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How To Handle Low Emotional Intelligence In Your Relationship
When we think of what we want from a partner, we may have a list of attributes that we look for. It could be their physical appearance, their sense of humour, their hobbies, interests or ethics. However, we often neglect to look for one of the most critical factors that can provide happiness in a relationship; emotional intelligence.
High levels of emotional intelligence are important for a healthy and happy relationship. In fact, studies have shown that high levels of emotional intelligence improve marital satisfaction. So, how can you tell if someone has low emotional intelligence and is there anything you can do to become more compatible?
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence focuses on your ability to be aware of and have control over your emotions so that you are able to express these emotions appropriately. With this, it becomes easier to develop interpersonal relationships and improve positive traits such as empathy and sympathy.
Emotional intelligence aids communication levels. In a relationship, there are so many intense emotions that a high level of emotional intelligence is almost fundamental if you want to be able to communicate and understand your partner effectively. A healthy relationship relies on communication, and if you’re dating someone with low emotional intelligence, it may feel like you’re in a relationship with an immature and sulking teenager!
So, if you’re struggling to communicate effectively with your partner, could emotional intelligence be to blame? Here are some of the key signs of low emotional intelligence.
Five common signals of low emotional intelligence
What’s in it for them?
At first glance, it may seem that your partner is generous, kind and sweet to others. All of these look like positive signs and are definitely attributes you want in a relationship. However, are they only being nice because there’s something in it for them? For example, they may donate to a charity so they can receive respect, recognition and attention for their actions. They may excessively tip the waiter for better service next time. If it is clear they are only doing kind acts because it gives them something in return, then they may not be very generous at all.
If it seems like your partner is only doing something because it will benefit them as well, then this is an indication of low emotional intelligence. Listen to your instincts, if their behaviour seems false or excessive, then it probably is.
The centre of attention
We’ve all met that person that whatever is going on with you, they’ve had it worse and for longer. Perhaps you try to talk about your life, and the conversation always ends up with the focus back on them? In some cases, people will ask seemingly interested questions. This can make you believe they have high emotional intelligence. However, usually, the conversation will end with the other person having the final say on the matter or steering the conversation onto their experiences.
If you are always being let down at the last minute, then this is yet another sign that the person flaking on you has low emotional intelligence. An inability to be honest, or understand their own personal boundaries to decline an invitation in advance shows they do not have a high level of emotional understanding.
Furthermore, this person will not have the empathy to respect your time and schedule by letting you know in advance.
Another hugely common sign of low emotional intelligence is when a person continually criticises others and discusses other peoples’ flaws without recognising their own. Those with high emotional intelligence will identify their own strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, they will empathise with others rather than blame or criticise them.
People with low emotional intelligence will criticise others as a way to excuse their own behaviour. For example; “The project was below standards not because of my work, but because I was given really bad information and my colleague doesn’t know how to write reports properly.”
Or “You know how stressed I get when you do X and Y. I am hurt that you are so uncaring when you already know how stressed you make me and still did X and Y anyway.”
If you want my advice…
In some cases, having someone there to guide you in the right direction can be great. However, in some cases, a person giving constant and belittling advice can be incredibly harmful and damaging. If you cannot share a concern or talk about your life without someone suggesting what you should do and giving their opinion on the matter, then this could indicate a person having low emotional intelligence.
Someone with high emotional intelligence will instead try to understand how you’re feeling. Furthermore, they will try to determine whether you are looking for advice, support or simply a place to vent.
Handling low emotional intelligence
It is important to realise that not everyone has the ability to have high emotional intelligence. People may not be able to be observant, empathetic or in-tune with others. However, there are ways you can make your feelings clear and improve communication with someone who may not be emotionally intelligent.
- Make it clear – Don’t rely on someone to pick up body language or non-verbal cues. Just state the case exactly how it is.
- Empathise – As someone with high emotional intelligence, empathise that someone may not be able to understand how they make other people feel. Be attentive and empathetic can ensure communication is positive between you both.
- Accept it – You will not be able to change the way they think, and it doesn’t matter how many tears you cry, they will not sympathise with you. If anything, an ‘outburst’ will make them think less of you. It will mean they can blame you for them feeling bad. Instead, try to remain calm. Accept that they will not give you the reaction you want, no matter what you do.
If you need more tools to help you handle low emotional intelligence or perhaps looking for ways to boost your own levels of emotional intelligence, then my blended therapy methods of meditation, hypnotherapy and NLP can help. Find out more today by emailing email@example.com to book your free consultation.