Your Heart

5 Ways To End A Relationship With Emotional Intelligence

By January 3, 2016 0

People often wonder how I move in out of significant relationships and friendships without enduring an emotional collapse.

Forget “collapse”—To many it seems as though I do it without so much as the batting of an eyelash. I seem cold: removed from the emotionality of the situation entirely. Ten years of love could be down the drain, and I would pack my suitcase calmly and move on, without shedding a tear. A friendship that began in diapers could go down in flames decades later, and I’d walk through the smoke without so much as a reactionary cough.

On the outside, that may sound to some as though I’m inaccessible, non-sentient—emotionally bankrupt, even.

But no.

The truth is that I possess an unusual amount of emotional intelligence which most people will not accomplish over a lifetime.

So are you in midst of ending a relationship, a friendship, a career? Here are the 5 do’s and dont’s for the emotionally intelligent.

  1. Do Not Try to Influence The External: Always, when a relationship is ending, one of the parties has determined it is over. “I am ending this relationship” “We are no longer friends”. Phrases like that are conclusions, not suggestions. If you are on the receiving end of those words you may want to fight and defend– but why? You already know how this story ends, because they just told you. So end it. Give them back their pink shirt and move on. Anything in between is just wasted energy, because you cannot make someone love you, value you, or want to be your friend. Do not allow the external to influence you into an internal hurricane– only to wind up at the same damn conclusion; the relationship is over.
  2. Say What You Mean: On the flip side of that is that emotionally intelligent people always say what they mean. There is a Mary Kay Ash quote which reads “Everyone is walking around with an invisible sign that reads ‘make me feel important'”. In my life experiences I have learned that people will do drastic things to obtain a feeling of importance. Usually, that thing is threatening to end a relationship, because such a threat gives them a cheap feeling of empowerment. Real empowerment comes from honesty. Try words like,”we need to figure out how to make me feel secure in this relationship” or “I am feeling insecure”. Phrases like these may sound weak, but emotionally intelligent people know that they are anything but. They are powerful, belonging to mature, self-aware individuals.  Plus, you can quickly determine if an ending is a true representation of someone’s desires by just giving it to them; if it is,  there will be no yelling, no screaming, no name-calling, just a simple departure. That is usually not the case. If you are the one initiating the ending, consider deeply if that is what you want and be prepared to get it the second you ask for it. In other words, don’t be shocked and offended when someone sends you the divorce papers to sign after you’ve asked for a divorce.
  3. Never, ever, name-call, and always apologize: I cannot stress this one enough. I learned in a psychology class in college that people do not remember the beginning or middle of their experiences, they only remember the end. That is to say that if you have a relationship that was 99.9 percent amazing but at the very end–the .1 percent of the time, you were both crazy and screaming and said awful things, you are likely going to tell people that “that relationship was crazy”. There have been many studies conducted to prove that this is true, so stick with the .1 percent. At the end of the relationship, say sorry even if you don’t mean it. If a person calls you names, do not respond in kind because in the end, they are determining their legacy, not yours. Two people are always at fault when a relationship ends, so apologizing for whatever role you may have played (and more importantly, not waiting or expecting for them to apologize in return) is the best thing to do for your soul. Make peace with the situation. Extract your ego from the equation. It is never worth it “to be right”, and when people are vicious and say nasty things it may hurt you for a moment, but they have to live with that version of themselves forever. Do not permanently shut the door on tomorrow, for words that choose you to say today.
  4. They understand that emotions are reactions, not reality: “Understanding that how you feel is not the defining characteristic of a situation is probably the most important aspect of emotional intelligence It is also the hardest to realize in the heat of the moment”. This one I plucked directly from an article I came across, because it so perfectly summarizes why I always, when faced with a would-be emotionally taxing situation, presumably “shut off”. It is my thorough understanding that mostly everything that happens is reactionary. The awful things people say to one another isn’t real, and anything that I am immediately feeling will not be long-term. So skip it. Skip it all. Skip right to the ending where you can affect that .1 percent recall of yourself. Be kind,be understanding, be deliberate
  5. They choose their own thoughts: Lastly, please remember that emotional intelligence is an understanding that you get to decide how you feel in every moment of every single day. People that are choosing to mull over and be depressed over a relationship’s ending have the right to. It just has never been my choice. “Emotionally intelligent people are often seen as stubborn. This is because they own their own thoughts and emotions equally… it’s not as much stubborn as it is picky”. Every single day, we have the opportunity to pick what version of ourselves we wish to be. Letting somebody else’s ultimate determination of you affect how you feel about yourself is a sign of a lower emotional IQ.

So yes, while it is certainly not “normal” that I am able to process, compartmentalize, and accept the end of relationships faster than most people are able to fully digest a meal. It is however, indicative of a soaring level of emotional intelligence. It is depending upon and within myself for happiness.

Because if there is anything that my experiences have leant me a hand in understanding over the years, it is that relationships end, people suck, but always always always– you can bank on the fact that life will keep going.

Makes sense then to endorse a little emotional intelligence along the way.