It requires good self-awareness as well as awareness of what others are feeling and expressing- both verbally and nonverbally.
Our emotions are usually demonstrated through the level of energy we express- and tuning into the energy changes in ourselves and those around us is a way to raise our awareness and EI.
If this woman had a higher EI, how might she have handled herself differently on this first date?
To begin with, she would have begun managing her anxiety before arriving at the coffee house.
Perhaps she would have tried some self talk, reminding herself that getting upset about being late would have a negative impact on what she said and how she came across.
Had she worked on getting this into perspective and focused on presenting an open and positive introduction of herself, her date would (most likely) have quickly let go of any annoyance he might have been feeling at having to wait.
From there they would have moved on to a pleasant discussion of how their day(s) went and other topics of mutual interest.
Instead of strained silences, glances at the time, pressured conversation (that sounded like a desperate Hail Mary pass) to try to salvage the date – there could have been laughter, great conversation, intense listening and the beginning of a new bond between them.
Instead of this woman trying to tell him what she is really like, she would have shown him that person.
Even if the physical chemistry was not ideal, the possibility of connecting around a shared sense of humor, good comfort level and mutual interests would have left them with the option of a second date – and more time to explore where this could lead.
When preparing for your next first date, remember to bring along a greater self- awareness and a commitment to tune into the verbal and nonverbal messages expressed by this other person.
Make an effort to observe how you interact with friends, family, co-workers and others- and ask for feedback from the people you know will be honest with you.
Increasing your EI is the greatest investment you can make to ensure that all your present and future relationships will be healthy and mutually satisfying ones.
About the Author:
Toni Coleman, MSW is a psychotherapist, relationship coach and founder of http://www.consum-mate.com. As a recognized expert, Toni has been quoted in many local and national publications including; The Chicago Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel, New York Daily News, Indianapolis Star and Newsweek newspapers and Family Circle, Cosmo Style, Tango, Men's Health, Star (regularly quoted body language expert), and People magazines. She has been featured on ABC news, Discovery Health, AOL news, MSN, and Match. Toni is also the featured relationship coach in “The Business And Practice Of Coaching,” ( Norton,September 2005); and is the author of the forward for,” Winning Points With The Woman In Your Life, One Touchdown At A Time” (Simon and Schuster, November 2005). From March 2005 until December 2005, she was a weekly contributing commentator (love and dating coach) on the KTRS Radio Morning Show, (St. Louis, MO). Toni is a member of The International Coach Federation, The International Association of Coaches and The National Association of Social Workers.