The Connection Between Love and Emotional Intelligence
With February’s arrival comes the holiday we most readily associate with love – Valentine’s Day. While some regard this as a “Hallmark holiday,” we think it can be a good reminder that our personal relationships require ongoing work. The act of loving someone requires emotional intelligence – the act of empathizing with someone, recognizing problems, and being able to connect on a deeper level. The connection between love and emotional intelligence informs our choices of partners as well as how we resolve issues at home. Let’s explore ways you can harness the power of emotional intelligence to improve your personal relationships and professional endeavors.
Love and Emotional Intelligence: What’s the Connection?
While crooners from every decade have been lamenting that mystery we call love, perhaps they should be focusing more on emotional intelligence. Many conflicts in our personal relationships rely on emotional intelligence, which we define as our ability to notice, identify, and appropriately respond to our emotions. Emotionally intelligent individuals are more likely to process their feelings and the feelings of their partners in a healthy manner.
Does My Emotional Intelligence Need Work?
Our emotional intelligence can influence whom we fall in love with, as well as how those relationships play out over time. If you’ve had a rash of failed relationships, or have a hard time connecting with others professionally or personally, it may be a result of an emotional quotient (EQ) that needs improvement. Here are some classic signs you might need to boost your EQ:
- You have a hard time controlling your emotions. Maybe you lash out in anger or burst into laughter at a moment’s notice – either could signal a lack of EQ.
- Your social support network is lacking. Do you have a hard time building and maintaining meaningful relationships with friends and colleagues? This might indicate problems with EQ.
- Do you have a hard time feeling sympathetic or empathetic? Being able to empathize with the feelings of others is an essential part of creating and maintaining lasting relationships.
- Do you have a hard time connecting with movies, books, or media? Horror, tragedy, comedy – these are all intended to stimulate our emotions. If you aren’t moved by media, you may have an EQ issue.
How Can I Improve My EQ?
Your emotional intelligence will help dictate a range of things, from the quality of your personal life to professional success. If you find your EQ lacking, you can take steps to improve it. While some people may be more naturally predisposed to a high EQ than others, we can all take steps toward self-improvement. Yoga and meditation can help improve mindfulness, as can other simple steps, such as:
- Practicing restraint. Rather than responding immediately, take a deep breath and count a few seconds while composing a response.
- Refrain. If you’re the type who makes inappropriate jokes or responds differently in times of stress (a common example is making light at a funeral or other tragedy), take time to listen to others before framing an appropriate response.
The good news is that there are a variety of ways to approach improving your EQ. The Coaching Connector is committed to helping you get to the next level in both your personal and professional life. Read more on the subject including how David R. Caruso, Ph.D., a management psychologist and emotional intelligence expert, says people routinely over and underestimate their emotional intelligence. Keep learning and growing and let us know how we can support you.