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Innovative Techniques for Learning Emotional Intelligence

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Innovative Techniques for Learning Emotional Intelligence

Put simply, EQ is the awareness and control of emotions. It has been found to determine overall life fulfillment. So learning EQ is crucial for everyone. In this post, I tell you the current state of EQ education, why it isn’t working and how EQnow is revolutionizing the way we learn and increase emotional intelligence.

Importance of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is considered a predicator of success, in both life and work. Introduced in the 90’s, EQ makes so much sense it’s kinda crazy we weren’t focused on it before. Read more about the benefits here.

EQ is important now more than ever. And while research is catching up, we have another, more pressing issue to focus on: How do we actually learn EQ? And then after we learn it, how do we incorporate it into our lives?

Current State of Emotional Intelligence

There aren’t many learning resources available:

  • Therapeutic practices like CBT aren’t easily accessible or feasible with everyday use. (Think of those thought journals everyone sells but the large majority of buyers ditch after a couple weeks.)
  • Self-help and business books (while likely written with good intentions) don’t give any lasting or long term success. As Daniel Kahneman explains inThinking, Fast and Slow, “Books available to us are tailored to reassure messages of illusion to us.”
  • Recycles inspiration quotes create a momentary positive outlook but fall flat. Recycled so many times they start to lose meanings. They don’t tell us anything useful like how to do something. Yeah, yeah, love yourself.. but how?
  • Products marketed to help are only helping opportunists and capitalism. Self-help has become a booming industry and marketplace, but people are still lost.
  • A lot of experts or those offering help don’t know how to. They are trying but their applications are falling short.

Desired, Future-state of Emotional Intelligence

While beneficial, CBT and therapeutic techniques aren’t practical. They don’t easily incorporate into our current, fast paced lives. Business books and quotes aren’t helping either. We need something that we can apply and develop. We need something that will help us incorporate EQ into our lives.

Thats where EQnow comes in. After decades of research, experimentation and trial and error we have created a modern day, comprehensive resource for learning EQ. With EQnow you will not only learn EQ you will incorporate EQ into your life and create a lasting and positive impact.

How EQnow works

The idea is simple. Learning EQ requires concentration on two processes:

  1. Learn the vocabulary (EQnow Glossary of terms here.)
  2. Practice and change habits

Learn the Vocabulary of Emotional Intelligence

Think of it, anyone can critique food, but there are professional food critiques. The differentiation is due to the professionals ability to put their pallet into words. They’ve developed a certain vocabulary. Learning the vocabulary around EQ is based on the same reasoning.

We need to learn the vocabulary to define our experiences, thoughts and emotions. Defining them is part of the process of being aware of them. When we are aware of our thoughts and emotions we are able to then determine how to effectively manage and control them. We are able to communicate what we are thinking and feeling to ourselves and others.

Practice and Change Habits for Increased Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence also involved emotional regulation, response and control. This will likely involve ditching some bad habits. And as the saying goes, old habits die hard.But don’t fret!

EQnow has created repeatable daily habits that can be practiced anywhere by anyone to help them ditch bad habits. We will guide you and help with this very changeling and rewarding process.

Get Started Now

No matter where you are starting, you can increase your EQ. You can have a better, more meaningful life. Start now by learning the vocabulary and incorporating positive EQ habits.

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Why EQ Is Important… Now More Than Ever

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a term that is often heard but rarely understood. Put simply, EQ is the ability to be aware of and to control feelings and emotions. A more detailed description would mention a full range of abilities regarding emotions including: awareness, control and management. It would not be complete without reference to our ability to relate to and have empathy for others.

EQ contributes to how we handle ourselves. It involves understanding what we are feeling and why we are feeling it. It determines how we cope, express ourselves, develop & maintain friendships and perceive the world around us. It can be the difference between finding fulfillment and feeling hopeless. It is considered a predicator of success in life and work.

It doesn’t take much to find indicators that EQ is needed more now than ever. Emotions are getting out of control in dangerous ways. New terms such as “Ken” and “Karen” define those with low EQ who flip out in the public arena. At the time of writing, 20 people a minute are physically abused by an emotionally ignorant partner. The drug and overdose epidemic, skyrocketing depression, anxiety and suicide rates – all results of poor emotional management.

Whatever their upbringing, background or story, it is important for every person to start learning about their emotions and to focus on emotional management and development.

EQ is inviting us to start the conversation. To learn about our emotions and to understand the inner-working of our minds. To reflect on our thoughts, and to make sure we are utilizing them to our advantage so we can live a fulfilling and successful life.

With emotional intelligences one would hope that abusers would learn that there is no justification for their actions. However, the biggest impacts lies in EQs ability to empower the victims and survivors of abuse so that they may reclaim their right to be who they are and live comfortably without fear. To let a bullied school child know they are not alone. To help those who are sad or silently suffering and let them know they are not alone either.

EQ will guide and introduce us not only to ourselves but to one another. It will give us the courage to say, “hey, I don’t know what you are going through but I can understand what it is like to feel like crap.” To find unity and togetherness in a world where we are so easily turned against each other. To find a semblance of hope in an otherwise seemingly hopeless situation and to retain clarity in an uncontrollable and unpredictable world.

To learn and understand emotions we need to know the vocabulary around them. For the EQ glossary of terms click here.

