My husband and I met online we chatted for a while then met in person for our first date. We had a good conversation, he impressed me, but I did not fall in love at first sight, nor did he. We definitely had an impact on one another though, we had this feeling like something was different this time.
In the, almost 4 years, we’ve been married now, there are definitely ups and downs. One thing I think that strengthens our relationship, however, is our honesty. I know everything about his past, there’s no secrets, and he knows everything about mine. He tells me the good, bad and ugly, as do I. This honesty is a core to our relationship.
However, there is one thing about me that I admit I’m not always completely honest about, and that’s my emotions, how I’m feeling. Why? Because I honestly do not always know or understand myself.
I admittedly am not the strongest when it comes to emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the capacity you have to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
I would not say I’m personally unemotional, I am actually very emotional what I cannot do is control my emotions or name them easily.
What are signs of low emotional intelligence?
You get stressed easily.
Generally, people with low emotional intelligence stuff their feelings inside. They are unable to express what they are feeling so they don’t express them at all. This can cause stress, tension and anxiety.
You hold grudges.
When you are unable to express your emotions it’s likely that you have a physical and emotional reaction to an event that is no longer eminent. When we see the imminent threat upon is we tend to react and gain stress, when we hold on to that stress we can continue having that reaction even after the event. So, for instance, when I was fired from a job, years ago I had a physical and stressed response. For months, even a year past that time I still had that physical and stressed response when it came to entering the building I used to work in. I held a grudge towards my coworkers, my bosses, and even the building and organization as a whole.
You don’t let go of mistakes.
Those with low emotional intelligence have trouble with holding on to their mistakes. The key that we should all strive for is not forgetting our mistakes, because we should learn from them, but also not dwelling on our mistakes. Those with low emotional intelligence can often dwell on their mistakes and become stressed, anxious, or gun shy in the future.
You often feel misunderstood.
When it’s hard to express your emotions it’s easy to feel misunderstood. It’s also easy to feel like others do not like you or have ill-will towards you because it’s hard for you to understand how you come across to others.
You avoid confrontation.
When you have low emotional intelligence you often avoid confrontation for several reasons. First you do not have the control of your emotions to calmly state your feelings or thoughts and second you may not completely understand your emotions and why you’re having a reaction in order to come to a conclusion to the person you need to confront.
Emotional Intelligence and Marriage
Having emotional intelligence can help strengthen your relationships, especially marriage. Those with high emotional intelligence are able to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions easily. When you are in a relationship and keeping feelings to yourself you are 1. Not being honest with yourself, often causing stress and other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, but 2. You are also not being honest with your spouse.
This dishonesty by not expressing and working through your emotions can cause distance within a marriage. Having a higher level of emotional intelligence helps you discuss problems in a calm and courteous manner, they help you remain calm and listen to your spouse, and they help you have more positive interactions.
How are we able to build emotional intelligence?
Observe how you react to people.
Do you rush to conclusions? Do you get angry or upset easily? Sit back and calmly analyze your reaction and correct anything that may be overthinking or overanalyzing without all the facts.
Do you find you’re often looking for praise for your work and accomplishments? Are you doing things for others in hope for the appreciation? When you are able to be humble you are able to be confident in your own accomplishments without praise and appreciation from others.
Examine How You Handle Stressful Situations.
Are you able to remain calm and collected during an emergency or stressful situation? If you overreact, become angry, upset or inconsolable, look at how you can work through a situation in a calm manner.
Take responsibility for your actions, emotions, and reactions. Stop when you have made a mistake and own it, learn from it, but do not dwell on it.
Join Sarah’s Sage Advice’s Facebook Group for moms, Finding Sanity in Motherhood.