Emotional Intelligence is a buzzword at the moment, particularly in the corporate world and the workplace in general. However, in relationships of all kinds emotional intelligence helps us to make sense of ourselves and the world we live in.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is about using our emotions to guide us through the world and being able to use knowledge of our emotions to:
- Make decisions
- Calm down
- Manager anger and conflict
- Understand social and intimate relationships
- Assist in any aspect of life involving people
Why is Emotional Intelligence so important?
People with greater emotional intelligence have been shown to:
- Have healthier more satisfying relationships
- Concentrate better at work
- Greater career success
- Manage conflict better
- Have lower levels of stress and fewer physical health problems
What do you know about your emotional life?
Men and women tend to respond to their emotions differently. Women are generally likely to express their feelings more directly and share them with friends and family. Men will generally hide their feelings and often withdraw.
Men don’t do feelings
According to William Pollack, author of ‘The Real Boys Workbook’, mainstream American culture discourages boys and men from expressing emotions that may be perceived as feminine. The expectation that “boys don’t cry” is perpetuated amongst boys and adult men. It’s a similar story here in Australia.
However, according to Dr. Harry Brod, an expert in men’s studies, crying is a way to heal the hurt. Therefore, stopping the crying doesn’t stop the hurting – it only prevents the healing.
In other words, men who don’t cry cannot begin healing their emotional pain.
One of the popular values in our western culture is that men are supposed to be strong. Many men deem showing emotions, such as sadness or crying, as unacceptable because they fear being perceived as weak.
Emotional expression is not just about crying. However, in our conversations with men at MRC, they describe how they become easily detached from, distracted or avoidant of their own feelings. This prevents them from not only soothing their own hurt, but also creates distance and isolation in their close, intimate relationships.
Why do some men struggle with emotional expression?
In the ‘about men’ section of this website we explain in more detail the quite specific and restrictive ways men cope with their feelings.
These restrictive and destructive patterns cause significant difficulties in mental health and in committed relationships.
The website of Mensline Australia, a service for men with relationships and family concerns, concisely explains the impact of restrictive a destructive emotional expression on many men’s lives.
- A sense of isolation from loved ones.
- Less support being available from loved ones.
- Health issues due to holding chronic tension in the body and other poor coping strategies.
- Relationship difficulties due to an inability to resolve emotional conflicts and/or a perceived lack of ability to be intimate.
- Psychological problems such as depression, insomnia and anxiety.
What about your EQ?
Life experiences will naturally create new, mixed and challenging emotions for a man. These can range from joy, laughter and love when life and relationships are going well to feelings of worry, fear, sadness, confusion, helplessness and more balancing work, financial, relationship and family responsibilities.
Emotional Intelligence, at its core, is about accepting all emotions, negative and positive as valuable experiences providing us information to make decisions and create plans for leading a rich and meaningful life.
Our consultants at MRC will help you understand how to increase your emotional intelligence so that you can better manage the ups and downs of life.
Call now to make an appointment.