References: https://ncadv.org/statistics

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“You Think I’m What?!” 5 Steps to Effectively Handling Feedback

“Don’t get defensive,” my manger tells me.

“I am not getting defensive,” I say in response. (Which is exactly what someone who was getting defensive would say!)

The circumstance was my employee review. At the time I was a contracts manager and I worked closely with sales. An anonymous sales lead said they would like if I knew more about the sales process and the needs of the sales team. This was very frustrating to hear.

Some background:

After I started working at the company, I noticed a huge disconnect between contracts and sales. I made it my mission to create a better culture and environment between the 2 groups. I started by going to the weekly sales meeting – the previous contracts manager did not go to those meetings so this was new for everyone. In those meetings I would ask to the point of almost begging what sales leads would like to see from the contracts department.

Crickets.

On the rare occasion I would get feedback or a suggestion I would highlight who made the suggestion and how I used the feedback in a productive way.

For example: Me to sales team: “Mark let me know some clients want to see our security standards very early on. I made them into an easily readable PDF and put them at this link so you can send them directly to the client when they ask. Thanks for letting me know Mark! If anyone else has a suggestion please let me know, you help me make improvements that benefit all of us!”

Crickets.

What my manger read as defensiveness was frustration. Frustration of wanting feedback. Actively, consistently and insistently asking for feedback and not getting it. My manger saying “don’t get defensive” was in response to my reaction of sales lead’s comment and me saying, “I agree, but how?!”

So the feedback was in. I was told I need to know more about the sales process and the struggles that the sales leads are having. Asking, begging and pleading didn’t work and now I am pegged as someone who gets defensive during reviews. Oh joy.

Feedback

Feedback can come in many different forms form several different sources. At work from our colleagues and employees. In our personal life from friends, families, partners —even strangers. No matter who we are, how old we are or where we are in life we will always receive feedback from others. It’s this human thing that we all do to each other whether we know it or not.

Handling feedback effectively can be the difference between changing for the better and achieving our goals, and loosing ourselves or feeling frustrated and lost. How we handle feedback is key. Handling feedback effectively will help us to live the life we want. In this article I am going to outline not only how to accept feedback but how to go about receiving and implementing feedback in an healthy and effective way.

Why Feedback is Important

Feedback is another part of how we grow. When people give us feedback they tell us how they are perceiving us and they can give us valuable insight into how we are coming across to the world. When we are tying to better ourselves feedback is essential and can motivate us – if we use it effectively.

Personally I’ve found that I thrive when I receive constructive criticism and feedback so I actively seek it!

With feedback we can see how we are doing. We can even ask people we trust for feedback to see if there are things we need to work on. Bonus: telling someone you are working to improve and then asking for feedback is not only vulnerable (a.k.a totally badass) it is also a way to connect and build stronger relationships. Yes, please!

The Downside of Feedback

Just because someone says something or perceives something a certain way doesn’t mean its true. People can have agendas for giving feedback and their intentions may not always be kind. Even if they have the best intentions at heart they may not have the emotional or intellectual capacity to give effective feedback. And since we live in a society that teaches us to be emotionally unaware some feedback we get can be downright insensitive – even if someone doesn’t realize they are being that way. Some examples of unproductive feedback are:

  • “You’re being too emotional.”
  • “You’re thinking too much.”
  • “I know you said you don’t want to have kids but I think you should revisit because my kids make my life better.”
  • “You’re too much like a dude no dude will every want you.” (Ouch, way harsh Tai. No joke, this junk was literally said to me.)

People are also giving us their feedback from their perspective and if their perspective is shit then we are most likely getting shit feedback. I.e. someone who is negative is likely going to see things from a negative lens. Also totally another i.e. if a man feels emasculated by a strong woman he may call her a dude and tell her no one wants her.

But There is Hope!

When we learn how to handle feedback effectively we can utilize it to our benefit. We can take on the positive feedback that helps us as we work on our goals and we can ditch the bad feedback that doesn’t benefit us.

Here’s how!

1. Get Excited!

Woot woot! While not all feedback is good feedback it is always great to receive feedback. When the feedback is good we can work with it. When it is bad we can use as a lesson in confidence building.

People rarely give feedback nowadays. It is no wonder why. When we lovely humans get feedback we sometimes get defensive or take it personally. This has created a culture where we may shy away from giving others feedback or where our manager can automatically assume we are going to get defensive and project. Also, on the more compassionate end, we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings with feedback so we may shy away from giving it even though it would be helpful.

With that in mind, if you get any kind of feedback be happy you got it!

2. Allow it to Settle Before Responding

Feedback feels personal because it’s about us and who we are as a person. But we need to focus on not taking it personally, because if we do then the feedback can be met with an emotionally driven response and all productivity is lost.

Of course we don’t want you sitting there frozen just listening. The best thing to do is to say “OK,” or “thanks for letting me know,” and then give yourself time to process.

This is also very important for times when we are just not in the mood to receive feedback. I love getting feedback but if I get a lot of it all at once it can be overwhelming and sometimes I just need time to reflect.

3. Consider the Source

Is the person who gave you feedback a negative person? If they are then they might give negative feedback. Are they someone who knows you well? If they don’t then they could just be giving feedback on a short snippet of you from what they’ve seen. Does this person have other motives? We hope everyone has good intentions, and from what I see typically people do, however, unfortunately, not everyone is nice.

