Wanderlust: Expat Life & Style in Thailand The Relationships Issue - Page 16

Relationships

If you ’ re operating with low emotional intelligence , you might yell or write an angry email . If things are very out of hand , you might feel compelled to quit your job , which is a bad — but probably avoidable — outcome .
When you are dealing with conflicts at work , choose to self-regulate . Self-regulation , another element of EI , is the ability to select how you want to act when you approach a situation .
First figure out how you want to deal with the situation . You could either approach your colleague directly , or go to a supervisor and seek mediation . If you take the matter into your own hands , engage with the colleague . Note that he or she seems upset and ask , gently , where this anger might be coming from . When you are speaking , focus on only discussing your feelings ; make no accusations . You can use social skills to understand the situation and to show your colleague that you would like to resolve it .
If there is resistance , it is important for you to remain motivated despite how you ’ re being treated . People at work will likely recognize that the coworker is acting badly and that you are rising above . Your emotional intelligence can be put into action : Try not to let your emotions get the best of you . Focus on doing the best job you can .
MARITAL CONFLICTS Here is an example of an escalating domestic argument , the likes of which you have probably witnessed :
Spouse A : “ I have an event tomorrow evening , so I can ’ t go with Sarah to the park .”
Spouse B : “ Why don ’ t you help out with Sarah and do things that you promised me that you would do ? You are so unreliable , and I ’ m tired of all the disappointments .”
Spouse A : “ Well , I ’ m tired that you are always telling me about the things I don ’ t do !”
Spouse B : “ I can ’ t help it if you don ’ t do anything !”
Spouse A : “ You don ’ t do anything , either !” ( Leaves room and slams door )
Spouse B is upset because Spouse A seems not to want to do anything for their child . Spouse B feels unappreciated and overburdened , and Spouse A feels like it ’ s pointless to do anything because it won ’ t be appreciated anyway . Here we have two partners who both feel unrecognized but in different ways , and both of them have acted with low emotional intelligence . What is lacking from each partner ? Empathy .
Empathy does wonders for your relationship because it is usually reciprocal : If you show empathy to your spouse , your spouse is more likely to show empathy to you . The result of empathy in marriage is peace , and , as a bonus , empathy also increases the chances of getting your needs met . If married couples used more empathy and EI in their communication , they ’ d feel understood , recognized , fulfilled and a lot happier .
Before beginning a difficult discussion with your spouse , know first what you are feeling and what outcome you would like . After stating what you feel in the most productive way possible , outline specifically what you need . ( Spouses tend to forget that husbands and wives might be best friends and confidants , but they are not mind readers ; that is why it ’ s so important to continually communicate your needs .)
Let ’ s now look at a rewrite of the scene that incorporates more
Empathy does wonders for your relationship because it is usually reciprocal . emotional intelligence :
Spouse A : “ I have an event tomorrow , so I can ’ t go with Sarah to the park .”
Spouse B : “ Since your event is in the evening , is it possible for you to come back in the afternoon for a few hours ? Sarah really had such a good time with you last time , and she was looking forward to it .”
Spouse A : “ I ’ m free in the afternoon , so I could come home a little earlier before I have to go out .”
Spouse B : “ That would be great . I have been feeling tired , so it will be nice for me to do something relaxing while you are with Sarah . Thanks so much .”
Spouse A : “ Sure .” ( Smiles ) “ You deserve a break .”
In this example , Spouse B reacted with emotional intelligence and asked for compromise in a way that made the other partner feel valued . By showing empathy , the conversation went smoothly and both partners ’ needs were met in the end .
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As you improve your EI , you ’ ll gain the resilience and emotional stability required to help you become a better leader , a more compassionate friend , a more loving partner , and a calmer person . Instead of being afraid of failure in your relationships , you will look to these experiences as chances to grow and take risks . In all aspects of life , improving your emotional intelligence means increasing your chances for great success , personal growth , and inner happiness .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anita Barot is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 10 years of experience counseling individuals , couples , and families . Anita has partnered with Connecting Founders and Andragogy to create “ Leading Forward ,” a series of workshops on effective negotiation , communication , and other soft skills required for success . Anita will be conducting workshops in Bangkok on Emotional Intelligence I : Self-awareness , Selfmanagement , and Motivation on March 12 th and Emotional Intelligence II : Empathy and Social Skills on March 18 th . To learn more or to register for courses , visit www . lotustherapy . com or email info @ lotustherapy . com .
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