What are healthy emotional characteristics? Most of us don’t take the time we need to think about our emotional characteristics until something goes wrong in our lives. Divorce is one of those life shifting events that if you are a person that chooses to reflect on how you got to where you are — can really shine a light on how you got to where you are. Challenges are opportunities, and it is my belief that no crisis should go wasted, divorce is certainly one of those life changing opportunities for growth and positive change. 

Let’s explore some essential healthy emotional characteristics (EQ) and skills adults need to have in place to cultivate healthy relational dynamics:

  • Emotional regulation. Regulating emotions is key to healthy adult relationships. This skill involves the discipline of self regulation and the ability to step away when feeling triggered or an emotional response that is disproportionate to the stimulus. 
  • Tolerating emotional confrontation. This skill  is the ability to tolerate the personal discomfort that comes with confronting issues, which brings us back to the first essential skill of personal emotional regulations. When you can regulate your own anger, irritability and general reactivity, confrontations with others become easier to navigate. 
  • Admitting Mistakes. Again, another skill that is critical for relational dynamics with other healthy adults. Admitting mistakes makes it so we can easily begin to look for a solution, and process whatever issue or confrontation we have in front of us. 
  • Honesty. Honesty makes it so we can be honorable with ourselves and with others. Honesty is an emotional skill, honesty is about emotion – truth is about facts and evidence. So, when we reflect honestly about our feelings, it is subjective to us and our experience. 
  • Boundaries. Boundaries are extremely essential for emotional health. Holding clear emotional boundaries is the ability to differentiate your emotions from another person’s emotions. Violations of emotional boundaries include taking responsibility for another person’s emotions, sacrificing your needs to please another, blaming others for your problems, or taking on another person’s problems as your own. 
  • Be Proactive about your life. An important indicator of adult emotional maturity is the ability to be proactive about the life you are living. Making choices that help you move forward in a non reactive manner, but rather a proactive manner – understanding that your life is in your hands and not blaming others as a victim to your circumstances. 
  • Live by your values. This is about being proactive, defining your life as you want to live it and moving forward with an understanding that you are a real grown up and responsible for your side of the street. You are now a victim or a martyr. You are the architect of your life, you get to choose the kind of life you live, who you share it with, and how you share it. This enables you to move away from the “shoulds” of living into really living. 

Step away from shame, we all have a past – the future is yet to be determined. But we have today, and today you can work on refining your emotional skill set.