Another great question to ask: Is this person equipped enough to give feedback. Sometimes people have the best intentions but they aren’t clear on what we are trying to do or of all of the elements of a situation so their feedback may be lacking.

4. Make a Value Judgement

Ask yourself, did their feedback hold some ground?

Always keep in mind that when someone gives us feedback their feedback is their opinion. We have the full right and ability to reject the thoughts of others. Sometimes when we get feedback we shift the power focus of the conversation to the person who gave the feedback. (Makes sense if we are used to getting our only feedback from formal reviews given by upper-level management.) That power shift results in an unbalanced dynamic which can lead to confusion, your confidence may suffer and the feedback isn’t being handled productively.

There is a way to keep your power and have a better, healthier dynamic. This is done by putting a value judgment on the feedback giver’s opinion. When you approach it this way you are looking at the feedback from a more grounded and logical place. A place of self-compassion and love in which you are still confident. The idea here is to not shift the power and tell the feedback giver they are wrong (that would be defensive), it is to acknowledge that you are a person, they are a person, you both have thoughts and opinions, you both have value and you are now conversing together.

5. Ask Follow up Questions!

Follow-up questions are the bread and butter. They are where the real valuable info lives. Ask the feedback giver how they came to their assessment or what made them think that way. You can also ask what you could have done differently in order to get a different result. When we do this we get an action plan and we get valuable insights into how we can achieve our goals.

Examples:

“You’re saying you think I am being standoffish and I don’t want to come off that way, why do you think that?”

or

“You’re saying I’m being standoffish and I definitely don’t want to come off that way, what could I have done differently so I don’t seem standoffish?”

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Even with follow-up answers remember that this is just someone’s opinion and we can choose to reject their statement. Whatever the case, do not lose your power here. Remember, feedback is 2 equal individuals having a conversation – you just happen to be the topic of that conversation.

Important Note:

Pobody’s nerfect. Even those giving feedback can use help on giving feedback. And if we are going to stop people from giving shyte feedback we need to let them know, in a constructive way, that their feedback needs improvement. Remember, this is your perspective though so you can say something like “You said you thought xyz about me and I don’t think that was so kind. I value your opinion and appreciate feedback, but if you wanted to give feedback it would have been better to approach it this way ….”

Eg:

“You mentioned in the meeting that my powerpoint looked sloppy. I love your feedback and it helps me to grow and improve. However, going forward I would appreciate that you mention things like that to me 1:1 instead of when we are in a meeting with different departments. Or maybe I should send you the powerpoint before the meetings so you can review first?”

“When you say you think I am overreacting or overthinking it doesn’t help me. Instead of giving a value judgement on my reaction I’d really appreciate if you would listen to me and how I am feeling so I can work through this.”

Always, always, always keep in mind, that, for the most part, from what I found, everyone wants to be kind some people just don’t know how or need some fine tuning. So come from a place of understanding and give the other person positive intent unless they show you otherwise.

Conclusion

When handled effectively, feedback is a handy tool that we can use to achieve our goals, strengthen connections and build confidence. Make sure to follow the steps above and you will be on your way to effectively handling feedback! Remember, like with other things in life, new habits take time to build so just keep following the steps, and if you mess up, forgive yourself and try to do better next time.

PS: The review I was talking about in the beginning of this article, it was a 5 out of 5 star review. I was told I was a valued employee and given the highest raise possible. But still, I did not feel successful in my mission to connect sales and contracts. I was not given quality feedback and it was frustrating. Even more so because my frustration at roadblocks to achieving my goals was misinterpreted as defensiveness. Sometimes you are not going to get the feedback you need. Realize you can’t control that and continue on!

The Quick and Simple Guide to Learning What EQ Is Once and for All

Emotional intelligence (EQ) involves understanding and managing emotions. The term has become somewhat of a buzz word in people leadership and HR circles. However, the concept is a serious one and building emotional intelligence will positively benefit every aspect of your life including work, school, relationships, hobbies and sports.

“Emotional intelligence is considered the #1 determinate of success.

Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe you are just hearing of it for the first time, or maybe know something about it and want to know more. Whatever the case, I wrote this quick guide to help you get to know what emotional intelligence is once and for all.

Painted eggs expressing a range of emotions from joy to depression

Names and Abbreviations

Common abbreviations for emotional intelligence are:

  • EI – Emotional Intelligence; and
  • EQ – Emotional Quotient (more popular)

Emotional quotient is the measure of an individuals emotional intelligence (defined below) but both abbreviations are used interchangeably to reference emotional intelligence. So, depending on the context, EQ could mean someones individual score on an emotional intelligence test or it could refer to emotional intelligence in general.

I used EQ instead of EI simply because EQ is more commonly used and I think it sounds better.

Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Quotient

Just like you have an IQ (intellectual quotient) in regards to your ability to reason and learn (aka your intellectual ability) you have an EQ (emotional quotient) in regards to emotional intelligence. Each individuals IQ and EQ is different. More about the differences of IQ and EQ here.

Timeline

The idea of an emotional intelligence separate from intellectual intelligence dates back to the early 1900s.

Here’s a timeline:

1909 – John Dewey (philosopher, psychologist) coins the term “social intelligence”.

