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Can Emotions Be Intellegent?

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Written by   36
3 months ago

EQ matters just as much as IQ when it  comes to satisfaction and achievement inlife. Learn how your emotional intelligence can be strengthened, better relationships established, and your goals achieved.


The ability to understand, use and control your own emotions in constructive ways to alleviate tension, interact effectively, empathize with others, resolve difficulties, and defuse conflict is emotional intelligence (also known as emotional quotient or EQ). Emotional intelligence helps you develop better relationships, excel in school and work, and accomplish your professional and personal objectives. It can also help you communicate with your emotions, transform purpose into action and make educated choices about what is most important to you.


(Part of the book entitled "Emotional Intelligence" (Why it can matter more than IQ) by Daniel Goleman) *a book which I'm reading now, so I just want to share it with you guys :)

To get a fuller understanding of just what such training might be like, we must turn to other theorists who are following Gardner's intellectual lead-most notably a Yale psychologist, Peter Salovey, who has mapped in great detail the ways in which we can bring intelligence to our emotions. This endeavor is not new over the years even the most ardent theorists of IQ have occasionally tried to bring emotions within the domain of intelligence, rather than seeing emotion and intelligence as an inherent contradiction in terms. Thus E. L Thorndike, an eminent psychologist who was also influential in popularizing the notion of IQ in the 1920s and 1930s. proposed in a Harper's Magazine article that one aspect of emotional intelligence, "social" intelligence-the ability to understand others and "act wisely in human relations" was itself an aspect of a persons IQ. Other psychologists of the time took a more cynical view of social intelligence, seeing it in terms of skills for manipulating other people-getting them to do what you want, whether they want to or not. But neither of these formulations of social intelligence held much sway with theorists of IQ, and by 1960 an influential textbook on intelligence tests pronounced social intelligence a "useless" concept.

But personal intelligence would not be ignored, mainly because it makes both intuitive and common sense. For example when Robert Sternberg, another Yale psychologist, asked people to describe an "intelligent person," practical people skills were among the main traits listed. More systematic research by Sternberg led him back to Thorndike's conclusion: that social intelligence is both distinct from academic abilities and a key part of what makes people do well in the practicalities of life. Among the practical intelligences that are, for instance, highly valued in the workplace is the kind of sensitivity that allows effective managers to pick up tacit messages.

In recent years a growing group of psychologists has come to similar conclusions, agreeing with Gardner that the old concepts of IQ revolved around a narrow band of linguistic and math skills, and that doing well on 1Q tests was most directly a predictor of success in the classroom or as a professor but less and less so as life's paths diverged from academe. These psychologists—Sternberg and Salovey among them—have taken a wider view of intelligence, trying to reinvent it in terms of what it takes to lead life successfully. And that line of enquiry leads back to an appreciation of just how crucial "personal“ or emotional intelligence is.

Salovey subsumes Gardners personal intelligences in his basic definition of emotional intelligence, expanding these abilities into five main domains:

  1. Knowing one's emotions. Self-awareness—recognizing a feeling as it happens—is the keystone of emotional intelligence. The ability to monitor feelings from moment to moment is crucial to psychological insight and self-understanding. An inability to notice our true feelings leaves us at their mercy. People with greater certainty about their feelings are better pilots of their lives, having a surer sense of how they really feel about personal decisions from whom to many to what job to take.

  2. Managing emotions. Handling feelings so they are appropriate is an ability that builds on self-awareness. People who are poor in this ability are constantly battling feelings of distress, while those who excel in it can bounce back far more quickly from life's setbacks and upsets.

  3. Motivating oneself. Marshaling emotions in the service of a goal is essential for paying attention, for self-motivation and mastery, and for creativity. Emotional self-control-delaying gratification and stifling impulsiveness-underlies accomplishment of every sort. And being able to get into the "flow" state enables outstanding performance of all kinds. People who have this skill tend to be more highly productive and effective in whatever they undertake.

  4. Recognizing emotions in others. Empathy, another ability that builds on emotional self-awareness, is the fundamental people skill. People who are empathic are attuned to the subtle social signals that indicate what others need or want. This makes them better at callings such as the caring professions, teaching, sales, and management.

  5. Handling relationships. The art of relationships is, in large part, skill in managing emotions in others. People who excel at social competence and incompetence do well at anything that relies on interacting smoothly with others; they are social stars.

Of course, people differ in their abilities in each of these domains, some of us may be quite adept at handling, say, our own anxiety, but relatively inept at soothing someone else's upsets. The underlying basis for our level of ability is, no doubt, neural, but as we will see, the brain is remarkably plastic, constantly learning. Lapses in emotional skills can be remedied: to a great extent each of these domains represents a body of habit and response that, with the right effort, can be improved on.

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Written by   36
3 months ago
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