The Phony Holiday: Valentine’s Day

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By: Center For Worklife - Expert Reviewer

The Phony Holiday: Valentine’s Day

Let’s take a break from office-talk today and focus on work life balance and strengthening personal relationships through EI.

On his vlog, Mike Baxter of the comedy TV series, Last Man Standing, describes Valentine’s Day as a “phony, stupid, con game.” This is an example of emotional intelligence “hitting the fan” at high speed.

But this isn’t an uncommon view of the holiday that on average costs each person $130.97 according to CNN. Well, when the expense of a single day is equivalent to a monthly health insurance bill, it’s not as if Mike’s reservations aren’t warranted. It’s oaky for couple’s not to be fans of the holiday. And it’s perfectly okay for Mike or anyone to not be excited about it. The problem arises when an individual, like Mike, is not emotionally intelligent about their opinion. He’s failed to see that despite the commercialism of the day, it’s an opportunity to make his wife feel special. He’s also failed to realize that although he feels it’s a pointless holiday, it is very meaningful to some people, which could include his viewers. His lack of emotional intelligence and empathy is obvious when he bashes the day on his vlog.

Although Valentine’s Day is usually about showing love and maybe eating delicious chocolate, it’s also a great day to practice emotional intelligence. It is an opportunity to for couples with differing opinions to strengthen their relationship by being in-tune with each other’s needs. In Mike’s scenario, his wife wasn’t too pushy about celebrating the holiday, but she clearly didn’t agree with his outlook. Being emotionally intelligent about the situation, she goes along with his view throughout their marriage. Despite his lack of emotional intelligence, Mike does also pull-through and shows emotional intelligence by surprising her with roses. Sure, this couple would have been perfectly fine without acknowledging the holiday at all. But showing emotional intelligence jet-powered their relationship, rather than letting it chug along.

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Be it a significant other, a co-worker that loves to give gifts on Valentine’s Day or your child who wants to give out home-made valentines to their class, remember to be emotionally intelligent about other’s needs. Show appreciation to that co-worker and maybe even bring candy for the office. Take a few minutes of your time to help your kid make valentines, because it only costs you a few minutes, but means the world to your child. For someone who isn’t a fan of the holiday, this doesn’t mean you have to buy up cards at Hallmark, it just means you should acknowledge feelings and show a little effort. Consider surprising your spouse, even if you don’t usually celebrate the holiday. On the flip side of the coin, someone who has high expectations for the day, but knows their partner is stressed by the pressure, can show love by dialing down requests or make a big gesture by planning a low-key evening at home.

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