1920s – E.L. Thorndike (psychologist) studies social intelligence by watching animals and humans. He defines it as the ability to act wisely in social situations and to understand and manage others.

1936 – Dale Carnegie (writer) popularizes the concept of social intelligence (without calling it by name) in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People“.

1950 – Abraham Maslow (psychologist, Maslow hierarchy of needs) suggests that we can build emotional strength and the skills needed to control our emotions.

1977 – Howard Gardner (developmental psychologist) introduces the concept of multiple types of intelligence in his book “The Shattered Mind“.

1980s – Wayne Payne and Keith Beasley (psychologists) introduces the terms emotional intelligence and emotional quotient respectively.

1990 – Peter Salovey & John Mayer (personality psychologists) create a framework of emotional intelligence as a scientific area of study with their published article titled “Emotional Intelligence“.

1995 – Daniel Goleman (author & journalist) popularizes emotional intelligence with his book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Now – EQ is considered the #1 determinate of success, a top 10 job skill and employers are utilizing EQ tests in their hiring processes.

EQnow – is bringing EQ mainstream within the self-help and betterment verticals.

Photo by Daniël Maas

EQ Defined

Underlying Principles

While there are different variations of the definition of EQ they each have the same four underlying principles:

  • self-awareness – awareness of ones own thoughts, feelings & emotions
  • self-management – management of feelings, thoughts and emotions
  • social awareness – awareness of feelings in others
  • relationship management – effective management of interpersonal relationships

Awareness of feelings is as simple as training yourself to recognize your feelings when you feel them. You can build awareness with reflection. Did you acknowledge any feelings when you saw the puppy picture above? Did it make you fell calm, at ease, relaxed, or more focused? What if it was a picture of a banana, do you think you would feel the same way?

5 Elements of Emotional Intelligence

There are 5 elements or components of emotional intelligence. They are repetitive of the underlying principles above and if you understand the principles then you most likely do not need to focus on the components. However, I put them here for good measure.

  • self awareness – awareness of ones own emotions
  • self regulation – controlling emotions and responses
  • internal motivation – inner drive towards goals and learning
  • empathy – identifying understanding emotions in others
  • social skills – building/managing relationships with others

Conclusion

Our emotions impact everything we do. And our thoughts impact how we perceive the world and our place in it. No matter your current situation or goals, it is imperative to focus on emotional intelligence. When we increase our emotional intelligence we are better able to understand the world around us and how we connect to it. We also better connect with others and create more fulfilling relationships. Oh yeah, and people with higher EQ make more money, learn more about that here.

References:

  1. R.J. Sternberg, (Ed.), Handbook of Intelligence (2nd ed., 2000; 3rd ed., 2010)
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_intelligence
  3. https://mentorprise.be/emotional-intelligence/
  4. https://www.tlu.ee/~sirvir/IKM/Leadership%20Attributes/emotional_intelligence.html
  5. https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~jfkihlstrom/SocialCognitionWeb/SocIntelligence/SocInt_Supp.htm

The Future of Self-Care is Here!

In this post we are going to discuss the importance of emotional intelligence and explain how it is the core of self-care, improvement and success.


You’re here for a reason. Maybe you are looking for general self-improvement tips or you have a particular goal in mind. Whatever the case, welcome!

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the main determinant of success so it is very important everyone knows what it is.

So, what is it?

… glad you asked.

In short, EQ is an initialism for emotional quotient similar to how IQ is an initialism for intellectual quotient. Both IQ and EQ refer to an individual’s level of intelligence. However, EQ and IQ measure different variables. Just like IQ, each person’s EQ is different. The good news is, unlike IQ, every person has the ability to build and strengthen their EQ.

Make sense? (seriously, if not, please contact us so we can fix cause if it doesn’t make sense we aren’t doing our best!)

Remember a couple lines ago when I said EQ is the main determinate of success? Well, studies are just finding this out but I could have told you this years ago. A lot of the studies refer to workplace skills but EQ is a life skill that can help you succeed in all aspects of your life whether it’s work, school, sports, a hobby or a specific goal.

With that said, building your EQ is the future of self-care. It’s the ultimate self-care. It is the most powerful self-help skill that exists.

Here’s why:

Photo by Kaylee Garrett

All of the current self-care practices such as yoga, therapy, mindfulness, grounding, meditation, journaling, even self-help and inspirational quotes are unknowingly teaching you how to build your EQ. While there are other benefits, for example, yoga is great for physical health and movement, the main goal of all of the current self-care practices is to build and strengthen your EQ.

When we recognize the outlets we are using for self-care are centered around building EQ we are better able to understand the purpose of those acts. When we act with purpose, we benefit! We go into these practices with more awareness and direction. We supercharge our change.

Think of EQ like a flashlight lighting your path.

What’s next?

  • Learn more about EQnow and how we are creating an approachable and fun ways to develop EQ.
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Example of Toxic Shame in the “The Office” US

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunder_Mifflin

What is Toxic Shame

Toxic shame is a term coined by Dr. Silvan Tomkins to describe feelings of shame that lead someone to conclude they are bad, less than, unworthy, undeserving or unlovable. These feeling may be deep set, long-lasting and negatively affect someone’s core beliefs, automatic thoughts and overall identity.

