Life has no meaning without emotion. Consider what a wedding celebration would be like without emotion being involved. Or what reason would there be to hold a funeral if there were no emotion to express about the deceased. For that matter, if there were no emotions involved, brussels sprouts would taste just like steak or apple pie.
Emotions give relationships life. Without them, we could live in solitude. Consider this quote from Dr. Zhivago as noted by Chris McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp, Into the Wild):
“And so it turned out that only a life similar to the life of those around us, merging with it without a ripple, is genuine life, and that an unshared happiness is not happiness….And this was most vexing of all,” he noted, “HAPPINESS IS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED.” Quoted from Dr. Zhivago and highlighted by Chris McCandless
It follows then, that if we are going to have good relationships we need to share emotions, be aware of the emotions of others, manage our own emotions successfully, and use all emotions intelligently. Emotion fuels all factors in a relationship. We must feed emotions, and not the least, love. Sadly, one of our most unintelligent actions is to expect positive emotions to last without our nurturing them and giving them the nutrition they need.
Recognizing Emotion Is Not Enough
Cognition is not enough in this life. This is especially true in the sensitive world of relationships. Furthermore, emotional intelligence is not limited to the ability to control our own emotions. It is also the understanding of our world. When we master the challenge to understand the emotions of others and respond to them appropriately and successfully, we will become intelligent in our relationships. Only the knowledgeable use of emotion will achieve this goal.
Positive Emotions Drive Our Strengths
We need to develop the positive emotions that drive our strengths in order to improve our relationships. For example, if you are an NF, you will want to develop your love and empathy. This will help you strengthen many beneficial relationships. You may need to either hold back the emotions that drive your passion or give them their full rein. Therefore, knowing which requires emotional intelligence.
Emotions Need to Be Handled Intelligently
Wouldn’t you expect that by the end of our teenage years we would have sorted out how to handle our emotions intelligently in our relationships? Unfortunately, the coaching room says this is not so. Few adults have learned the intricacies of emotional engagement.
The truth is, few want to learn the intricacies of emotional engagement. Ego and selfish goals dominate the desires of most people when it comes to relationships. All they want is to get what they want. That spells disaster.
I heard of a marriage that ended in 72 days! For love to be lost and emotional intelligence voided in such a short time is an amazing feat. Unfortunately, it is all too common.
For children, perhaps we can understand their ignorance. But for adults, what happened to the learned skill of blending one person’s emotional agenda with another’s? Was understanding and respect of another’s needs and their personal worth not considered to result in the end of a relationship in 72 days? One wonders at the pervasive lack of emotional skills in our society.
The Lasting Quality of a Relationship Depends on the Intelligent Use of Emotions
All relationships would be non-engagements without emotion and the lasting quality of the relationship depends on the intelligent use of emotions. What becomes of love and care if emotions are not wisely and considerately handled? What becomes of the motivation to please your spouse without the encouragement of love for each other?
Therefore, intelligent emotions are what we need. Developing the positive emotions that fuel our strengths and learning to understand, respect, and perhaps nurture the positive emotions of the other person in a relationship is the way to build strong, lasting relationships. Take three steps toward these goals:
- Discover your own temperament and the strengths that drive it by completing the InnerKinetics Adult Temperament Key.
- Discover what it means to be an SP, SJ, NT or NF by reading INNERKINETICS (or on Kindle, The Real You – SP, The Real You – SJ, The Real You – NT, or The Real You – NF).
- Learn how to develop the emotions that drive YOUR strengths and learn about how your temperament differs in emotional energy from the emotional energy of other temperaments by reading Intelligently Emotional.