Relationships often end with a whimper, not a bang. It’s the small, seemingly insignificant efforts that build connection and earn trust.
We tend to focus on the big things like faithfulness and honesty. Those things are important. And it can be easy to overlook shortcomings when you tell yourself to just be grateful your partner doesn’t lie or cheat on you.
But if your partner invalidates, avoids vulnerability, and is inconsiderate enough times, the “small” things eventually overshadow the big ones.
Emotional intelligence gets thrown around a lot. But what does it actually mean?
Emotional intelligence is being intellectually curious about your partner’s emotional well-being. It means not rushing to judgment or assumptions. It means taking a conscientious approach to your partner, and maintaining space for them to be listened to and understood. It is understanding that there’s room for your emotions and their emotions at the same time.
One of my favorite lessons is by Dr. Steven Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People). It’s better to understand than to be understood.
In relationships, it’s easy to prioritize being understood, especially when we feel we are right. But to prioritize understanding your partner is demonstrating true kindness (and emotional intelligence).