Toxic shame affects not only our relationship with ourselves but also our relationship with others. It is important to recognize if we are holding onto toxic shame. When we recognize it we are better able to figure out the thoughts that are creating it and worth though it.

If we do have toxic shame we may be so accustomed to the thought process that accompanies it, we don’t realize we have it. I find that real life examples are a good place to start. Here I describe a character in the U.S. version of The Office as she experiences toxic shame to give you an examples. The episode I am referencing is Season 9 Episode 4 titled, “Work Bus.”

Example of Toxic Shame in “The Office”

During the episode office worker Nellie Bertram is filling out an application for adoption. Nellie confides in Office Manager Erin as she is struggling with the application. Erin’s is an orphan who has spend time in the foster system and who was never adopted. It is a very well known and definitive aspect of Erin’s identity throughout the entire series. Erin agrees to help Nellie as long as Nellie does not tell Andy (their manager) because Andy does not like Nellie.

https://subtextread.tumblr.com/post/167273174712

Erin helps Nellie with the form >
Nellie shows the form to Andy and asks him to sign as a reference >
Andy will not sign the form and calls it “dong-water” >
Nellie walks away from Andy and sits behind a curtain on the bus.

The Office, Comedy Central

Later in the episode Andy walks up to the curtain and hears crying. He assumes it is Nellie. We find out Nellie is not crying, Erin is. Nellie consoles Erin telling her that it’s not her fault, that Erin is kind and that Andy’s response does not have anything to do with her.

Erin is experiencing toxic shame that has become a core belief, part of her automatic thoughts. It is noticeable throughout the entire series when Erin puts others before herself. She also directly exhibits it earlier in this episode when she says she was not adopted because she was, “not lovable, maybe.”

The Office, Comedy Central

Erin struggles with the fact that she was never adopted. This struggle has turned into toxic shame leading her to conclude she is not lovable which is negatively affecting her entire life. She puts others before herself, and, in this episode, instead of interpreting Andy’s actions as him being a jerk she takes on shame and thinks she did something bad.

The Office, Comedy Central

Another instance of Erin’s toxic shame is noticeable in this episode when, instead of rejecting an ignorant comment about weight, she takes on responsibility. Erin bumped into someone on the bus and that person told her to “lose weight.” She says she is trying to lose weight, even though she has none to lose, and the only reason she bumped into someone on the bus is because the bus is small and 20 people working on it is ridiculous.

Conclusion

When I had to think of an example of toxic shame the character Erin popped in my head automatically. Instances of her toxic shame can be seen all throughout the series. I consider this a great resource for us to see what toxic shame may look like.

It was nice to see someone so filled with toxic shame find a compassionate listener, they deserve, in Nellie. Nellie gave an opposite perspective and thought pattern to counteract Erin’s negative automatic thoughts. Albeit weird, Erin is a nice person and should not be upset that Andy is a dick. I hate to see kind people take on guilt and shame that is not theirs to bear. If, instead of taking on shame we called out the people who were jerks and unkind we would be on a better path.

If you think you may be experiencing toxic shame I would suggest watching the episode and reflecting on situation in which you may act the way Erin does. Think of times that you interpreted the actions of others to mean you did something wrong, or put others before you while bringing yourself down. Consider what it would sound like if you had someone like Nellie to console you. What would you say to a friend who feels the way you do?

Keep on keep on y’all, you got this!

  1. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2349780/
  2. https://www.netflix.com/
  3. Featured image: https://www.nbc.com/the-office

Debunking 7 Myths About Emotional Intelligence

Photo by Markus Spiske

Emotional intelligence (EQ, learn more about it here) is a relatively new area of study and there are quite a few myths surrounding it. In this fact check article we will explore some of the myths about emotional intelligence and dispel them once and for all. If you have an EQ fact you would like checked please leave it in the comments below.

Note: I was recently sent “proof” of a myth. The myth was a heading in the article and the reader understandably mistook it as fact. So here I outline the myth and corresponding truth in the heading. Learning something new is tough and can be confusing. I want to make sure you’re set up for success!

Truths we are uncovering:

  1. I can’t believe I even have to say this… emotional Intelligence exists.
  2. Emotional levels and capability are not gender determined.
  3. Emotional intelligence is just for career and business.
  4. You cannot hide from emotions. Your choices are to work though emotions or manage them.
  5. Showing emotion can be a sign of strength.
  6. Emotions are always there.
  7. Steve Job’s DID have emotional intelligence.

Myth: Emotional intelligence doesn’t exist.
Truth: I can’t believe I even have to say this… emotional Intelligence exists.

Emotional intelligence as a field of scientific study is relatively new – starting in the 90s. However, psychologists and researchers have been making reference to it since the 40’s, and inspirational quotes have been referencing it before the beginning of time.

Just because the concept is “new” doesn’t mean it hasn’t been around for centuries. We slapped the name “emotional intelligence” on the ideologies that have been taught by philosophers, psychologists sages and gurus alike for ages. Which is great because we make these items more accessible to all.

For example, understanding what you can and cannot control is part of emotional management (a concept of EQ). This concept is derived from Stoicism and has been incorporated into Catholicism (serenity prayer, anyone?). EQ is not only real, it is a great way to create a field of study for these life changing ideologies separate from a religious or philosophic school.

Myth: Women are more emotional than men.
Truth: Emotional levels and capability are not gender determined.

