Emotional IntelligenceThe term emotional intelligence (EI) was originally coined by two U.S.psychologists, Peter Salovey and John Mayer, in 1990. Their work and the conceptof emotional intelligence were then made popular by Daniel Goleman (father ofthe emotional intelligence theory). He successfully brought EI into the public arenaby writing a book titled, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.American readers lapped up the book. Truly, EI became a watershed concept in thehistory of psychology. Much time has passed since Goleman’s penning of thatbook, but his ideas have echoed throughout the past two decades. Some books lasta lifetime, and this is one of them. Grab your copy now. “Save” this book in yourheart.An older couple, in their mid-70s, went to their friend’s penthouse apartment(which was decorated with hundreds of little lights and glass baubles for the party)and sat there solemnly. After a while, they enjoyed a good meal, starting with aduck liver parfait, then a mousse made of local Franken fish wrapped in spinach.For beverage, the whole party was served water from a large earthenware jug. Justwhen the couple was about to leave, the music and dancing started. The party soonturned into a frenzied atmosphere. Understandably, the elderly couple too becameintoxicated, and started dancing more energetically than most of the young peoplewho were present. This surprised many people, but the biggest scare to thethousands of guests came when the aged couple’s hearts started to pump faster(due to the excitement of dancing), and they died right on the dance floor. Shockwaves related to their deaths shattered the entire mood of the party. The principallesson to be learned from this situation is that an onslaught of emotions spellsdoom. However, by resisting temptation and impulsiveness we gain control overour emotions. Self-regulation is about managing feelings so that your behavior isappropriate for the circumstances. Some experts now feel that self-regulation ismore valuable than intelligence.We all have a wide range of emotions (without them, we would be dull robots).Emotions are chemical signals fired off by your nervous system in response towhat is going on around you. Emotions govern our thoughts and actions; they fuelour needs; they impinge on our bodies, and have a bearing on our relationships.Experiencing and expressing emotions are two different things. If you do not knowthe right way to express your emotions, then you are “emotionally illiterate.”Emotional illiteracy can lead to infantile behavior. The overflow of emotions needsto be controlled, and controlled quickly. The only immunization against emotionalimmaturity lies in “emotional intelligence.”
Emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to handle his emotions in a balancedand constructive manner. This capacity makes him “heart smart.” In today’smeritocratic society, “emotional quotient, or EQ, is the glamorized term for “heartsmart.” EQ is emerging as a decisive element in high performance at work, school,and home. Top-notch organizations are implementing EQ practices intoorganizational growth and human resources. Similarly, world-class educators,hospitals, psychologists, and coaches are applying EQ tools to generate positiveresults and meet vital educational, family, health, and social needs. When people’sEQ is low, it is costly in terms of time, goals, self-esteem, opportunity, physicaland emotional health, careers, accomplishments, relationships, and even lives. Emotional intelligence is a learnable thingGwendolyn was a 7-year old daughter of a mother who was a designer. Her mothermade three-dimensional versions of decorative patterns. One table was in the shapeof a turtle in an explosion of multicolored resin and wood. Another table resembleda frog carved from the same wood as the top. Gwendolyn led a sheltered life andrarely went out to play (she was always chaperoned by her nanny, who took her toschool). Opening up to people was not Gwendolyn’s forte. The word that perfectlyfits her is “standoffish.” She was also vilified as a “little pipsqueak” by her peers.Having a sense of Gwendolyn’s nature, her mother worked out a life-changingstrategy: she encouraged her daughter to participate in daring adventures and tolearn kick-boxing. What followed later was a super transformation in Gwendolynand her entrance to the gateway to success. By the time Gwendolyn reachedadulthood, she had befriended 30 reliable people and had many kick-boxing goldmedals under her belt. Indeed, Gwendolyn had come a long way.A lot of credit should go to Gwendolyn’s mother. Her decision to intelligentlychange her daughter’s temperament proved to be a masterstroke. It does not requirea parenting guidebook to fathom that emotion-coached kids are likely to be healthyand strong, and to score good grades in exams. These kids have the mentalequilibrium and enough chutzpah. In contrast, those who are not emotionallyhealthy tend to commit brutal crimes and are enslaved by bad habits. Theyexperience meltdowns due to their feeble emotional balance. Parenting is a job thatalways involves responsibility. Some parents take their job seriously, and othersbehave indifferently. How the world has moved from IQ to EQ
