October 20, 2021 |Gideon Hanekom

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Discovering the factors that contribute to the question of why is emotional intelligence important in relationships may prove to be a game-changer in your life, both personally and professionally.

Emotional intelligence, rather than IQ, has been shown to be considerably more important than IQ when it comes to gaining success and pleasure in life.

In contrast, many people with high levels of IQ but low levels of emotional intelligence frequently experience challenges in their lives.

In general, having high emotional intelligence indicates that you have a good understanding of your feelings, why you might be feeling that way, and how to deal with difficult emotions.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to regulate your emotions and communicate them in a productive manner.

As a result, paying attention to ways to improve emotional intelligence may be a worthwhile investment of your time and energy.

Introduction: Why is Emotional Intelligence Important in Relationships?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) can be defined as the ability to successfully sense, analyse, and control one’s own feelings as well as the feelings of those around us.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a skill that may be developed over time through practice.

For want of a better term, it is a collection of abilities that may be acquired by experience or education and that can be applied to one’s own personal growth, enjoyment, and success in interpersonal relationships.

The most important reason why emotional intelligence is important, and more specifically the question of why is emotional intelligence important in relationships, is that EQ is the key to developing and maintaining long-term intimate relationships.

That is especially true since EQ makes us acutely aware of any experiences and changes, both major and minor, that are constantly occurring in ourselves and in others.

why is emotional intelligence important in relationships

Increased emotional intelligence (EQ) will allow you to display the sensitivity that we all seek and respond to positively in interpersonal situations as a result.

Because of this, the objective of this essay is to teach you how to build and apply emotional intelligence (EQ) in order to improve the quality of your interpersonal connections.

Overall, growing your emotional intelligence allows you to regulate your emotions more effectively and reduces stress, and improving your emotional intelligence is no different than improving any other skill!

With practice, you may improve your ability to relate to, comprehend, and respond to others, which will have a significant positive impact on the majority of your relationships throughout your life.

Because emotional intelligence fosters empathy, it helps you feel more connected to others, which is the most important notion to grasp in this post.

There are four types of emotional intelligence that you can develop:

These are:


It’s crucial to understand that you have the ability to direct your emotions.

When you’re stressed, anxious, or upset, you have the ability to think clearly and rationally, despite it not necessarily always feeling that way.

But self-management refers to our ability to distinguish between ourselves and how we should act in the face of our emotions.

Psychologists also refer to this as emotional self-regulation.

Emotional self-regulation is the ability to control one’s own emotions and impulses when they become disruptive. To put it another way, to think before acting.

Learning to self-manage through emotional self-regulation is foundational to developing and displaying higher levels of emotional intelligence.

However, self-management and emotional self-regulation are difficult without higher levels of self-awareness.

It is as the old adage says, we cannot manage what we don’t measure.


Self-awareness is your understanding of how your beliefs and emotions influence your thoughts and actions.

That level of awareness enhances your ability to make positive changes in your life.

Self-awareness is necessary for personal development and success.

It is referred to as the ‘keystone of emotional intelligence by Daniel Goleman.

why is emotional intelligence important in relationships

Emotional self-awareness is, in essence, the ability to recognise and understand your own emotions as well as the impact they have on your behaviour.

You understand what you are experiencing and why you are feeling it, as well as how it supports or hinders your efforts to reach your goals.

Developing relational self-awareness, on the other hand, is critical in addition to developing emotional self-awareness.

To put it another way, according to psychologist Judith Jordan, relational awareness is based on both internal and exterior self-awareness:

“It comprises personal awareness, consciousness of the other, awareness of one’s own influence on the other, awareness of one’s own impact on the other, awareness of one’s own effect on one’s own effect, and the quality of energy and flow in the relationship itself.”

Judith Jordan

A sense of social awareness.

This has to do with your ability to recognise and comprehend what others require and desire in order to feel comfortable, protected, and loved.

Naturally, we can infer that social awareness refers to our ability to recognise and respond to social signs or demands in others.

Due to poor levels of emotional intelligence and a tendency to respond in a knee-jerk manner, establishing and tapping into social awareness will almost always prove difficult to achieve.

As a result, it is critical to cultivating appropriate levels of self-awareness and self-management.

Management of relationships.

This refers to your capacity to effectively manage disagreement, collaborate with others, and build healthy connections in general.

Relationship management, in its most basic sense, suggests that you possess strong interpersonal abilities that are advantageous to both the relationship and yourself.

As a result, managing your relationships effectively when you have low emotional intelligence is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

All of the previous stages of self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness, therefore, are essential for developing better relationship management skills.

The following tactics will assist you in how to increase emotional intelligence.

Expand your emotional lexicon (vocabulary).

Emotional intelligence is the development of an emotional language that allows you to recognise (and explore) how you are feeling.

Some studies have discovered that verbalising our emotional experiences can assist in calming the nervous system and regulating the explosive emotions we may be experiencing.

However, that of course necessitates expanding one’s emotional lexicon or vocabulary.

In accordance with research findings, the greater our ability to name our emotions with the most appropriate and relevant word, the greater our potential ability to calm our nerve systems, so enabling us to respond more effectively to our environment.

The following are some examples of vocabulary words:

  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Hurt
  • Guilty
  • Embarrassed
  • Confident
  • Energized

Develop your ability to listen well.

Consider the person who is the best listener you know.

You most likely have a positive opinion of that individual.

Listening has become a forgotten art that few people are interested in reviving in the modern world.

