My longterm relationship just ended due to a lack of Emotional Intelligence. Most people believe that IQ is the greatest indicator of success in life, but in my opinion, Emotional Quotient (EQ) is the superior metric for life success.
My EQ used to fluctuate with my mood disorder, but thanks to meds I’m more consistent now.
According to Daniel Goleman, There are five major areas of EQ; self-awareness, managing emotions, self-motivation, empathy, handling relationships. This list helped me see that my relationship, in actuality, never stood a chance.
There is a fundamental skill called “delayed gratification” which is the ability to handle impulses. It’s crucial to longterm success. It is the ability to handle defeats and challenges and setbacks. I was unknowingly developing many of these skills and principles while growing up. I was managing emotions, thinking long-term and self-motivating while facing teen homelessness, underemployment and sudden deaths in the family. So, when my first job gave me a Sales Quota to hit- it didn’t feel as challenging as the previous scenarios. I was performing really well under pressure.
I’m also quick to adapt to circumstances now, whereas in my teens I was a reactive mess. Now I have a wide range of tools; I practice debating (joined a debate club), negotiating and distancing myself from unnecessary emotional escalations (read: my ex).
In the self-awareness department, I’ve worked my ass off through therapy, meds, and books to become hyper-aware of emotions as I’m experiencing them. It helped me to identify triggers and escalations. My ex-girlfriend became a major trigger because she had trouble respecting my boundaries when she became heated (asking for space or time on a topic).
Thanks to Emotional Intelligence, I now understand that my ex’s empathy meter was broken. She had trouble recognizing emotions in others – even when I would clearly express it. I kept being patient and thought this would change…..but it did not.
Another fundamental concept that Goleman outlines is that emotions grow when you focus on them. For example. Venting when you’re angry prolongs your mood rather than ending it (which I regularly did in my relationship). So, mad = madder. And when it comes to sadness, Daniel outlines four steps to management; exercise, finding easy success (like accomplishing small tasks), re-framing the situation (ex. what can I learn from it) and helping others to increase empathy and distract from focusing on oneself.
Self-efficacy is integral (referred to as “meds” for me #JustKidding). It’s the feeling that you can handle all of life’s challenges as they come. And that is CRUCIAL to success. My EX thinks that things happen “to” her versus “just happen.” She relinquishes accountability and control. Her lack of self-efficacy was such a turn-off. I couldn’t put into words why our relationship ended- but this book makes me realize it was skillsets, like emotional intelligence, and accountability that drove us apart.
Emotional Intelligence helped me internalize the shift that medication allowed for me. It also helped me clarify the demise of my relationship and identify coping mechanisms. In short, I needed to read Emotional Intelligence to understand the next step in my growth, and if you’re looking for the same thing, I highly recommend you read it too.
To purchase a copy of this book just click on the title Emotional Intelligence.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.
Photo Credit: PopTech