OOPS! Your Feelings are showing!

Ever been in a conversation with your spouse and before you know it the tears are just flowing. Or their face turns red and the anger and escalation just pours out! Maybe the shoulders slump and the face goes down. Now your partner is leaving the room in a hurry. Can you relate?

What’s happening? In situations like these we usually are aware of the actions or behaviors our partners exhibit. But we rarely perceive the emotions that are being experienced, much less understand what is really taking place deeper inside our partner. Often while working with couples, as they process difficult experiences together, some very strong words are used and they both undergo some powerful feelings.

When this happens I ask a spouse to find out from their partner what this expression of strong emotions is all about. What is going on with your partner? (Remember being “curious and interested”). Why? Because when you feel or see powerful feelings happening in one another, it means deeper things are at work. When powerful emotions are shared, and when it’s emotionally safe, it means the opportunity and a catalyst for important change is present!             So move INTO the emotion with love and compassion (not defensiveness)– go deeper with one another.

 The success of a man and woman in marriage

is not determined by their wealth, home, family or finances.

It is determined by the health of their heart!

Dr David Walton says using emotional reasoning is “being able to use emotions to enhance rather than restrict your thinking.” He explains that having emotional intelligence (EI) helps you use a set of mental skills that enable you to know and control your own emotions and to recognize and respond to the emotional states of others.

 What is Emotional Intelligence?

Peter Salavoy and John Mayer offered the first concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) and the idea was popularized by Daniel Goleman in his 1996 book, Emotional Intelligence. In simple terms, EI is the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions, and those of others. Cultivating this type of intelligence helps us to discern between, and identify, the various emotions and feelings we have. We use emotional information to guide our thinking and our behaviors, and to manage or adjust our emotions so that:

  • Feelings don’t take over our thinking
  • We can manage the impact of our emotions on our relationships
  • We can recognize how we feel, and how others do too
  • Feelings are kept “under control” so we manage how we act and behave
  • It is better understood how emotions affect the situations we are in

Why Does Everyone Need Emotion Intelligence?

  • Know yourself better
  • Understand and manage your emotions
  • Understand others
  • Manage relationships more effectively

 What are Benefits from being Emotionally Intelligent?

  • Awareness of how you feel
  • Be more empathetic and compassionate
  • Be socially more engaged and comfortable
  • Control your own thoughts, feelings, needs and behaviors
  • Be more positive
  • Have more self-motivation
  • Enhance and improve relationships
  • Value, honor and respect others
  • More appropriate communication when situations are difficult
  • Dealing with pressures of life more successfully

 So what happens with couples having strong emotions, the ones who go deeper and move toward each other’s emotions?

They find their relationships become more meaningful and emotionally safe, their closeness and intimacy increases, and they find each other’s heart!

 Check back next week for your own EI Quiz!

And stay tuned over the next few weeks to learn how to increase your own EI, and use it to enhance your current relationships.