The EI Factor

Remember! Dates don't always go as planned. Even with the best laid plans and attention having been paid to every detail...'stuff can still happen. How you react to unforeseen, unexpected and unusual things is guided by your Emotional Intelligence. Your basic brain power is called you IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and it is pretty much what ever it is going to be when you were born but your EI is something you learn with maturity.

Basically, EI is a capacity to use reason to understand one's emotions and the emotions of others. When someone possesses high EI, they demonstrate an ability to utilize their emotions to enhance thinking, perception, expression and management of themselves and those around them. It requires good self-awareness as well as awareness of what others are feeling and expressing- both verbally and nonverbally. Our emotions are usually demonstrated through the level of energy we express- and tuning into the energy changes in ourselves and those around us is a way to raise our awareness and EI.

A two- year-old who is told "no" may throw himself on the floor and have a walleyed fit. A ten-year-old when faced with having a request denied may slam the door to their room hard enough to rattle the china and pout for hours. A teenager who is given what they consider an unreasonable curfew may resort to begging and pleading for an extension. The idea is that as we mature, our EI is supposed to mature along with our bodies and minds. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. Some otherwise mature and intelligent adults, when faced with unforeseen, unexpected or unusual events, react like spoiled children. When something unexpected happens on a date it does seem to bring out the child in those with a low EI.

If you have a high EI, you have the ability to put yourself in the other person's place and understand how they feel about whatever has happened. When you understand how another person feels, it is easy to deal with any situation like a mature adult.

Let's say your date is late meeting you. She is usually on time but this time she is almost an hour late. If you have a low EI, you will most likely throw a fit and demand an explanation that, no matter what it is, won't be a reason good enough to explain why you had to wait. If you have a high EI, you will understand that sometimes 'stuff just happens. You will know that she feels bad about having made you wait and you will put her at ease about being late. She is usually on time so you will accept whatever explanation she gives for her tardiness and move to having a nice time together.

It is important in any relationship that both parties have high EI's so that there is mutual respect and security in the relationship.

When preparing for your first date, remember to bring along self- awareness and a commitment to tune into the verbal and nonverbal messages expressed by this other person. Make an effort to observe how you interact with friends, family, co-workers and others- and ask for feedback from the people you know will be honest with you. Increasing your EI is the greatest investment you can make to ensure that all your present and future relationships will be healthy and mutually satisfying ones.

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