There is a myth that women are more emotional than men. If we look through the lens of current, cultural narrative it would be clear this myth is derived from societal norms and influences. I.e. men are taught to hide emotion while women are portrayed as being emotional. However, if we look at this logically, scientifically and factually we know that one sex is no more emotional than the other.

It is true that each sex has been trained to express emotions differently and society brands men’s emotions differently than women. But it is not true that women are more emotional than men. To be succinct and explicitly clear: evidence suggests men are just as emotional as women.

Picture of the cover of Steve Job’s Biography written by Walter Isaacson next to an iPhone 11. Photo by AB
Myth: Emotional intelligence is just for career and business.
Truth: Emotional intelligence affects every aspect of your life.

In fact, if you focus on increasing your emotional intelligence in general you will see benefits in every area of your life. When emotional intelligence gained popularity people automatically started studying it’s effects on productivity and work. Makes sense since we are a society obsessed with productivity and work.

However it is more productive and beneficial for us to take a holistic view of emotional intelligence. When we focus on generally increasing EQ we carry those skills to every area of our life. We also benefit by having a more well rounded mental health leading to reduced stress.

Myth: We can turn emotions on and off and force them away at will.
Truth: Your choices are to work though emotions or manage them.

Despite common belief, we can’t leave emotions “at the door.” I once ended a 2 year relationship the night before starting a new job. It wasn’t planned, just the climax of fights and deteriorated love.

When I went to work I did not deny I had emotions or “leave them at the door”, I didn’t sit at my new job crying either. (I actually excelled and received two raises in 1 year.) What I did do was acknowledge that, while I am understandably upset, my focus is needed at work and I can reflect on my feelings when I leave.

The break-up was real no matter if I thought about it at work or not. I knew the feelings were going to be there until I worked through them. Work was not the time for that so I managed them accordingly. If I tried to push them away I would have been focused on them. Just like you stat to see yellow cars when you are told not to look for yellow cars.

Myth: If you are emotional or show emotions you are weak.
Truth: Showing emotion can be a sign of strength.

Emotions are generally not accepted in society and we are raised to push emotions aside. So much so that if someone show emotions in front of us we may get uncomfortable. Our discomfort, which is likely derived from our fear of being vulnerable or appearing weak, may result in us projecting onto the person showing emotion and misidentifying their action as weakness.

However, if someone chooses to be vulnerable and show emotion they are likely expelling an extreme maturity, confidence and strength. They are also being a leader and embodying the change I assume they want to see in the world (pats self on back).

This is not to say someone displaying emotions in a fit because they cannot control them is strength (Karen and Kens). This is in regards to those who choose to be vulnerable. Who choose to say “I love you, I’m in love with you,” like Alexis said to Ted in Season 4 Episode 11 of Schitt’s Creek.

Myth: If we push emotions away they will go away.
Truth: Emotions are always there.

Humans are emotional creatures and we will always have emotions. It’s a good thing. Think, if you didn’t feel emotions you’d be dead. Anyway, we either work through our emotions or they continue to effect us. It may not be now but it could be years later, or the next time you are in a situation that elicits the emotions similar to the one you’re forcing away.

For example, the thought that women are sad right after a break up and guys get sad much later. This could be because the guy is celebrating his “freedom” he is going out and partying and living it up but once the revelry subsides the emotions of the break-up are there to welcome him. Please note, this is not exclusive to genders. Typically after a break-up I have the urge to go out and party (woo hoo) but I force myself to feel the feels.

While we are on the topic: the whole “getting under someone to get over someone else,” does NOT work and is crap advice. While you may will temporarily avoid feelings they will still be there. The only way to get rid of them is to work through them and the higher EQ you have the easier this process will be.

Myth: Steve Jobs didn’t have emotional intelligence.
Truth: Job’s had career centric emotional intelligence.

Someone, somewhere made the deduction that Steve Job’s did not have emotional intelligence. They therefore concluded that EQ is NOT what people need to be successful. Quite the reach! They are drawing on a one-dimensional plane and it is obvious they did not have a clear grasp of what EQ actually is.

Recalling when I read Job’s biography. I can remember he had a daughter he was not so kind to and his colleagues were not fond of him. But guess what, he didn’t care. Why? Because he had the strong sense of self that comes with EQ. He knew what he wanted, career success, and he was not focused on anything else. Later in his life he developed empathy for others as he increased his EQ.

In order for Job’s (or anyone for that matter) to raise to incredible success like he has you need to have EQ. During his career he received a lot of negative feedback, but he didn’t let it bother him. Because he had EQ. It’s not that Job’s didn’t have EQ, it was that his EQ was work centric. He is an example of why we need EQ in all areas of our life.

Have an EQ truth you’d like to fact check? Let us know in the comments below.

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“Schadenfreude” and Trump’s COVID Diagnosis

Photo by History in HD

The media branding reactions to Trump’s COVID diagnosis as “schadenfreudeis an attempt to instill negativity and shame in those who are experiencing a culturally accepted belief.

Disclaimer: This article is using a popular topic in our society (politics) to teach emotional intelligence. Here we show the hypocrisy in culturally accepted norms, and how the media can influence how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. It is in no way, at all, whatsoever an attempt to make a political statement. At EQnow we wish for a speedy recovery of anyone who has COVID, no matter who they are 🌱.


