5 Signs You’re More Emotionally Intelligent Than Your Partner & How To Deal
You may remember a of couple seasons back on The Bachelor when contestant Taylor Nolan talked about emotional intelligence, and whether or not Corinne Olympios had enough of it for lead Nick Viall. Now, while it wasn't necessarily Nolan's place to determine whether or not Olympios was sufficiently emotionally intelligent, the bottom line is that the trait can play a role in relationships. There are signs you're more emotionally intelligent than your partner in regards to a variety of situations.
I discussed this with psychotherapist Jeffrey Rubin (no relation), author of The Art of Flourishing: A Guide to Mindfulness, Self-Care, and Love in a Chaotic World, Julie Spira, online dating expert and coach, and Diana Dorell, an intuitive dating coach. They offered their insight on what emotional intelligence means, how to tell when you have more than your partner, and suggestions for balancing different levels of emotional intelligence in your relationship.
If one person has more emotional intelligence in a relationship than the other, that does not mean the partnership is doomed from the start — it's something that can be learned with time and gained through practice. Read on for signs you're more emotionally intelligent than your partner.
You're aware of how you feel
When you're emotionally intelligent, you know what you're feeling and how to communicate that to other people.
"You are in touch with what you are feeling and its possible impact on your partner," Rubin tells Elite Daily. A partner who is less emotionally intelligent wouldn't be as able to foresee how their actions would affect their partner.
You take responsibility
Dorell says that someone who is emotionally intelligent will take responsibility for their emotions. She says, for instance, that if you phrase your feelings such as, "I feel," as opposed to "You made me feel," then you may be emotionally intelligent with your communication style.
You handle disagreements maturely
An emotionally intelligent person handles arguments or disagreements maturely, taking responsibility for their part and trying to find a solution. A partner who's still developing their emotional intelligence may be stubborn or passive-aggressive, rather than productively trying to find a solution that satisfies everyone.
"You honestly express your disagreements and emotional pain without attacking or demonizing your partner," Rubin says. "You validate their feelings and perspective and work cooperatively to find a resolution that honors the feelings and needs of both of you."
Dorell agrees. She says if you phrase your disagreement like, "How can we do things differently?" as opposed to, "You did this," that is coming from an emotionally intelligent place. Additionally, asking your partner, "Is this a good time to talk?" shows that you respect your partner's time and figuring out a good time for both of you to discuss the issue at hand, she says.
You're aware of your limitations
Dorell says if you're emotionally intelligent, you will commit to things only when you know you can dedicate your "whole self" into it. Additionally, you will get "grounded" and make sure you're taking care of yourself before making plans.
That means you'll make date night plans when you think you'll have the time for it or will be in the right head space to spend time with your partner. When you need your "you" time, you will make sure you put that first, and let your partner know.
You offer to help your partner grow
If your partner is lacking in emotional intelligence, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the end of the relationship. Rubin says that emotional intelligence can be grown in time.
"Like any art, one needs to practice," he says. If you notice your partner's emotional intelligence doesn't stack up to yours, confront them about it.
"Decide how important it is to you and also see if your partner is interested and willing and able to work on it," he says.
Thinking about when you want to address your partner's emotional intelligence is important, says Spira.
"When it's time to communicate your feelings with your partner, it's important to pay attention to the time of day and be empathetic to what's going on in their life," she says. "If it's the morning and your partner's getting ready for a stressful day at work, it's not a good time to bring up feelings and emotions, unless it's a warm hug and you tell them to have a wonderful day. That will set the tone for when your partner returns home in the evening."
Spira says that differing levels of emotional intelligence isn't necessarily a bad thing.
"As a couple, you're two different personality types with different communication skills," she says. "The worst thing you could do is attack your partner for not being as emotionally intelligent as you are if you feel you're doing all of the emotional work. The best thing you can do is to express how you'd like your partner to communicate and be supportive of you."
By addressing the situation with the emotional intelligence you already have, you will only make your relationship stronger and healthier.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!