Somehow we all want to believe we are ‘normal’. We usually all are but what is considered normal is quite wide. There are many varieties of normality and of course some are better and more desirable than others.
Among the ‘normal’ people around you, there are those you consider as more balanced, kinder, forgiving and so one. They are the ones who we think of more mature.
But among these same people that you consider ‘normal’, there are those who are ‘too normal’...like the guy at the office who never seems stressed out when deadline time comes.
Of course, their traits raise some questions but as long as they relate well with others, we kind of allow it. The truth is, not all normal people are balanced. Some are kind of sort of...insane...
We sometimes find this out the hard way when ‘normal’ changes. For example, one day when the ‘normal’ guy at the office goes berserk and storms out of the office after an argument with his boss.
As people, we are also allowed to be neurotic and to experience a wide range of feelings and to have a huge variety of values. That too is normal. It makes us who we are.
But with more life experience and when it comes to settling on a partner, we need to have developed a better sense of what kind of baggage to tolerate from others.
It’s easier to see another’s level of maturity when we love them and have no sexual involvement with them, but in today’s world and in my experience as a counsellor, we live in society that is quite sexualised so that even with my sexually abstinent and even religious clients, it can take time to see a person clearly.
Emotional intelligence is an important trait. This is why even major organisations are interested in measuring it in potential employees. It is good to be healthy and it is equally important to be in a healthy relationship.
We all deserve happiness but not everyone can achieve it. Thankfully, emotional intelligence can be improved through self-help books, personal growth counselling, life experience and workshops.
To understand this emotional maturity better we can say that this is a mental space that is perhaps best achieved through the kind of insight that comes of self exploration, good enough parenting and insight.
We are talking about a certain combination of qualities like humility, assertiveness, integrity, flexibility, even-temperedness, a sense of goodwill towards others, tact, self-restraint, self-awareness and inclusiveness just to name a few.
For many these can be hard to find in one person but I imagine that with a little effort, it can be attained.
The first step in becoming emotionally intelligent is to desire to be better and to do better in this way.
Psychologically, this has the effect of clearing the mind to receive new seeds which will form new ways of thinking. Reading and looking at self-help material is particularly helpful.
Unfortunately, while a person’s religion is important to them, it is their spirituality which is more important...a lot more important, which is why I will steer clear of this topic.
One thing doesn’t change though; people still need to look at their values and beliefs objectively in order to help them make clearer sense of themselves.
Now one may ask what this has to do with relationships. Perhaps, everything. What you are is what you bring into your world, including partners.