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Has he got a high EQ?

So he might be able to impress you with his knowledge of astronomy, but can he empathize with your bout of post natal depression? It isn't a high IQ, but rather a high emotional quotient (EQ) that is the secret to a fulfilling relationship, discovers Sarah Bladen.

The concept of emotional intelligence was first coined by Dr. Daniel Goleman, in the 1990's. It refers to a self-awareness that enables you to recognize your own feelings and those of others. Those who have a high emotional quotient (EQ) are able to manage their emotions in order to get the most out of life. According to relationship experts, the likelihood of having a successful intimate relationship partly depends upon your own EQ level and that of your partner. Some men might have IQ's higher than Mount Everest, but when it comes to emotional intelligence, they have more in common with Homer Simpson than Nelson Mandela. Just because a man is deemed intellectual and can explain quantum physics, doesn't mean he can control his anger or respond to you in a sensitive way.

In his best-selling book "Emotional Intelligence", Dr. Goleman, suggests that your EQ is 'as powerful, and at times more powerful, than IQ' and provides 'an advantage in any domain of life'.

"A man with a high IQ and low emotional quotient (EQ) is a dangerous combination," explains Dr. Kennon Rider, a marriage counsellor in Dubai. "He isn't simply an insensitive oaf who hogs the remote control; his selfishness is more complex. In public, he might be entertaining and charismatic. At work, he might be a tough decision maker who inspires his peers, but at home, he is unable to empathize with his wife. Empathy is one of the key indicators of an emotionally mature man. In men who lack this skill, it's as if their sensitivity switch has been turned off. It's often a case of 'my way or the high way'. "And this is why these men make such difficult companions."

Sean Connery, the lovable Scottish actor best known for his macho role as James Bond, probably fits into the high IQ, low EQ mould. According to his ex-wife, Diane Cilento, he was hell to live with and allegedly he even hit her. Hollywood veteran Jack Nicholson might also fit the profile. He admitted he always considered fidelity an impossible task, even when he said his marriage vows to ex-wife Sandra Knight. Woody Allen and Mick Jagger could also be accused of being emotionally puerile.

Financially rich, but emotionally poor
Dr Rider sees several male patients who also fall into this category. "They might be successful CEO's who drive top of the range motors and send their kids to boarding school abroad," says Dr Kennon, "but they are also narcissists who suffer from what I call a 'sense of entitlement'". They feel they have a right to everything whenever they want 'almost like a spoilt kid. They expect instant gratification all the time. And when they don't get it, uncontrolled emotions are unleashed.

"Because they have difficulty managing their feelings and understanding those of others, it means their bank balance might be hefty but when it comes to intimacy, their deposit box is nearly empty."

Dr Rider goes on to say this phenomenon is worryingly prevalent in the Middle East. "Firstly, there is a huge amount of wealth in this area," he explains. "Secondly, we are living in a culture where sons are pampered rotten and treated like royalty. As a result, many are used to getting their own way. And if they are never taught how to reason and see someone else's point of view, then they will find it harder to communicate on an intimate level. These men tend to see the world in black and white rather than shades of grey."

Less fights

According to marriage experts, as long as emotional needs are met in a relationship, then you are half way there. Susan Dunn, an EQ coach, points to research that suggests couples with low EQ's were the unhappiest.

"What counts (in a happy marriage) is being able to handle yourself and get along¡", she says. "I coach, teach and write about EQ. Somebody finally studied this enigmatic thing called 'getting along¡' and broke it down into competencies such as empathy, constructive discontent, resilience and intuition."


A man with a high EQ is much more understanding and sensitive to his partner's needs and so makes a better husband. If you have an argument with a man with a healthy EQ (and your own emotional intelligence level is intact), then the conflict is more likely to be resolved in a respectful way.


As a consequence, you will feel comfortable expressing your true feelings in front of him.He will also be keener to find a solution that takes into account your needs, not just his. Emotionally mature men also make great dads. Conversely, the opposite is true for those with a low EQ.


Can you teach old dog new tricks?
So, if you realize your man happens to have the emotional aptitude of a worm, should you be making a run for the hills? "No. Give him a chance," suggests Dr Rider, who has coached couples with this issue. "He can change for the better. You can teach empathy, although it does require a willingness to learn as well as patience. One technique I show couples is how really to listen and understand the other person's point of view. Firstly, I slow down the conversation and ask the husband to paraphrase what she has just said. It's an awkward process 'it's a little like learning to ski. Once you get it, you suddenly appreciate and enjoy it.'


So, if you happen to be with a man who is emotionally backward, it's worth remembering that it is possible to connect on a deeper level; you might benefit from some professional help. If on the other hand you have a sensitive husband who is in touch with your feelings, thank your lucky stars 'you are more likely to have a fulfilling relationship.' To test your emotional intelligence, visit




How would an emotionally-in-touch woman react?
You can't expect your man to be emotionally intelligent, if you act like a spoilt girl. Dr Kennon Rider shows you how to react in an emotionally healthy way in the following scenarios:


1. Your husband is a risky driver. How can you encourage him to drive a little more cautiously?
A woman with a low EQ might label him 'a lousy driver' or a 'maniac on the roads' - this may simply encourage him to drive even more dangerously. It is far better to speak with rather than  you. Try saying something like, "I get scared when you drive like that, please could we take it a little slower". This approach is less critical and instead of forcing him to change, you are simply suggesting.


2. Your partner has started to show up later than usual from work and you feel a little insecure. How can you get him to spend more time with you?
This is a common problem among couples and more often than not women react in the wrong way. Some complain, get angry, set a curfew, while others may 'tell-off' their husbands and some go so far as to withdraw sex as a punishment. These reactions aren't emotionally intelligent. Instead, they will probably drive your man further away.

The emotionally intelligent woman would simply make her man want to come home through her actions. Perhaps she might buy the latest epic action movie that she knows he would love to watch, or maybe she'd prepare a candle-lit dinner or invite his mates over to watch Formula One. If on occasion you do special and thoughtful gestures like these, your husband will want to come home as early as possible. I always remind couples who come to see me that it¡¯s important to reintroduce the romance into a relationship.


3. You hate your husband's habit of repeating the same story every time you go out to dinner with different friends. Should you simply laugh along and put up with it?
Yes. An emotionally intelligent person is able to prioritize important issues and put things into perspective. Those who are not typically make mountains out of molehills. Life is too short to sweat the small things.


4. Occasionally when you are talking about something important to you, your husband suddenly interrupts and talks about something else. How can you deal with this problem?
Wait until he finishes what he has said, don't interrupt him and make the same mistake he does instead bring the topic back to you and calmly continue what you were saying. Avoid getting angry - otherwise you let him take the power and initiative from you. He should get the message if you do this every time he interrupts you. Otherwise, talk to him about this issue when you are both feeling happy and relaxed. Strike while the iron is cold, rather than hot!


5. Your husband criticizes your 'chubby belly'. You may laugh, but inside it hurts. Should you point out his flaws in return?
Certainly not, otherwise you are only succumbing to his level of immaturity. It's better to tell him that it hurts your feelings when he points out your imperfections and you would appreciate it more when he focuses upon your positive features.




Boost your EI
Be emotionally literate. Label your emotions rather than attribute blame. 'I feel cold' rather than "Why did you put the a/c on full-blast?"


Respect other people's feelings and opinions. Agree to disagree.


Don't overly criticize or judge other people.


Avoid spending time with people who ignore you and your feelings.


Use 'I' instead of 'you'. For instance, 'I feel disrespected' rather than 'You don't respect me.'


Express yourself in a positive way.


Source: Arabian Woman
Posted: 26/06/2008


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