other, asking questions, and really looking into what the other person is telling you – not just about the current issue, but also about anything related to them.
Does anyone else feel insecure around them? Is there something going on with work or school that may be affecting home life? All of these should be addressed immediately to fix the problem.
Help them become more aware
It is very important to understand that your spouse’s low emotional intelligence doesn’t just come and go, like a season, said Lycia Ziegler, PhD, author of The Power of Intimate Relationships: A Handbook for Healthy Love.
It has an underlying cause that can be addressed or treated in the same way as other things that are going wrong — with you. This may sound hard or even scary, but it isn’t.
The most effective ways to help someone who has low EI is by having them acknowledge how they make people feel and learn from those experiences. You could also ask them if there is anything about their behavior that makes you uncomfortable or worried, and what changes you want to make to address these concerns.
By being conscious of their actions and effects, they will naturally get better at recognizing and responding to feelings in others, says Dr. Ziegler. In addition to that, she notes that research shows that people who have higher EQ are happier than people with lower levels.
Help them do the same
It is very important to understand that if your spouse does not show any signs of emotional intelligence, it can be because they are unable to recognize their own emotions or identify what emotion someone else should have.
This could be due to lack of experience with certain feelings, ignorance about how other people feel, or personal biases.
If you try talking to your spouse and they don’t seem to respond, try asking them why they didn’t respond to you? Was it because you said something that made them angry or did they just ignore you?
You might also want to see if there is anything going on in their life that may be causing this. If so, try to address those issues and see if this changes things for the better.
Dr. Robert Feldman — professor emeritus at Harvard Medical School and author of The Emperor's New Clothes: A Survival Guide for Men by Design -- has some helpful tips when it comes to helping your loved one deal with their low EI.
Look to the experts for help
Between being too emotional, not showing emotions, ignoring or putting off other people, and having no empathy, there are many ways that your spouse can be in control of their own emotion regulation.
That is until they get upset or feel hurt, at which time it becomes impossible to contain their emotions.
When this happens, you may find yourself feeling helpless and even angry.
You may also notice that their lack of self-control makes them turn on you, take things out on you, or both.
It’s important to remember that although they might seem like the same person all the time, when they’re under stress, their behavior can change dramatically. It's very difficult to predict what someone will do next.
This is why it’s so hard to be prepared in advance. You just don't know what will set one off as easily as something else would require different strategies.
But here's where things get tricky.
Because most people learn how to regulate their emotions early on, it can sometimes look like your partner has done nothing wrong when they're triggered.
This could make you feel bad about yourself if you realize that you've lost your cool because of an argument that seems trivial to you. Or maybe you felt guilty for getting irritated by something that was beyond your control.
The truth is that unless your significant other is in crisis mode, most arguments aren't worth fighting over.
Try to get rid of the situation
A lot of times, people with low EQ are in poor relationships because they bring their own issues into the mix.
If you’re in a relationship with someone who has little self-awareness, it can be tough to survive.
You have to work extra hard to put up with all of their weaknesses and lack of empathy for what others may be going through.
At that point, you may just need to separate from each other so you can both find more satisfying connections elsewhere.
Breaking up is never easy, but if your goal is to improve your own emotional intelligence or develop stronger relationships yourself, this is the best thing to do.
By investing time in yourself, you will reach higher levels of happiness which will naturally spill over onto those around you.
Look to the future
Even if you are married for years, emotional intelligence in a spouse is something that can grow or shrink depending on what you do with it. If you treat them well, they will treat you similarly.
If you don’t take their feelings into consideration then eventually things will fall apart.
But there is a way to prevent this. You have to be aware of your own emotions and how they affect others.
You need to work on yourself first before trying to help someone else deal with their problems.
Once you have done that then you can start looking at ways to strengthen theirs.
This article will talk about some ways to do this.
Consistency is one of the most important things you can work on with your partner. This means not only staying at home tonight, but also agreeing to meet for lunch next week.
Consistency takes time to develop so don’t expect results immediately. But if you are willing to be persistent then I guarantee yourself that you will find what you are looking for!
It sounds crazy, I know, but it works.
Relationships take effort and work so why would you want to break down the wall of mistrust and disconnection already?
By being consistently there for each other in good times and bad, you show your love and devotion to each other. You prove that you care about them as much as they do about you.
And remember, relationships take two people who truly like and respect each other. If they don’t, then it won’t last.
Don’t reward bad behavior
It is important to remember that emotional intelligence (or lack thereof) in a partner is not just their inability to control tears or feel happy for you, it is also about how they behave towards you.
If your spouse does something bad, like say cancelling the trip because he/she doesn’t want to go with you, don’t give them praise for being so thoughtful and loyal.
That will only make things worse and push them into more negative behaviors.
Instead, try asking what was going through his/her mind at the time.