For centuries, the general consensus among people was that IQ is the onlyprognosticator of a person’s success. However, this well-established notion waschallenged by Daniel Goleman (heterodoxy)—it was a complete twist in the tale.Goleman asserted in his book that there is something more than just cognitiveintelligence that takes a person to the top of his field. He named the ingredient“EQ.” This new theory became a bone of contention for many successconnoisseurs. Arguments and counter-arguments arose. Researchers undertookcase studies to investigate this concept. Ultimately, Goleman’s idea wasbuttressed by one and all (i.e., EQ indeed holds the upper hand over yourIQ/aptitude/track record). Eighty to ninety percent of a person’s success is basedon his EQ. Surely, EQ has taken the center stage in recent years.Camden had a superb IQ. He possessed mental sharpness, logic, and analyticalskills. His academic performance was excellent. He was considered a “gem” ofhis alma mater. But there was a serious negative aspect to his personality.Camden did not know how to navigate his feelings. Every minute provocationrubbed him the wrong way. In short, he lacked emotional competency. Becauseof his zero EQ, Camden had to take a clerical job in a taxation department.Kai had an excellent EQ. He possessed control over his emotions. Hisintrapersonal and interpersonal skills were admirable. People liked him for hisemotional balance. Some people even called him an “emotional genius.” It ishardly a surprise that Kai works as a creative director of an ad company. Kai, wesalute you for using your emotions as well as your cognitive abilities to reach thetop.IQ + EI = success Emotional abuseEmotional abuse is a type of behavior by a parent that severely damages a child’semotional development and sense of self-worth. Emotional abuse also includes theparent’s failure to provide the psychological nurturing necessary for a child’spsychological growth and development—giving no love, support, or guidance. Inchildren, emotional abuse can impair psychological development, includingintelligence, memory, recognition, perception, attention, imagination, and moraldevelopment. Emotional abuse can also affect a child’s social development andmay result in an impaired ability to perceive, feel, understand, and expressemotions. Types of emotional abuse –
(1) Subjecting the child to unfair treatment.(2) Making hurtful remarks about the child.(3) Resorting to snarling at the child.(4) Physical intimidation, thus petrifying him.Example: Zander was brought up in a luxury-filled environment. His father, aCapricorn, worked in real estate, and his mother, a Sagittarian, was CEO of one ofthe largest mutual fund companies in America. She also owned just over 50% ofthe chemical company Altana, as well as 14% of BMW. Zander’s parents had alarge retinue of staff to tend to their five enormous houses and 305-foot megayacht. To their credit (a mind-boggling collection worth $20 billion dollars andtheir marital happiness has lasted since their wedding. They only attend highbrowevents such as the ballet or the opera). Zander was physically well cared for, butseverely deprived of basic emotional nurturing. Zander’s parents were critical,constantly found fault with him, criticized him for silly slip-ups, and denigrated hispotential. To combine the above details into one statement, he was a casualty ofabusive parenting. As a result, he could not overcome those scars (in his mind)throughout his lifetime.Many people admit that the remnants of a difficult childhood stifle their progress.They carry emotional baggage. As a result, they never allow their wounds to heal. Horrifying emotional mistakes(1) When Rex came in a close second in a spelling bee competition, heexperienced this as an inglorious defeat. Worse still, he threw his award into atrash can. Rex nursed a grievance against the judges for their obvious partiality.However, this was a far cry from reality.(2) To escape from his depression over a broken marriage, Brock has become agambler, a womanizer, and a drunk.(3) Unhappy with a penalty-kick decision made by one of the referees, threesoccer fans ran out onto the field like hooligans. They grabbed the referee’s shirt,slapped him, and hit him on the head. He was bleeding from every orifice. That
referee was carried on a stretcher (after the fracas) to an ambulance for immediatetreatment.(4) A mathematical prodigy committed suicide after failing to earn the highestgrades in geometry.(5) On being teased as a pint-sized person by some of his schoolmates, Titus wenton a “shooting spree” and killed 15 people in the process. Eventually, he hangedhimself.(6) Due to heavy Internet traffic, a person was unable to download a file. Onaccount of this, he threw his laptop onto the floor (breaking it into pieces).So-called intelligent, but emotionally volatile people are causing irreparabledamage to their lives by opening the floodgates of their emotions. The enormity oftheir destructive actions leaves a bitter taste in peoples’ mouth.Everybody would nod in agreement when I say that, we also make emotionalmistakes but definitely not such bizarre ones. Although our errors do not receivemention in the newspapers (certainly not an excuse for winking at them as merepeccadilloes), each one of us would have to confess that at one time or another, wehave also come under the influence of unruly emotions, whether it be anger, fear,or jealousy, and failed to take steps to correct our misconduct. At the end of theday, these mistakes weaken us and our loved ones. Such errors create breaches inour relationships. My friend once said, “Emotional mistakes keep a person in thenews for all the wrong reasons. Some attention-seeking people aspire to achievethat. For them, any publicity is good publicity.”Conclusion: I know a peripatetic, taciturn music teacher whose middle name is“depression.” Years of anxiety have lined her brow with deep furrows. Also, thereare white flecks in her hair. She herself is to be blamed for all these traits. You mayask, “Why?” Over the years, she has only worked out the emotional muscles ofsadness and loneliness. Hence, she finds it difficult, if not impossible, toexperience positive emotions (they have gone unexercised, thus making themharder for her to access). The message is clear: the emotional muscles that are usedthe most, shape an individual, either positively or negatively.