Liza is married to Ben. For each, this is their second marriage. They agree that the primary reason their first marriages ended was because their previous partners were not at the same emotional level as them. “My first husband, Jake, and I were very young when we married,” Liza says, “and I took his ongoing rage to be an expression of his passion for life. I realized, however, that I had to leave him after I finally understood that he was unable to control the anger and frustration he felt toward the world in general.”
Emotional intelligence is a critical element in solving conflicts. Being aware of feelings, being capable of regulating emotions, and being able to distinguish between and respond to the various emotions at play in a given communication situation are not simple tasks. In the area of anger resolution, learning how to make these critical distinctions can have an impact on the intensity and duration of our anger. Sustained anger indicates the degree to which you are experiencing a blockage of feelings, needs, and values. Ongoing anger is a signal to the emotional system that something is not working. If primary feelings can be accessed and addressed, it is unlikely that anger will last long or intensify to the degree of becoming unproductive.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize, understand, and regulate one’s own emotions while simultaneously sensing, recognizing, and attending to another person’s emotions. This is important because it allows us to create positive outcomes, get our needs met, feel loved, and resolve problems. Without EI, we tend to recreate the same problems, feel internal conflict, feel troubled, blame others, and feel negative, and we are often unable to communicate to get needs met.
Emotional Intelligence is important because:
• It allows us to become aware of feelings
• It helps regulate feelings
• It helps us to make distinctions between feelings
• It enables us to respond positively to feelings once distinctions are made
• It allows for needs and feelings to be expressed
• It prevents blockages of feelings and facilitates the release of anger
The Four Branches of Emotional Intelligence
The first step in understanding emotions is to accurately perceive them. In many cases, this might involve understanding nonverbal signals, such as body language and facial expressions. The next step involves using emotions to help think and use our brain. Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention to and react to; we respond emotionally to environmental stimuli. Emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing angry emotions, the person who is observing the anger must interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean. The ability to manage emotions effectively is a key part of emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions, reacting, appropriately, and willingly responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management.