Emotional intensity refers to the level of intensity or arousal a person experiences due to triggers or stimuli within the relationship. The concept is often used in psychology to describe how partner responds to and cope with stressors in their relationships.
A partner who is high in emotional intensity may be more likely to experience anxiety and depression, as well as problems with emotional regulation. On the other hand, a partner who is low in emotional intensity may be more likely to experience boredom and dissatisfaction. They may try to escape or freeze when emotions become overwhelming and face challenges when experiencing tension or conflict.
The level of emotional intensity that a person experiences can vary depending on their individual temperament and life circumstances. However, it is important to note that emotional intensity is not a static trait – it can fluctuate over time in response to different life events or relationship stressors.
Here are some ways to identify emotional intensity and strategies to better manage it:
Signs of Emotional Intensity
Emotional intensity is not something that can be seen with the naked eye. However, there are certain behaviors and signs that can be indicative of a partner who is emotionally intense. For example, someone who is emotionally intense may find themselves getting easily overwhelmed or feeling strong emotions more frequently than others. They may also have a hard time regulating their emotions, leading to outbursts or periods of intense sadness or anger.
Emotionally intense partners also enjoy fiery passion fights and makeup sessions, tend to overshare their feelings and flood their partner on topics, rush into a relationship too soon, and constantly need to be around their partner or friends because they often feel lonely or have an unstable sense of self. Additionally, a partner who is emotionally intense tends to be highly sensitive to the emotions of others, and struggle with boundary issues.
Other signs look like being told you are overly sensitive, extreme highs and lows of emotional intensity, easily moved by nature, storytelling, animals, or people, enjoying deep conversations, and experiencing bouts of crying or frustration out of thin air.
2. How It Creates An Imbalance In The Connection
Emotional intensity is when emotional responses are much stronger than the stimulus warrants. It can create problems in all types of relationships, especially your romantic relationship. The imbalance that emotional intensity creates can often be a result of emotional dysregulation, which is an inability to effectively control emotions. When emotional intensity is left unchecked, it can lead to explosive outbursts, chronic anger, and emotional manipulation.
Emotional intensity is often seen as a desirable trait in a romantic partner. After all, who doesn't want to feel passionately loved? However, emotional intensity can also create problems in relationships. When one partner is significantly more emotional than the other, it can lead to an imbalance of power and make it difficult to resolve conflict.
One partner may feel overwhelmed by the other's emotions or may start to feel like they are the only one invested in the relationship. If the emotional intensity is not balanced with empathy and communication, it can create tension and conflict in a relationship. However, when both partners are aware of the potential for emotional intensity to create problems, they can work together to maintain a healthy balance.
3. What To Do If Your or Your Partner Is Emotionally Intense
If you find yourself in a relationship with an emotionally intense partner, it's important to be supportive and understanding. Emotional intensity can be taxing, and your partner may need extra reassurance and care. Here are some tips on how to best support your partner:
Encourage open communication. emotional intensity can often be overwhelming, and your partner may not always know how to express what they're feeling. Encourage them to communicate with you openly about their emotions, and let them know that you're there to listen.
Make time for emotional intimacy. In addition to physical intimacy, emotional intimacy is crucial in a relationship. Make time to connect with your partner on a deeper level, and share your own emotions with them. This will help create a stronger bond between you.
Be patient. Intense emotions can sometimes lead to outbursts or irrational behavior. try to be patient with your partner, and understand that they may not always be able to control their reactions.
Seek professional help if needed. If you find that you're struggling to deal with your partner's emotional intensity or your partner’s resistance to understanding your emotions, it may be helpful to seek professional relationship coaching.
4. What Prevents Couples From Finding Alignment During Intense Conversations
When emotional intensity is high, it can be difficult for couples to find alignment. This is because emotional intensity creates a strong emotional reaction in each partner, which can cloud judgment and lead to impulsive decisions.
When this happens, it is difficult to see things from your partner's perspective and find common ground. Instead, each partner may become focused on their own needs and wants, leading to further conflict.
Behaviors that prevent alignment:
Poor Emotional Regulation
Lack of Active Listening
Disengaging From The Conversation
Rehashing The Past
Me Mindset- Me Vs You (power struggles)
Lack of Healthy Boundaries
5. How to Personally Cope With Emotional Intensity
Most of us have experienced emotional intensity at some point in our lives. Whether it's the result of a traumatic event, a difficult situation, or simply overwhelming emotions, it can be tough to cope with. But there are things you can do to help manage emotional intensity and get through it.
First, it's important to understand that emotional intensity is normal and understandable given the circumstances. It doesn't mean you're weak or crazy. Secondly, try to ground yourself in the present moment. This means staying aware of your surroundings and focusing on your breath to calm your nervous system. Third, don't push away your emotions or try to numb them. Allow yourself to feel them, but remind yourself that they won't last forever.
Emotional coping skills may look like journaling, reciting positive affirmations, taking a walk, listening to light music, meditating, or painting or coloring.
6. How To Find Alignment As A Couple
When you and your partner are having an emotional conversation, it can be difficult to stay aligned with each other. You may feel like you're on opposite sides, or that you're not understanding each other. However, there are ways to stay connected and find alignment even in the midst of emotional intensity.
In order to find alignment during an emotional conversation, each partner needs to be aware of their own emotional state as well as the emotional state of their partner. Here are four tips for finding alignment during an emotional conversation:
1. Take a Step Back: If you find yourself getting overly emotional, take a step back and take a few deep breaths. This will help you to clear your head and hopefully allow you to see the situation more clearly.
2. Actively Listen: It can be tempting to only think about what you want to say next when your partner is talking. However, it's important to really listen to what they're saying and try to understand their perspective. This can be achieved through active listening and empathetic responding. Active listening involves giving your full attention to your partner and trying to understand their perspective. Empathetic responding entails acknowledging and validating your partner's feelings. When both partners are able to do this, it creates a space for emotional alignment to occur.
3. Openly Communicate: Be honest with your partner about how you're feeling and why you're feeling that way. This will help them to understand where you're coming from and hopefully provide some clarity on the situation.
4. Seek Compromise With Healthy Boundaries: relationships are all about compromise. If you're both willing to meet in the middle by setting a healthy boundary for greater alignment, it's likely that you'll be able to find some common ground and agreement.
If you or your partner are an emotionally intense person, then it can be challenging to navigate relationship issues as you and your partner may not fully understand what the other person needs or how to reach a resolution. While your relationship can experience some highs and lows, consider learning how to better work together to feel more inner peace and alignment as a couple. Not sure where to begin? Set up a call to learn more about our Relationship Rescue Program.