According to Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence, girls are much more likely than boys to stop their games if someone becomes upset or hurt. In boys’ games, the upset boy is expected to move out of the way so the game can continue.
This shows that there is a disparity in the way that boys and girls respond emotionally, even at a young age. Girls are more occupied with minimizing hostility and maximizing co-operation, while boys are more focused on competition, independence and toughness.
I can testify to the boys’ side of this phenomenon: When I split my chin open playing football in school, the game continued on and I resumed once I had gotten successfully patched up by the school nurse. While skateboarding there have been times where people have hurt themselves – if they haven’t moved out of the way they are gently asked to. Obviously there have been times where the injury has been serious enough to stop the game too.
Goleman explains that differences between genders like these can lead to a deficiency in how men and women communicate with each other in intimate relationships. By increasing our emotional intelligence, we can more often become conscious of how the other is feeling, and communicate better.
Want to know more about the five domains of emotional intelligence? Click here.