Can low emotional intelligence be wrecking your relationship?
According to renowned marriage expert Dr. John Gottman, the majority of wives treat their husbands with honor and respect. Gottman’s research found that wives were more likely to take their husband’s feelings and opinions into account when making decisions, relationship writer Kyle Benson writes in The Gottman Institute’s blog.
Though plenty of women are selfish and plenty of men are sensitive as well, Gottman’s research found that only 35% of men were emotionally intelligent—meaning that they consider their partner’s emotions and feelings.
But are women really more emotionally intelligent than men?
Dr. Dan Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence and The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights, writes in Psychology Today that in most tests evaluating EQ, women do tend to perform better. But while most women are more empathetic than men, men are usually better at dealing with distressing emotions.
“If the other person is upset, or the emotions are disturbing, women's brains tend to stay with those feelings,” Goleman writes. “But men's brains do something else: they sense the feelings for a moment, then tune out of the emotions and switch to other brain areas that try to solve the problem that's creating the disturbance.”
Neither way of dealing with emotions is necessarily better, but when it comes to relationships, we need to accept each other’s influence, as Dr. Gottman recommends. Women can learn from men about managing their emotions, while men can learn from women about being more empathetic.
On the next page: the 6 signs that your partner has low emotional intelligence.