Like with anything else, Donald Trump’s COVID diagnosis is bringing division and controversy. While some are wishing for a speedy recovery, others are happy about his misfortune. The media has decided to call those who find joy in Trump’s diagnosis “schadenfreude”.

As searches for the term schadenfreude spike, people are questioning if it is immoral to find joy in Trump’s misfortune.

Short answer: no

Long answer: If you are experiencing what the media is portraying as “schadenfreude” regarding Trumps diagnosis, you are actually experiencing a well known and forwarded concept in today’s culture: karma.

Here’s why:

What is Schadenfreude?

Schadenfreude is a German word. Schaden meaning “harm” and freude meaning “joy”. Put together schadenfreude is translated to harm joy and describes the concept of having joy from seeing others experience harm or misfortune.

Lisa Simpson describes it here:

Is Schadenfreude Bad?

While it may be unbecoming, there is no way to determine if schadenfreude is inherently bad or good. I would say that schadenfreude is evidence of other emotions. Emotions arising from a disdain for someone or disdain for oneself.

Schadenfreude and Disdain for Others

Schadenfreude is most likely a disdain for others if the person who is being harmed is someone we know. If we do not like the person, or if they did something bad to us, we may find happiness and justification in their misfortune.

Schadenfreude and Disdain for Self

Schadenfreude is most likely a disdain for one’s self if the person who is being harmed is someone we don’t know. We saw someone have something we do not have and we find pleasure in seeing them fall because we are jealous.

What is Karma?

Karma is a spiritual belief that assigns bad fortune to those who have done something bad in a past life. It has been modernized to mean the joy of suffering of someone we do not like.

Examples:
An ex who cheated gets cheated on by their new lover — Karma
A fit girl in high school who was mean and bullied others gains weight —Karma
A man with road rage who is speeding is pulled over by a cop — Karma

Below is a song explaining Schadenfreude from the musical avenue Q. You will notice the examples they give in the song can also be labeled as karma.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCQGQ5qBQTA

People do not feel bad for other’s experiencing pain when we call it “karma”. We have been taught that karma is good. We have been taught that it is the universe giving someone else their “just due”. We use it as a means of validation.

Whats the Different Between Schadenfreude and Karma?

Great question! In regards to having schadenfreude for the misfortune of someone you know, there is no difference. Someone could argue that there is a difference but that is just their self-justification at work because they are trying to avoid cognitive dissonance. People have experienced joy at the pain of others (aka karma) for quite a long time.

Those experiencing and not experiencing schadenfreude due to Trump’s diagnosis are more alike than they think. If you’ve ever seen someone have a misfortune and called it karma then you’ve experienced what the media is portraying as schadenfreude.

Reasoning and Results of Media Rebranding Karma and Calling It Schadenfreude

One thing for certain is that circumstances today are hella’ confusing and people are desperately searching for answers. We are trying to figure out what we are feeling and why. When the media coins karma as schadenfreude they are branding a new feeling and they have the power to tell us what our feelings mean and how they define us – if we let them.

Karma is OK if we feel justifiably that someone did something wrong. To say Trump’s diagnosis is karma would be to say Trump did something wrong. Can a person getting a disease they said was not a big deal karma? From an objective lens, I would say yes.

It is also important to point out here that in current culture karma can only go so far. Of course we will call someone getting a speeding ticket or being cheated on as karma but we stop calling things karma when the stakes are high or a life is on the line- thats just bad form. Some people didn’t get that memo though and sometimes “karma” can go to extremes.

Photo by Renee Fisher on Unsplash

Why You Should Not Feel Guilty for Having “Schadenfreude” at Trumps Diagnosis

What you are feeling is normal. It’s only natural to feel this way since we live in a society that pushes a misrepresented ideology of karma. Feeling this way is in no way a representation of your character or if you are a “bad” or “good” person. In this situation, you are literally a product of your environment.

It’s bad energy. It’s not tough to see the negative energy that follows politics in general. If we feel bad for feeling a natural, culturally accepted belief then we are taking on that same negativity. It is not a negativity meant for you to carry. Reject it.

Why We Should Take This as a Lesson to Ditch the Idea of Karma as It Is Currently Defined in Western Culture

Someone feeling schadenfreude or karma is not a representation of that person being “bad” or “good” or “smug”. It is a representation of the ideologies that are forwarded by their environment. The issue is not with schadenfreude it is with the culture that forwards the believe that it is OK for us to have joy in the pain of others.

No one deserves anything bad to happen to them. I know it can be frustrating and we want people to get their just dues. But, if we want to be a civilized, loving and empathetic society we shouldn’t find joy in the suffering of others —no matter how much we think they deserve it. Empathy for others can be taught and this is a lesson in empathy right here. We need to ditch the idea of karma (as it is currently defined) to have the loving, kind and emotionally intelligent society that we want and need.

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Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional intelligence (EQ) involves understanding and managing emotions. (Learn more about that here). The term has become somewhat of a buzz word in people leadership and HR . However, the concept is a serious one and emotional intelligence in the workplace brings a lot of benefits.

Topics covered in this article:
Why Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace Is Important
Benefits of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
Current State of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Why EQ in the Workplace Is Important

Human’s have emotions. We can’t just shut them off. While we can learn to manage and control them, it’s impossible to reject them for 40 hours a week. As a result people are becoming worn down, depressed and have lower life and job satisfaction.

