In my last blog post, I discussed how researchers are finding that reading novels may increase emotional intelligence—and as a result, may increase our interpersonal sensitivity.

Does emotional intelligence really matter in everyday life though? Yes.

Investigators conducted a meta-analysis, which is a summary of research on a topic, based upon more than 600 individuals’ self-reports regarding their romantic relationship satisfaction and their emotional intelligence (Malouff,  Schutte, & Thorsteinsson, 2014).

The authors of the study found that the greater an individual’s emotional intelligence, the greater an individual’s self-reported level of satisfaction with his/her romantic relationship.

The researchers also found that the greater an individual’s emotional intelligence, the greater his/her partner’s level of satisfaction with the romantic relationship.

So it works both ways, that is, the more we are able to identify emotions, understand the causes of emotions, and regulate emotions (our own and those of others), the more satisfied we and our partners are with our relationships.  

Why is this the case? It could be that having high levels of emotional intelligence prompts us to find more compatible partners, and/or that developing our emotional intelligence over time increases our satisfaction with relationships.

If you are wondering how to improve your emotional intelligence, you might want to consider using the Mood Meter app, which was developed by the folks at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

The Mood Meter app helps people expand their emotional vocabulary, identify causes of their feelings, regulate their emotions, and better understand the role that emotions play in various aspects of their lives throughout any given day:

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Malouff, J. M., Schutte, N., & Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2014). The American Journal of

Family Therapy, 42, 53-66.

About the Author

Kristine Anthis, Ph.D.

Kristine Anthis, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Southern Connecticut State University. She is the author of Lifespan Development, Sage Publications.

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How to Improve Your Relationship Satisfaction

and your partner’s relationship satisfaction, too.