Emotionally Intelligent People


Emotional wellness can be described as a self-determined appraisal of one’s own psychological well-beingEmotional intelligence theory depends on this definition for its core philosophy.  Emotionally intelligent people do not and cannot hinge their personal value and their emotional decision-making on how others define normal, usual and customary  – at least to the extent that those external sources outweigh one’s own best judgment.

Most of us are raised to believe that our emotions, our expression of dissatisfaction in particular, is the result of how people make us feel.  Of course, no one makes us feel except ourselves.  Emotionally intelligent people know this and embrace this concept as truth.  Emotionally intelligent people have replaced the customary external source of their emotional expression and have taken, instead, more responsibility for their own self-generated response to emotional stimuli.

The fact is – emotion is the result of three merged, finely tuned individually activated processes – perception, thought and human anatomy.

Perception is depends on experience.  Repeated experience is stored in the cortex of the brain.

Thought is the brain’s way of accessing experience (perception) as tool for understanding one’s environment – how one is trained to respond to h/er own particular culture.

Thought activates a part of the brain (the limbic system) and does one of two things: maintains homeostasis (calm) or activates a protective response (stress/fight/flight/freeze).  The stress response impacts the organs of the viscera to respond to whatever threat that is being perceived (the hypothalamic, pituitary adrenal [HPA] axis).  That’s why when you perceive disrespect, insult, disagreement, misfortune, offense, affront and general offensiveness, your body responds as if it were under attack.  Remember, your body maintains two states – balance and imbalance.  Thinking determines those conditions or states.

Emotionally intelligent people know that thinking and perception are under their own control.  (To believe that others make us feel is to believe that others have control over what we think.  To believe that is to believe in magic.) If we want to emote differently, it may be logical to assume that we have to think differently.

This is the hard part.

The amount of hardship we endure as students of emotional intelligence is proportionate to our age (and how long we have trained our minds to believe our emotions are under the magical control of other people), how skilled we are at self-defeating thought, how well we can accept the idea that we are responsible for our own emotional health and, finally, how well we can merge our new thinking with new, more self-enhancing behaviors.

We make ourselves feel by the way we think.

This observation is the foundation concept in the practice of emotional intelligence theory.  We feel negative, self-defeating emotion because we think in terms of how awful, horrible and ghastly we are being treated by others.  In order to change one’s emotion, to return to the body’s primary desire to be in balance, we must change the way we perceive and think about events.

It is not uncommon to hear the phrases, “She pisses me off!” “He made me so mad.” “I did that because he made me.”   These phrases are clearly indications of insanity (knowing what we now know about the origin of emotion); and because these phrases are most often accepted as facts, they are the prime indicators of how we perpetuate insanity in our world-culture. Emotionally intelligent people must, in order to make headway in achieving a personally defined measure of emotional wellness, live in a world where most people will judge them harshly, because they refuse to buy in to the idea that others are responsible for their own feelings.

“I don’t make you feel.  Own your own emotions and leave me out of it.”

There is no standard measure of emotional intelligence.  That measure is up to you to define. Achieving one’s own measure of emotional intelligence may be a tough slog, regardless.  There are often years upon years of self-defeating thinking and perceiving to wade through and adjust to fit a more self-enhancing frame of mind.  If that were not enough, the world is jam-packed with those who would have you return to your former way of thinking.

“You made me so angry!  You should be ashamed of yourself!  You are bad!”

To embark on this journey of emotional wellness is to start fresh and to never surrender to the insanity that surrounds you.

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13 responses

  1. Great article… a concept I had nearly forgotten about. I completely get what you are saying in this piece but have a question. Would this be the same for “feeling the negative energy” of others? I know that when i use to work with the public, there were some people who seemed to drain you of your soul with very little effort… draining your joy. However, my joy is up to me.

    • i am really not very mystical so i would have to say no . . . it is magical to think that people have negative energy . . . emotion is a product of perception and thinking alone . . . emotional intelligence theory rejects any source of emotion that is not founded in these two concepts . . . which of course does not mean it is wrong . . . you gauge your own level of emotional intelligence . . . this form of thinking however may impede your progress . . . please ask more questions . . . i am always here and i am always happy to give you my opinion :)

  2. I’d hope that I have never given up that control, that what other people say or think has that much influnece on me. That would be frightening.

    I’m a newbie to EI I’ll grant you, but in many aspects of my relationships I know that I can not and will not give up that power. I also would hate to think I’d have that much power over anyone else just the same. really would like to think of others having minds of their own.

  3. Nice piece–I find emotional intelligence so fascinating. Just posted after researching that, after suffering through childhood and adolescence, adults do less well in the work force with lower EI: have a harder time getting jobs, do more poorly if they try to make it on their own, and are even financially less well compensated. My guess is that you’re more of an expert than I on the matter, but if you want to see what the latest round-up of research brough forth, it’s “How to Succeed In Business Without. . .Social Skills? Forget it!” at http://wp.me/p22afJ-17T . Would love your feedback, if you have direct experience with it–it seems to show up in my practice with alarming regularity! Best, Candida

    • hello candida! thank you for taking the time to respond. yes emotional intelligence is my specialty area in psychology. i am a health psychologist. i have written a few books on the topic. i might suggest my book go suck a lemon. it is on amazon, if you want to get better acquainted with my ideas on the subject. you are very right – only impeded emotional intelligence can have an impact on nearly all aspects of human relationships – not only at work but can erode the value of life on many levels. i plan to look at your article suggestion tomorrow. stay in touch. i would be happy to discuss any of your ei obervations, ideas or questions. cheers!

  4. Pingback: Magical Thinking | eitheory.com

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