Emotional Intelligence in Relationships
Most of the time, when confronted with the term emotional intelligence, individuals jump to a conclusion, assuming that it is a simple reference to the ability to use emotions intelligently. Is it that, yeah………… but my point is that emotional intelligence is a vast topic comprising an insane amount of research. It isn’t so much a slang term, but something you could spend your entire life working towards mastering. A researcher may spend their entire life teaching emotional intelligence, even.
I must point out that intelligent people don’t necessarily have high emotional intelligence scores. Unintelligent people don’t necessarily have low emotional intelligence scores. In reality, emotional intelligence is something that is cultivated throughout life’s ups and downs. In Psychology, we are always asking why the heck people do the dumb things that they do, why seemingly smart individuals show such stupidity at times, why seemingly good people perform untold evils. Raw IQ didn’t get anywhere near explaining these questions. We see shooting sprees take place, with the shooter’s family always dumbfounded and relaying that he/she was a good kid, just a little shy, perhaps. We then see individuals with no education or relatively low IQ scores doing very well financially and in their emotional life, in general. What, then, explains this? Emotional Intelligence.
With my vast exposure to E-IQ, I am able to teach it and have my own ways of interacting and enhancing the concept. If I was going to boil it down to a cursory notion, it would be that it is the proof that an individual can handle life’s ups and downs, maintaining positive drive and direction. I don’t care how great you are at work when everyone is being nice to you. I don’t care how great you are at picking up women and romancing them. I am concerned with how you face adversity. As a former non-commissioned officer in the Army, I will tell you that we were evaluated and rated on that very concept of facing adversity, something ever-present in various forms for military personnel.
As a relationship coach, my principal focus is upon relational dysfunction, which is the breakdown of the relational connection – when facing adversity. I teach and coach ways to handle difficult moments, along with helping to reframe the minds of individuals to no longer create so many difficult moments. If someone is single, he or she ultimately does not give a hoot how great you are for the first three weeks, when they are thinking about a relationship thriving for decades.
Think about the following:
· What you are going to be like when I make a mistake.
· What is going to happen when I offend you.
· What is going to happen when I am having a horrible day.
· If I give up.
· When I lose my temper.
I mention those because it greatly helps us evaluate Emotional Intelligence, especially in romantic relationships. Whether you like it or not, relationships thrive on unconditional love and die on conditional love. Game theory helps us evaluate the effect of either, neither or both in play.
A very abbreviated explanation of Game Theory helps to illustrate the forces of conditional love and unconditional love at play in a romantic relationship. In game theory (simplified), you have two individuals in an operative environment. Each has the option of cooperating with or backstabbing the other individual. If both backstab, there are no rewards. If one cooperates with a backstabber, the rewards go to that devious one. And finally, if both cooperate, it is mutually beneficial. In Game Theory research, we see some interplay between cooperating and backstabbing, with a tendency to cooperate. Backstabbing almost always leads the other into reciprocity. They either cooperate again because one got even or because they both tried to backstab at the same time.
In figure 1, we see the conditional (sinusoidal) waveform, cycling above and below the solid, unconditional love line. Per our Game Theory example, backstabbing is the cycling sinusoidal waveform. If the waveform cycles upward, it is romantic partner #1, and if down, romantic partner #2. As you should see, there are elements of conditional love at play, but a relationship anchored by unconditional love. As in figure 1, we only see one cycle (up or down) at a time, meaning that the other romantic partner is cooperating. In figure 2, we see both romantic partners participating in the same behavior, as if mirrored. They are only called romantic partners because they agree to stop the nasty arguing.
Often, dating ends up being a charade, not foreshadowing a durable and long-lasting love. Connection is easy to develop when our bodily hormones are doing much of the work for us. A relationship who’s courtship went well, even too well, likely suffers from the same underlying flaw of the breakup, itself: a lack of Emotional Intelligence. A couple might fall head over heels in love with one another, during courtship, only to find out that they rushed into a serious relationship or even marriage. It seems as if the post-dating phases of the relationship should be easy. But, we see that hormones can mask a partner that has little to no conflict management skills, Emotional Intelligence or authentic (self-derived) desire.
The couples that go through a more abbreviated and extreme courtship suffer from the same lack of impulse control that leads to the mistakes that are bases for bitter arguments, but also the same lack of impulse control that makes a disagreement so bad. In future articles, I will explain the marriage survival rate research itself, but for now I will briefly mention that these particular relationships suffer very high rates of failure. There is no such thing as two perfect people that date well and just can’t keep it together long-term. Of course, however, the other person is almost always deemed totally responsible for the dysfunction and breakdown in the relationship.
A lot of individuals are concerned with trying not to get into a doomed relationship or with someone that won’t hold up their end of the bargain. It’s as if we have the assumption that individuals that can hide glaring holes in their five Emotional Intelligence competencies for years. From my experience working with single individuals, individuals in relationships or both, I’ve found that there is no such thing as one bad partner with all or a vast majority of the blame. Instances in which this would be true are absurdly rare. More likely, a lot of blame rests on both sets of shoulders, meaning that there are a lot of relationships that could survive and thrive, if only they took an approach that rebuilds connection. Those high intensity relationships I mentioned earlier don’t have to die by their statistically abysmal success rates, but can defy them as long as each partner learns and grows.
If you are intrigued in mastering relational E-IQ, then I strongly urge you to contact me at Admin@relationshipteacher.com. We will discuss how much or how little is needed to get you to realize your desires, dreams and goals. The program and related materials include a stupefying amount of information that will change your life.