Emotional Intelligence

29 May

While I was visiting the Clinton Center in LR six weeks ago, I noticed that a book by Daniel Goleman “Emotional Intelligence” was the #1 bestseller in 96′ just ahead of Hillary’s bestseller “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child”. I checked it out at my local library a few weeks back and I am just now getting around to giving my 3 cents about the very intriguing book by Goleman.

Goleman basically believes that emotional intelligence (EQ) is more important for success in life than IQ. Well, what is EQ? It is simply how well we get along with others. That’s it? Yea, that’s it. Not so fast. Ok, it is a little more complicated than that but not by much. EQ can be measured in five ways: knowing one’s emotions, managing one’s emotions, motivating self, recognizing emotions in others (also referred to as empathy), and handling relationships.

Did your parents sit down with you and educate you on your emotions and how to recognize them in others? I don’t think so. They probably did tell you to calm down or play nice with your brother. Who taught you to motivate yourself? I was motivated by getting approval from my parents and that crossed over into school and then work. Now, the biggie: handling relationships. Who taught you about that? Probably TV and movies (how did they learn that stuff before TV and movies)? 

In my view, relationships with others is the most vital activity we do as humans. Think about it for three seconds…Yup, he is right (again, ha ha). Those who succeed in life (not just financially) generally know a thing or two about building and maintaining relationships with others. Even the sick bastards like Aristotle Onassis knew the importance of relationships. But no one sits down with us and tells us how to do it (play well with others). Well, Goleman believes we ought to. We can’t afford to let it happen naturally because for some, actually many (just look at the current prison population) just don’t get it.

We need to learn how to control our emotions to get better outcomes in this world. Think about this example: Tim McVeigh, the OKC bomber (in 95′), he had built up so my anger and hatred for the government that it led him to kill 168 people. See my friends, this EQ stuff is life-saving and/or life-giving stuff. We have to learn to be more self aware about our moods. If you don’t understand your mood, it might end up controlling your life (i.e. depression). 

Some people, according to Goleman actually can’t understand their feelings (so they are unable to express them) or they experience too much feeling (and lose control and do “stupid” stuff). Naturally, we want to feel good or better (hum, wonder why alcohol and other drugs are so abused in this society?). A little anger management lesson for you:  instead of thinking negative thoughts over and over which only increases anger, change it up with some “other” thoughts. Here’s an anxiety management lesson: catch the cues for anxiety early, is it really possible (that it could happen), think about alternatives to the situation instead of “just” worrying.

Goleman also looks at hope. How much hope do you have? Low/Medium/High, do you have a defeatist attitude? How optimistic are you? Do you take rejection well or do you view yourself as a “failure”. Did you know that 3 out of 4 salesmen quit in the first three years because they can’t handle rejection well? 

The importance of empathy: when we understand others more, it helps us to understand ourselves better. And you thought it was about them. The roots of empathy are based in infancy and by the time your kid reaches 2 1/2 years old, he realizes that someone else’s pain is different than his own. Wow! I still haven’t learned that. How attuned are you to your child’s feelings? A lot of criminals were neglected by their parents and didn’t receive that vital attunement. 

Well, I hope you are starting to get the point. EQ is pretty cool to learn more about and we need to teach our kids more about it if we want them to optimize their potentials. I will probably be bringing a second post to this topic soon…

 

 

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2 Responses to “Emotional Intelligence”

  1. sven June 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Awesome post!

  2. lifechangecounseling June 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Thanks Loo! I am glad you finally made time to read my blog. I wish you would keep a blog too. You have so much talent. In fact, you have more talent in your big toe than I have in my entire being.

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