How To Let Your Emotional Labor Do The Heavy Lifting To Improve Or Save Your Relationship
There is strength in giving attention to the emotions and needs of others
A lot of relationships last because of the little things that are not really so small. These are the moments that matter the most, that are more salient and significant than physical problems or financial issues.
How can it be that emotional needs are so important? People are emotional and social beings, and evolution has taught us the value of others in our lives.
Think of your biggest relationship and the status of it. Are there imbalances that you know are causing conflicts? Is one person not getting enough attention or intimacy and nobody talks about it?
Emotional roadblocks are built up over time and they getting bigger and stronger, to the point where misery creeps inside. To save the relationship, one or both of you ask to do the emotional labor or breaking down the roadblocks and opening new roads.
Emotional labor is the work you do every day to either help save your relationship or help improve it. A lack of emotional labor or effort is likely to lead the end of the emotional relationship, and that could also lead to divorce.
What are some examples of emotional labor:
- Extra listening
- A soft touch
- Lowering your volume
- Quiet time
- Being empathetic
- Showing concern
- Being agreeable
- Positive body language
Some people are very good at emotional labor. It could be that they had good examples in life, or people in their lives who were good at assessing emotions and being attentive to emotional needs.
Other people may not have had good role models when it comes to either expressing emotions or being able to sense them or interpret them. Thus, they may not be able to do as much emotional labor as they want to or need to, but it is not necessarily because they don’t want to.
How can you know when someone is making an effort to do some emotional labor for you and your relationship together? You can tell if you search hard enough. Here are some ways to find out:
- Does someone sense stress and make an effort toward calmness?
- How is the tone of voice?
- Is there respect and courtesy in the air?
- Does a person seem willing to talk about the difficult issues?
- Can you feel the warmth?
The hard work of emotional labor often is not valued. You can put a dollar amount on your income. You can separate the chores and add up who is doing what on which day. But the effort that it takes to be sensitive to the emotional needs of others cannot be quantified.
What can you do to let your emotional labor and emotional intelligence do more of the heavy lifting in your life? I suggest that there is almost no end to how this can help. Emotional support is often the foundation by which people start their successful lives, knowing that they have the support they need at home.
Consider these ways to help be attuned to the emotional needs of others:
- Be willing to talk even though it is uncomfortable. There is often something that needs to be addressed.
- Make sure other needs are being met by both parties. A lack of one thing or too little of another thing matters quite a lot sometimes.
- Make efforts not to fight over little things. Too many small skirmishes end up in big wars.
- Hold hands and give attention.
There will be a lot of stresses in life. You can be faced with job losses and lack of money. You can worry about having a place to call home. And you can face big setbacks that you don’t think you can overcome.
Emotional labor can save you and your relationship. If someone knows that someone loves them and cares about their emotional needs, that can give them the strength to face the new day and fight the good fight.
Think of a person you care about. Make an effort to be there for that person today, show that you care for them, and build a foundation of emotional strength.