The problem of emotional intelligence and its impact on the relations of people is widely discussed by psychologists and sociologists. Lam and Kirby (2002) provide the following definition of it: “Emotional intelligence reflects not a single trait or ability but, rather, a composite of distinct emotional reasoning abilities: perceiving, understanding, and regulating emotions (p. 134).” Generally, emotional intelligence is believed to have a positive impact on people’s ability to establish social contacts and on their interpersonal relations. More than that, according to Schutte et al. (2001), people with a higher level of emotional intelligence are more likely to have “more self-monitoring, better social skills, more cooperative behavior, closer relationships, and greater marital satisfaction (p. 535).” However, it can also have some negative impact on relationships.
In particular, high levels of emotional intelligence can lead to “poorer psychological health (Davis & Nichols, 2016)” and harm a person’s capacity to deal with stressful situation. It can be explained by the fact that such people are too sensitive to any shocks and negative experience, and every time a particular stressful factor occurs, it damages their nervous system and causes some problems in communication with other people. In addition, hyper-awareness of negative situations and conflicts in relationships make people with high emotional intelligence experience depression, and, if a conflict is too serious, it can even cause some suicidal thoughts. Another negative factor that can harm relationships is that too emotionally sensitive people usually tend to search for the reasons of all misunderstandings with other people and their inability to find a compromise in themselves.
As a result, instead of building strong relationships, one of the partners turns themselves into a victim engaged in self-indulgence and introspection. Moreover, if the levels of emotional intelligence of the partners differ, one of them will always feel that their contribution to the relationships is underestimated or are not appreciated at all. However, such a psychological peculiarity may also manifest itself in another way. In fact, being able to understand the emotions of other people, partners with a high level of emotional intelligence can use this skill to manipulate other people and to place psychological pressure on their partners.
- Davis, S. K., & Nichols, R. (2016). Does Emotional Intelligence Have a “Dark” Side? A Review of the Literature. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(1316). Retrieved April 18, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5003940/.
- Lam, T. L., & Kirby, S. L. Is Emotional Intelligence an Advantage? An Exploration of the Impact of Emotional and General Intelligence on Individual Performance (2002). The Journal of Social Psychology, 142(1), 133-143.
- Schutte, N. S., Malouff, J. M., Bobik, C., Coston, T. D., Greeson, C., Jedlicka, C., . . . Wendorf, G. (2001). Emotional Intelligence and Interpersonal Relations. The Journal of Social Psychology, 141(4), 523-536.