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, the face goes down and 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 are exhibiting. 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 will 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”(-Movie Theater Attitude). 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 offer the first concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) and the idea gained traction when Daniel Goleman wrote about it 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 understand how emotions affect the situations we are in
Why Does Everyone Need Emotional 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 the 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!
Want to Go Deeper – Take our FREE Marriage Emotional Intelligence Quiz here!