When we have a better understanding of our emotions and how to work through them (and utilize them) effectively we are more productive. And we will find more satisfaction in our jobs.

Benefits of EQ in the Workplace

EQ in the workplace has benefits for both employees and employers:

Benefits Employees

Job Satisfaction
Life Satisfaction
Higher Salary
More Promotions
More Opportunity & Growth
Better Leadership Skills

Benefits Organizations

Better Management & Leaders
Happier Employees
More Productive Employees
Healthier Employees (less stress)
Better Culture
Reduced Turnover

Current State of EQ in the Workplace

Emotions are stifled and unwelcome in the work place. Some emotions less stigmatized than others. For example, a man pounding on a desk is more accepted as he is “impassioned”. While a woman crying at work is not given such an acceptable spin and can be considered unprofessional.

Unless, the emotions are considered good for production. HR managers love passionate candidates. It is socially acceptable to express passion towards your area of focus at work. If it is passion to do work then we are encouraged to have that. If it is frustration or discomfort, we are encouraged to reject it.

Company are catching on and realizing emotional intelligence is imperative in the workplace. Studies are being conducted and the numbers are in. It is clear that focus on EQ in the workplace is just good business. Some organizations are including EQ tests in their hiring practices and creating a more emotionally inclusive culture.

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Guide to Learning and Improving Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence has a lot of benefits (learn more about that here). So learning and improving your emotional health is key. Now more than ever. We are all starting at different levels so check out this guide and decide where you want to begin.

This guide to learning and improving emotional intelligence includes the following sections:

Learning About Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence Terms and Concepts
Actions and Steps to Increase Emotional Intelligence

Learning About Emotional Intelligence

In order to build emotional intelligence we need to have a clear idea of what it is (and what it isn’t). Check out these articles to give you a better idea of emotional intelligence.

These are articles are great for anyone just getting started, who wants a refresh or to know more:

Emotional Intelligence Overview and Benefits
Emotional Intelligence vs. Intellectual Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence and the individual
Emotional intelligence in Business
Emotional Intelligence and mental health

Emotional Intelligence Terms and Concepts

In order to learn and improve our emotional intelligence we need to understand the terminology. When we understand the terminology we remove internal confusion and gain power by naming the situation or event that triggers a certain emotional response. From there we have more control over our reactions and emotional regulation. It goes a little something like this:

  • Once we know the concepts and terms regarding emotional intelligence we are better able to define our experiences.

  • When we are able to clearly define our experiences we increase our emotional awareness.

  • With increased emotional awareness we increase our ability to regulate and utilize emotions..

To learn the terminology head over to the EQnow Glossary of Emotional Intelligent Terms or use the alphabetical term search below:

a | bc | d | e | f | g | h | | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w

Action Steps to Increase Emotional Intelligence

To build EQ we need to incorporate emotionally intelligent habits into our lives. Some of us may already have healthy methods while others may have a lot of work to do (I was part of the latter half!). Now worries, EQnow makes it easier than ever. Check out these articles and activities to get started:

Find Self-awareness by Making a Like/Dislike List – 5 Steps
Swap: “In spite of” with “In light of”
7 Steps to Self-Motivation

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Emotional Intelligence Overview and Benefits

Photo by Tengyart

You’ve most likely heard of emotional intelligence. But do you really know what it is? Read this emotional intelligence overview to learn the basics. Even if you think you’re pretty sure, a refresher doesn’t hurt.

In this article:

What is Emotional Intelligence
5 Elements of Emotional Intelligence
Who Emotional Intelligence is for
Benefits of Emotional Intelligence


What is Emotional Intelligence?

Put simple, emotional intelligence (EQ) is:

emotional awareness
emotional control
emotional expression

5 Elements of Emotional Intelligence

self-awareness

awareness of ones own emotions

self-regulation

controlling emotions and responses

internal motivation

inner drive towards goals and learning

empathy

identifying/understand emotions in others

social skills

building/managing relationships with others

Who Emotional Intelligence is for

Literally, everyone.

EQ is the main determinate of success. Put another way, you need EQ in order to succeed in any area of life.

Emotional intelligence is for you if you:

  • are a human being
  • are conscious
  • have emotions
Emotional intelligence is for you if you feel:
  • like you want to be your best self
  • that you want to live your best life
  • stuck or that your just going around in circles
  • like you want to find meaning
  • that you want to feel better
Emotional intelligence is for you if you want to:
  • succeed in a goal
  • make money, get a promotion or excel your career
  • be a better leader
  • have more confidence and feel more connected to others
  • better relationships
  • better health
  • better overall well-being

Benefits of Emotional Intelligence?

The benefits of emotional intelligence will vary in accordance with each person and their individual goals. And since emotional intelligence encompasses every aspect of our lives it is impossible to know all of the many benefits that come with it. While we will never know all of the benefit, those who work on increasing their EQ will experience:

Increased

  • Fulfillment
  • Happiness
  • Money
  • Communication
  • Self-compassion
  • Self-esteem
  • Connection
  • Clarity
  • Confidence
  • Relationships
  • Self-motivation

Decreased

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Stress
  • Shame
  • Confusion
  • Suffering
  • Thought looping
  • Destructive habits
  • Codependency
  • Blockers



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