New research on emotional intelligence and personality disorders suggests that people with certain types of traits are likely to lack the interpersonal awareness needed to control their overcontrolling impulses. Fairleigh Dickinson’s Marta Krajniak and colleagues (2018) conducted a questionnaire study on the relationship between personality disorder symptoms and emotional intelligence in a sample of first-year undergraduates with the intention of examining the personality factors that predict college adjustment. Although their research focused specifically on issues related to college adaptation, their findings provide intriguing suggestions about the ways in which people who try to dominate everyone else with their own views of the world can make life difficult for everyone, including themselves.

The Fairleigh Dickinson research team used standard measures to assess emotional intelligence as a trait, or enduring disposition. As such, they defined emotional intelligence as “an individual’s ability to experience, attend to, process, understand, regulate, and reason about affect-laden information in themselves and others.” In other words, people high in emotional intelligence should be able to adjust their behavior to that of the people they’re with rather than to insist on having their own way. Your opinionated relative would, in this framework, be someone low in emotional intelligence because he can’t recognize and respect your point of view.


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