In a previous blog, we started looking at the top ten emotional intelligence competencies that contribute to relationship satisfaction. Let’s take a look at the rest:
Comfort with Emotions
Score for the satisfied group: 63
Score for the unsatisfied group: 44
Your emotions are a part of who you are; to deny them is to deny your humanity. The ability to own up to your emotions and face emotionally charged situations requires a degree of comfort with vulnerability, which is why so many people struggle in this area. Men in particular may find themselves in a constant battle with their emotions, because they have been taught from an early age that crying, or expressing any other “feminine” emotion is inappropriate. I consider this an absolute tragedy. We do men a great injustice by promoting this idea.
Relationships are emotional. Whether you’re expressing affection or you’re arguing, you’re emoting. A relationship that lacks emotional intimacy can be difficult to maintain. If you can’t share your joys, frustrations and fears with your partner, you limit your capacity to create a connection.
Score for the satisfied group: 64
Score for the unsatisfied group: 46
If you’ve been in a relationship with someone (or are someone) who tends to become angry or despondent quite easily, you know how difficult it can be to sustain a happy relationship. I am a firm believer that experiencing and expressing anger is healthy, but you have to be able to convey it in a tactful manner. If you want to raise your voice, so be it. If you want to express to your partner that his/her behavior upsets you, go for it. However, if you find yourself resorting to insults or physical displays of anger, that’s when a lack of self-control becomes a problem.
Score for the satisfied group: 72
Score for the unsatisfied group: 53
I wouldn’t say that I completely fall apart when I’m stressed, but I’m certainly not at my best. Part of me just wants to curl up in a ball in my closet, and wait until things blow over. Although I tend to function better when I’m with a partner who balances me out emotionally, I know I can be difficult to be around when I’m feeling stressed out about work, my car, my family, or the limitless concerns that I tend to burden myself with.
If you struggle under stress, it can and will take a toll on your relationship. An inability to regulate stress effectively can lead to conflict, emotional outbursts and an all-around unpleasant experience.
Score for the satisfied group: 70
Score for the unsatisfied group: 52
If you’re in a relationship with someone who is just as lazy as you are, it may not be a problem per se; things might not get done around the house, but at least you’ll be on the same wavelength. This is one case, however, where opposites don’t necessarily attract. A partner who is an ambitious go-getter is more likely to become frustrated with someone who lacks motivation or who prefers familiarity and the status quo. Being with someone who constantly needs an incentive to push them into action can be draining and exasperating.
Score for the satisfied group: 61
Score for the unsatisfied group: 46
I have always had problems asserting myself. I was the pigeon that salespeople honed in on when I walked into a store, because I was rarely able to say no when they hawked their goods to me. In relationships, I almost always went along with what my partner’s desired even when I didn’t want to, which left me feeling frustrated and resentful. All I wanted to do was shake them and scream, “This isn’t what I want! I am not happy!” but I never had the courage to.
If you don’t assert yourself in relationships and speak up when something is bothering you, problems will be left unresolved and your needs unfulfilled. And when one partner is getting everything they desire, the relationship becomes exclusively one-sided…not a recipe for “happily ever after.” Just keep in mind that there’s a fine line between assertiveness and aggression: When you assert yourself, you express your needs in a tactful manner that doesn’t impinge on the needs of others. When you’re aggressive, you push or intimidate others into submission, leaving no room for compromise.
This ends the list of emotional competencies that are associated with relationship satisfaction. While it may seem like a flimsy, tree-hugging concept, its far-reaching impact touches every aspect of our life, and the lives of others.