Live the Life Box

Emotional Intelligence at Valentine’s

By Lisa May

We all know that IQ measures intelligence, but are you aware of EQ? EQ is our emotional intelligence. In the best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman documented the research indicating that IQ intelligence only accounts for about 20 percent of a person’s success in life. So what accounts for the other 80%? Researchers believe a big piece of the puzzle is Emotional Intelligence – the capacity to ACQUIRE and APPLY emotional information.

People with strong emotional intelligence are more effective and successful in their career, make healthier choices, have more influence, make better decisions, make better grades, and they have better professional and personal relationships.

Research shows that once we become adults, there’s little we can do to increase our IQ. The good news is you can grow your EQ regardless of your age. Although we have no control over our chronological age, we do have control over our emotional age. Emotionally we can be stuck at any age. We can be adults with very high IQ, but on the inside, we might have a very low EQ.

Sustaining a loving relationship depends on both partners achieving a level of emotional maturity where you are capable of mutual concern.

Emotional Intelligence is categorized by four stages of development.

1) Emotional Infants: “I want it when I want it.”

• You have what I need.

• I will force you to give it to me.

• You owe it to me.

• It’s all or nothing.

2) Emotional Children: Doesn’t say what’s wrong…acts out in behavior and keeps you guessing.

• You have something that I want, and I will find a way to get it from you.

• I will lie, trick, manipulate and whine to get what I want.

• I will see revenge if you do not give me enough.

• I will get even with you for the pain you cause me by not doing what I want

3) Emotional Adolescents: “Don’t tell me what to do!”

• “Don’t tell me what to do.”

• My autonomy is threatened by needing and taking too much from a relationship.

• I misunderstand your requests as attempts to control me.

• I am rebellious when criticized, corrected or directed.

4) Emotional Adults: Capacity for mutual concern: able to listen with empathy: confides needs in a caring, positive manner. Desire for relationship to win.

• I can listen with empathy without demanding, manipulating, or rebelling regarding others’ reality.

• I am self-aware and can receive criticism without becoming defensive.

• I am able to give and take pleasure without fear of painful loss, lack of control or loss of autonomy.

• I can speak congruently in my own behalf or in behalf of the relationship, even at the risk of displeasing you.

If we’re honest with ourselves we will acknowledge that we exhibit some of the characteristics from time to time in all levels, especially when we’re angry.  You become an emotional adult whenever your desire to PROTECT is GREATER than your desire to BE PROTECTED, AND your desire to LOVE is greater than your desire to BE LOVED.

Lisa May is Executive Director of Live the Life South Florida and is dedicated to strengthening marriages and families through healthy relationship education beginning in middle school through senior adults.

She can be reached at or by mail at 5110 N. Federal Hwy. Suite 102, Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33308

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