Emotional Quotient in Lasting Relationships
Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition; Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
When it comes to understanding what makes relationships last, your guess is as good as mine.
This article is merely an exploration based on the general atmosphere provided by answers from the community obtained to the following questions:
We tend to value attitude or EQ (emotional quotient) over IQ in a friend, a lifetime partner or even in an employee or boss, for that matter.
Love as a Misnomer
One response mentioned about the principle of loving ourselves first before being able to love the other. Based on my own experiences, I definitely understand that principle.
When we do not have an understanding of that principle, the “love” that we feel usually tends to be of the needy type, that seeks love from another. When it is withdrawn, the “love” that we feel turns to hate or other similar painful emotions. As soon as the other’s appreciation, affirmation and acceptance turn to rejection, we usually want to strike back.
The World as Mirror
We tend to value attitude over IQ in a friend, a lifetime partner or even in a boss/employee, but we forget that lovingness in another (the outer world) is only a reflection of our own inner world.
It is always difficult to use the phrase “self-love” unless one is able to qualify what one means.
Jesus has taught us to strike a balance:
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.””
So there, from The Teacher himself.
Although there seems to be an esoteric secret behind Jesus’ requiring us to love God most of all before we obtain the ability to truly love others and ourselves, let’s first take a look at how we are not loving of self and neighbor.
Control as Forcing
Most of us have experienced being participants in an argument. Myself included, we try to win the argument for the sake of being right. However, among the community, there are a handful of answers that indicate an understanding of the idea that being right does not necessarily lead to happiness.
“Being right all the time can lead to a lonely existence, which can lead to unhappiness.”, according to our fellow hubber, CJ Sledgehammer.
We may get the temporary satisfaction of having overpowered the other, but in the long term, we lose our friendships.
Not only is controlling a negative behavior that we should avoid in dealing with others. It is also something that we should guard against when dealing with ourselves. A common behavior we have towards ourselves is our pursuit of constantly changing ourselves to improve, such as in the case of a perfectionist. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with changing to improve. What I’m saying is, it is not loving to be forcing change on ourselves.
Forcing things on ourselves, we tend to force things on others. Being gentle with ourselves, we tend to be gentle with others. This is the wisdom in Jesus’ second commandment.
Relatedly, lasting change happens when things and people grow into themselves (their own nature) of their own accord.
Lasting change happens when things and people change of their own accord.
Love and Acceptance
Can there be real love without acceptance?
Mostly, we tend to want to change people, ourselves included, and situations according to the ideal image we have of them. This is a constant struggle with reality. The truth is, with self-acceptance, we are at peace no matter where we go, no matter who we are with. The struggle ends.
Before coming to that truth, I first had to understand that:
We are unconditionally loved by an Almighty Father who wills only what is best for all of us.
By first being unconditionally loved by God, we can eventually unconditionally accept ourselves and thus others. With acceptance perhaps comes unconditional love.
How can we then feel that God loves us unconditionally? For some, it may be as simple as counting one’s blessings, great and small. Even amidst a tempest perhaps?
For some it may be a matter of learning to be still.
Whatever the answer may be, your guess is as good as mine.
Acceptance is the beginning of wisdom.
To find love from others, we need to first find it within ourselves. Perhaps in a similar manner, to meet loving persons, we must first ourselves be truly loving.
The Serenity Prayer. After discerning that something is against the grain of our naturally loving self, like a harmful situation or relationship, we may need to look into exploring other possibilities, instead of forcing things upon ourselves or others.
Only loving relationships can truly last.
A related question: Do you believe that "love is the answer"?