Saturday, September 21, 2013

Emotional Intelligence

 How it Affects Your Relationships
Emotional Intelligence ~ the ability to manage...and to  communicate our emotions ~ plays a large role in the success of relationships.

Our success in life, most teachers believe, is determined largely by our academic achievements,  Another critical factor believed is our intelligence quotient (IQ) score, a measure of baseline intellect.  These are both good factors...but they do not guarantee prosperity or happiness.   
The consensus today among psychologists is that IQ accounts for only 10 to 25% of success.  Perhaps a better predictor is emotional intelligence and learning to respond to the emotions of other people.

According to Steve Bressert, PhD, emotional intelligence
 is defined by five core traits:
Self-awareness ~ how conscious you are of your emotions in the moment.
Self-regulation ~ how well you are able to manage your emotions under pressure.
Motivation ~ your drive to transform negative thoughts or situations into positive ones.
Empathy ~ the capacity to recognize others' emotions and to respond to them sympathetically.
Social skills ~ the ability to interact well with others (good communication, teamwork, etc.)

Athena Staik, PhD, notes the importance of emotional intelligence in healthy couple relationships:
“This emotional mastery permits them to feel safe enough to remain present to their partner and the situation without setting off their own brain's 'flight or flee' defences, which also effectively lowers chances of triggering their partner's defences.

Self-Scoring:  How do you Rate?  True...or...False?

It takes me a long time to recover  from setbacks or frustrations.  _____
I often miss subtle emotional cues in others, including my partner.  _____
On some level, I enjoy the “rush” that comes from anger on negativity.  _____
When I am criticized by my partner, I tend to  immediately lash back verbally. _____
I have a difficult time communicating what I am feeling. _____
I often look for fault in others, including my partner. _____
It's hard for me to admit blame.  _____
In difficult situations, I find it almost impossible to see any upside.  _____
My partner often says I'm insensitive.  _____
I don't always know why I am in a bad mood.  _____
I frequently say things in the heat of the moment that I later regret.  _____

We all have room for improvement when it comes to emotional intelligence.  But if you wrote True on five or more responses above, you may be limiting your potential for a rewarding intimate relationship.
But...take heart...emotional intelligence is not unfixable.  You can become more emotionally adept.”

Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence

When you are upset, allow yourself to 'cool off' before interacting with others.  
A relationship education class can help you learn techniques to communicate more effectively.
Being conscious of your emotions is another important step in channeling them.
Consider what sets you off and  identify any recurring issues.
Do you seethe if your partner forgets to say thank you?
Are you able to tolerate any form of criticism?
Do you fly off the handle if things don't go your way?

Once you've identified your “emotional triggers” consider what is behind them: Is it insecurity?  Is it a fear of abandonment?   Is it a lack of control? We can enhance our emotional intelligence! Just as we must work hard to excel in school...we have to work hard to break poor emotional response patterns.
(Author unknown)

Kahill Gibran wrote:
Time decides who you meet in your life!
Your heart decides who you want in your life!
But your behaviour decides who stays in your life!

“Old Love from the new Norm”

Over the past several years, I've enjoyed stage productions at Hamilton's Theatre Aquarius, in Port Dover at The Lighthouse Festival Theatre and at Theatre Burlington, Drama Centre. I've immensely enjoyed comedies written by Norm Foster...a playwright  who lived in Ancaster for many years.

Gary Smith, who has written about theatre and dance for the Hamilton Spectator for more than 30 years, writes about  Norm Foster's current  play...Old Love. In his interview, Norm admits young people laugh at the notion of sixty-something lovers sharing a public kiss.  “They just do,” he shrugs. “It's not easy for older people to have romantic affairs.  Just ask me...I'm 64.” His play, about romance in later life, is an insightful, often sweet look at two people who fall for each other in the twilight of their years.  The sun may be setting on their lives...but there's still plenty of fire.

“Love knows no bounds,” Foster says.  “The idea people my age are still interested in love and sex, bothers some younger people.  They need to know they're going to be there themselves...and sooner than they think. Feelings don't die when you're 60.  You know, I believe this is more of an issue in North America than it is in Europe.  Why?  Because we have too much of a youth culture here.”

Gary Smith further writes, “Foster is the king of comedy, the raja of regional theatre, the prince of popular playwrights. He's  written more than 50 plays and his works are the  most produced in Canada.  There were a number of productions of “Old Love” done across Canada.  More than 150 productions of Foster's plays have been produced in Canada, United States and Australia last year.  He has had only one NYC production.”

Old Love will open the new season at Theatre Burlington.  Norm states, “The play is not personal at all.  I'm just the same age as the characters in it. But, not based on my life, it is based on my feelings. It's not easy for older people to find romance. I'm not the same person I was, when I started writing plays in 1983.

Love is not about finding the right person, but creating a right relationship.
It's not about how much love you have in the beginning...
but how much love you build to the end.

Merle Baird-Kerr … written September 10, 2013
To comment...scroll down...may sign in as “anonymous”


  1. From one of my ardent supporters:
    D writes, "Excellent read. I feel everyone should read this and find out where we are with our relationships. Thank you for sharing."

  2. Thank you for your comment. Often we judge others before we look at ourselves...which we are often hesitant to do. Self improvement is always in vogue!

  3. I like this blog entry very much but it's easy to figure out a relationship... You need to be on the same page or it won't work. The initial thrill is only an instant in time. One must work at it to achieve harmony. Study your love ones personality to see if it can adapt to yours...and visa a versa through astrology and numerology. You can and will save yourself a lot of heartache. We can afford this luxury in our later years as that is when you can truly meet your sol mate if you didn't in your youth. Personally I am having the best time ever in my later years. This time I took the time to find what I was really looking for in a partner.

  4. Being "on the same page" is the clue to relationship happiness. Your words are most philosophical with steps you pursued to achieve the goal of finding your "soul mate".
    Graciously, I thank you for your comment.