In fact, it seems like we are listening less and less to each other, and I’m sure you can understand how that could be a problem in the long run.

If our ability to develop emotional intelligence is predicated on our ability to listen well, but people aren’t interested to listen at all, what is that spell and predict for the world’s emotional intelligence as a whole?

And if we can presume declining levels of emotional intelligence, what is that potentially mean for future human interaction and relationships – especially on polarising topics?

So, to combat some of the madness around us, take note of what happens throughout your next conversation while you’re talking.

why is emotional intelligence important in relationships

When you focus your entire attention on the other person throughout a conversation, you’ll find that you communicate far more effectively and experience fewer misunderstandings.

More than that, they’ll possibly even believe you’re a brilliant conversationalist, which is good for the bond between you.

Take a moment to consider your actions before reacting.

We are sometimes very impatient and want to respond to a triggering event as rapidly as possible, for example during an argument with our spouse.

However, despite the fact that you have no control over the fact that you experience an emotional reaction (much of it is biological), you do have influence over how you respond to those emotions and behave as a consequence.

In other words, you don’t control the fact that you feel emotions when you’re triggered by something, but you can control how you behave as a result of those emotions.

So, if you sense yourself becoming anxious, depressed, or angry, take a moment to breathe and allow yourself to respond wisely rather than simply reacting to your feelings.

Examine your feelings and emotions.

As part of self-management, instead of reacting to your emotions as they occur, start paying attention to them while they are happening instead of reacting as a result of them.

Consider the following: If someone says something that upsets you, rather than responding in a hostile manner, ask yourself why you are experiencing this particular emotion?

What triggered it? Is it justifiable? Is it rational?

What is the most intelligent course of action to take?

What are several actions you could take, and what would the most likely outcomes be with each?

Pay close attention to how you deal with your emotions and stress.

An important question to start considering is how you react to your emotions once you become more conscious of them as you grow in awareness of them.

In terms of your emotional strengths and limitations, what are they?

When it comes to thinking and making decisions, how does your state of mind influence you?

What methods do you use to deal with stress?

Are you able to maintain your composure in the face of a difficult event and follow through on the promises you made to yourself?

Now that you are paying closer attention to how you deal with emotions and stress, what are you starting to learn about yourself?

Accept criticism gracefully and provide helpful feedback.

Part of developing emotional intelligence is to learn how to accept criticism gracefully and also provide helpful feedback to others.

Feedback ultimately provides an opportunity to learn and grow, and people who are open to that will welcome feedback.

The opposite is equally true in that constructive criticism is an opportunity to learn more about yourself.

Now, it’s important to distinguish between criticism and constructive criticism as they are not the same.

Criticism essentially aims at attacking a person’s character and that usually results and defensiveness and increased levels of conflict.

Constructive criticism, on the other hand, is aimed at learning, self-awareness, and growth.

It is the polar opposite of criticism.

Of course, it is possible to give someone constructive criticism in a manner that sounds much like criticism, but that is usually an indication that the person has other less positive intentions.

Consider constructive criticism as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, and provide constructive feedback to others in order to assist them in growing.

Pay attention to nonverbal cues and body language.

Social awareness refers to your ability to recognise and respond to the social signs and demands of others.

Learn to recognise and interpret nonverbal signs that others use to communicate how they are feeling if you’re serious about responding to people accurately and effectively.

In the context of love relationships, some relationship experts call this attunement.

Attunement to another’s emotional state, also known as mirroring, is the ability to recognise, understand, and interact with another’s emotional state.

View conflict as a chance to gain a better understanding of others and to learn from them.

Conflict is an unavoidable fact of life.

However, instead of avoiding confrontation, look at it as an opportunity to learn about the other person’s point of view and how they think.

But, also see it as an opportunity to learn about yourself and the areas that you need to develop or get better at.

Just like constructive criticism.

For example, Entrepreneur.com identifies several benefits of conflict that’s important to consider:

  • Our eyes are opened to new possibilities.
  • Possibility to express requirements verbally.
  • Teaches adaptability.
  • Educates us in the art of listening.
  • Teach us behavioural patterns.
  • Contributes to the development of solutions.
  • Develop your communication skills.
  • Assists us in establishing boundaries.
  • Exercise emotional self-control.
  • Enables us to distinguish ourselves.

Take Away

Emotional intelligence can assist you in managing stress and emotions, as well as in developing stronger interpersonal relationships.

You will progress in life if you are able to interpret situations (have good social awareness) and handle your relationships well.

As a result, improving your emotional intelligence will make you a more effective team member, friend, and partner!

If you’re having difficulties in some of your relationships right now, it’s possible that you’re lacking in emotional intelligence.

You can be goal-oriented, committed, and extremely capable, but it’s tough to ascend above the level of your emotional intelligence when you have low emotional intelligence.

It is inevitable that your level of emotional intelligence will create a glass ceiling in various areas of your life, particularly in the field of relationships.

How would you evaluate your emotional intelligence?

What areas do you think you could improve on?

At the end of the day, having self-awareness and the necessary bravery to make changes in response to what you discover or learn about yourself is the first step towards growing your emotional intelligence.

Additionally, there are a plethora of books and websites that offer diagnostic tests that can assist you in developing your emotional intelligence skills.

About the author

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a popular relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website helps couples to create happier, healthier, and more intimate relationships. Gideon is a trained professional counsellor and holds post-graduate degrees in Theology and Psychology. His articles have also been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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