Using Emotional Intelligence to Enhance your Intimate Relationship

The research is clear - emotional intelligence is more important than anything else, including IQ, in predicting how well we do in life. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is also critically important for the quality of our relationships. Workng on our EQ may be the most important thing we can do to ensure our most important relationships are in good shape. So what is emotional intelligence? Dr John Gottman summarizes it as the ability to identify and understand your own emotions, to successfully use your emotions when communicating with someone else, to use your emotional awareness to guide you when you are solving problems, to deal with frustration and be able ot wait to get what you want, to keep distress from ovewhelming your ability to think, and to be in control of how and when you express feelings. When we have mastered these skills, they help us to have more awareness and control over what we do. This means we will have lower levels of stress, which will be good for our health. EQ skills help us to self-soothe, which means we can calmly focus, concentrate and think when faced with a challenging situation, therefore making us more resilient, and better able to cope with change and stress. Most importantly though, EQ helps us to have more satisfying and long-lasting relationships. The good news about emotional intelligence is that, unlike IQ, which is thought to be relatively stable through life, EQ can be worked on and improved through conscious skill development. If you are interested in working on these skills to enhance your relationship, counselling can help. Make sure you ask your counsellor if they are able to help you develop these skills - relationship counsellors who are trained in Dr Gottman's method are able to offer this. 

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