Emotional Intelligence In Relationships Is More Important Than You Think

Emotional intelligence, or EQ (a counterpart to "IQ," or intelligence quotient), is a term often heard these days in the business world, particularly when it comes to leadership. Leaders who possess this all-important soft skill are able to better forge relationships that are strong, mutually respectful, and lasting. Such leaders are able to create a team that feels valued and heard, with all team members working together in a cooperative and collaborative way, to the benefit of all (via Harvard Business Review).

Unsurprisingly, emotional intelligence helps with other types of relationships as well, including social and interpersonal. We live in a social world and yet this year, we've been isolated into smaller units due to the pandemic's spread. We've been at once separated (e.g., Zoom) and forced together for extended periods of time. For many, COVID-19 has tested our abilities to cohabitate, coexist, and empathize.

By definition, emotional intelligence is "the ability to identify and manage one's own emotions, as well the emotions of others" (via Psychology Today). For couples, this sounds a lot like proper communication: of not only listening, but being open as well. Consider how much easier a couple might overcome their issues, if only they applied EQ.

Emotional intelligence starts with self-assessment

As PureWow notes, "Emotionally intelligent people are better able to manage conflict, understand and respond to the needs of others, and keep their own emotions from getting the better of them." As said, this skill can help people succeed in various ways, from academics to one's profession to a romantic partnership.

In his 1995 best-selling book Emotional Intelligence, author and science journalist Daniel Goleman posited that EQ, or as he refers to "EI," is key to success, arguing that it's actually twice as important as cognitive intelligence when it comes to hiring the right personnel to build out a team. Again, these same principles for EQ, which focus on a person's ability to work well with others (to connect) would seem to apply to couples and their own chances at success, too.

In a piece for Psychology Today, relationship experts Linda and Charlie Bloom explained that for couples, "It is by listening carefully to those who know us best and care for us the most where we can learn a great deal about how to grow into who we can be." For this to happen, a person must first commit to a bit of introspection in order to understand "where you are individually" (via PureWow). To do so will allow a person to better "hear" others, like a partner's side, and ultimately help them to develop their own EQ complement.