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3 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence for Better Relationships

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Relationships are challenging. They make you examine yourself from all angles, and that can be triggering. For example, have you ever had a friend or significant other say something that sparked an argument instantly—only to find out you misheard what they said in the first place?

Imagine what life would be like if you had the skills to completely avoid the majority of the arguments, disagreements, and confrontations you experience with the people in your life. You don’t have to run away from confrontation and bury your head in the sand in order to have peace in your relationships. There are simple steps you can take to develop your emotional awareness and intelligence to build stronger relationships that will help you navigate any communication landmines you find yourself in.

Here are three tips to get you started:

1. Check In

Even though the world is more connected than ever, feelings of loneliness are actually on the rise. UCLA conducted a study that found 76% of people exhibited serious signs of loneliness. Chances are, the people that you care about and the people who are important to you, are feeling lonely from time to time. One of the best things you can do for any relationship you have is check in to see how the other person is doing or feeling.

In a romantic relationship, this looks like putting your phone or computer down and giving your partner your undivided attention or asking them questions that give them the opportunity to open up to you. Questions like: 

  • How are you doing?
  • How are things going with work?
  • Did you have any wins today that we can celebrate together?
  • How are you doing with that thing you told me about last week?
  • You’ve got that thing coming up, how are you feeling about it?
  • Is there something I can do to support you better?

In a work relationship or friendship, the questions are similar, but you can initiate the conversation over the phone, text, email, or whatever way you best communicate with the other person.

Checking in gives the people in your life an opportunity to be heard, and gives you the opportunity to shift things before big problems arise. This keeps you on the same page and moving in the same direction.

2. Implement Communication Standards

Communicating isn’t something that most people consciously think about when they’re speaking or typing—it’s just something they do on autopilot. How often do you really think through how someone might perceive the emoji you just sent? Typically, not that often, which can create some miscommunications and unnecessary arguments because it puts you in responsive mode.

The most important communication standard to implement is “the benefit of doubt plus verification” process. This means that when you’re communicating with someone, you take the position of “this person cares about me and wouldn’t intentionally say something to hurt me”. This first step creates some space before responding when someone in your life says something that triggers you or hurts your feelings. When you have a moment to remember that this person wouldn’t intentionally hurt you, it reminds you to clarify what they said. This is how you do that: 

“Hey, I heard you say this. <Insert what they said>. And I took it to mean this <Insert what you believe they meant>. Is that what you were trying to get across?” More often than not, the other person will either clarify that the words you heard weren’t the actual words they said or that the meaning of the words was off the mark and they will explain.

Here’s why it’s important to keep your calm and verify: If you’re triggered and you go into why the other person is wrong or how they hurt you, it’s easy (and natural!) for the other person to get defensive. By verifying, you get to see where the communication breakdowns are happening and you get the opportunity to better understand each other. Wins all around.

3. Prioritize Growth

Growth is vital for success, especially in relationships. When things get stagnant, emotional bonds begin to break down. However, it’s important to avoid the self-help trap— that place where a lot of growth happens in your journal and you get massive “ah has!” during your reading time, but then it doesn’t translate into your actual behavior, expression, and relationships.

Here’s how to get all of your intellectual awareness implemented into your life, not just your talking points.

First, understand that patience is a non-negotiable. There are many moments where you’re going to be frustrated and you’re going to need to take a breather before actually communicating. That’s where your communication standards come in to support you.

Second, realize that your natural instinct is to defend yourself whenever your subconscious believes you’re under attack. When your emotions are triggered, it’s difficult for your mind to realize you’re not in physical danger. That’s why it’s easy to have an over-the-top reaction to something someone says to you instead of staying calm. By keeping this top of mind in your awareness, you can calm yourself down when you find yourself triggered and get out of defense mode.

Third, focus on finding solutions. Even if you end up in an argument, every conflict is an opportunity to make your relationship stronger. It’s easy to get along, play nice, and have surface relationships that don’t actually mean anything. But when you dig deeper and find places of divergence, you give yourself and the other person the opportunity to think about things differently, see other perspectives, and strengthen your love and respect for one another. How you handle conflict is more important than never getting into conflict in the first place.

These are the three foundations to strengthening your emotional awareness and intelligence so you can find more success in your relationships. It all starts with you, and when you learn the secrets to navigating your relationships with patience, understanding, and acceptance, you’ll find yourself surrounded with quality connections that truly last.

Bas Waijers & Priska Baumann are spiritual mentors, as well as life and relationship coaches guiding women who have found success in their business to find, keep, and deepen the love of their life. Women come to them lost, confused, and afraid of losing themselves in yet another relationship that doesn’t last. Using their more than 5 years of experience in communication, relationships, and spirituality, Bas & Priska help successful single women end patterns of romance sabotage so they can have a conscious, empowered love relationship that stands the test of time. If you are interested in attracting true love into your life, click here to learn how.

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Life

Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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