When we think of what we want from a partner, we may have a list of attributes that we look for. It could be their physical appearance, their sense of humour, their hobbies, interests or ethics. However, we often neglect to look for one of the most critical factors that can provide happiness in a relationship; emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence focuses on your ability to be aware of and has control over your emotions so that you can express these emotions appropriately. With this, to develop interpersonal relationships and improve positive traits such as empathy and sympathy.
Emotional intelligence aids communication levels. In a relationship, there are so many intense emotions that a high level of emotional intelligence is almost fundamental if you want to be able to communicate and understand your partner effectively. A healthy relationship relies on communication, and if you’re dating someone with low emotional intelligence, it may feel like you’re in a relationship with an immature and sulking teenager!
So, if you’re struggling to communicate effectively with your partner, could emotional intelligence be to blame? Here are some of the key signs of low emotional intelligence.
Five common signals of low emotional intelligence
What’s in it for them?
At first glance, it may seem that your partner is generous, kind and sweet to others. All of these look like positive signs and are attributes you want in a relationship. However, are they only being nice because there’s something in it for them? For example, they may donate to a charity so they can receive respect, recognition and attention for their actions. They may excessively tip the waiter for better service next time. If it is clear they are only doing kind acts because it gives them something in return, then they may not be very generous at all.
If it seems like your partner is only doing something because it will benefit them as well, then this is an indication of low emotional intelligence. Listen to your instincts, if their behaviour seems false or excessive, then it probably is.
The centre of attention
We’ve all met that person that whatever is going on with you, they’ve had it worse and for longer. Perhaps you try to talk about your life, and the conversation always ends up with the focus back on them? In some cases, people will ask seemingly interested questions. This can make you believe they have high emotional intelligence. However, usually, the conversation will end with the other person having the final say on the matter or steering the conversation onto their experiences.
If you are always being let down at the last minute, then this is yet another sign that the person flaking on you has low emotional intelligence. An inability to be honest, or understand their boundaries to decline an invitation in advance shows they do not have a high level of emotional understanding.
Furthermore, this person will not have the empathy to respect your time and schedule by letting you know in advance.
Another hugely common sign of low emotional intelligence is when a person continually criticises others and discusses other peoples’ flaws without recognising their own. Those with high emotional intelligence will identify their strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, they will empathise with others rather than blame or criticise them.
People with low emotional intelligence will criticise others as a way to excuse their behaviour. For example; “The project was below standards not because of my work, but because I was given really bad information and my colleague doesn’t know how to write reports properly.”
Or “You know how stressed I get when you do X and Y. I am hurt that you are so uncaring when you already know how stressed you make me and still did X and Y anyway.”
Someone with high emotional intelligence will instead try to understand how you’re feeling. Furthermore, they will try to determine whether you are looking for advice, support or simply a place to vent.
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