Articulated Thought and EI Theory


Articulated thought (AT) (talking out loud to oneself) is designed to give strength to the oft-overlooked dynamic behavioral element of emotional skill-building. AT depends on eliciting cognitive feedback, in real-time, when a thought is believed to be on-line. The learner is instructed to verbalize, using the prompts discussed in the EI problem-solving method found in this book. AT is believed to hold the promise of ordering the typically unordered voice of the mind. It is believed that the use of AT may enable an individual to more closely examine the questions, concerns and feelings they experience when exposed to stimuli – to stay completely focused on problem-solving. Articulating one’s thoughts may potentially result in fewer confabulations in thinking, daydreaming, inattention and distractions that are inherent to thinking, alone. The practice of AT is not only a vital part of the EI paradigm but can result, as well, in a higher degree of self-efficacy.

EI theory that depends solely on thinking, and does not include a dynamic behavioral component such as AT is more likely to provide the learner with intellectual, rather than emotional insight, e.g., learners who acquire the knowledge base for EI’s formulaic method may not be benefiting emotionally from the knowledge. If an EI learner can demonstrate proficiency in the principles of EI theory (both through intellectual and behavioral insight), they may be better prepared to practice the model. Essentially, the learner will be less likely to achieve emotional autonomy and self-regulation if s/he focuses on simply thinking through the problem, alone.

At issue in this text will be the learner’s potential to succeed at using the EI philosophy, alone, as an efficient method of social problem-solving. From my experience, the learner who only manages to identify faulty thinking and does not commit to continue the problem-solving process – toward discovering a more reasonable, manageable belief option – may be at continued disadvantage for improving h/er emotional intelligence. The learner may be left with making a decision between using the EI self-help paradigm and returning to a more familiar pattern of social problem solving.

EI learners appear to be very likely to do what they have always done, if it worked the last time s/he did it. To do otherwise is believed to be too much work. Regardless, the learner must recognize these pitfalls and strive to overcome them.

According to the basic premise of EI theory, in order to overcome emotional conflict, we must practice and strengthen more useful and adaptive social problem-solving behaviors. By establishing personal practice methods, those behaviors the learner can sustain over time, for example, behaviors that encourage objectivity when being judged by others, help the learner rely more on h/er own judgment of h/erself and h/er worth; discourage emotional conformity and encourage emotional range; emotional self-determination; help to build the value of self acceptance over the concept of self esteem; the strengthening of the process of solving one’s own emotional problems, will likely result in better preparation for the next time shit happens. Without some vigorous, consistent effort on the learner’s part to think and behave differently, success is with EI theory is extraordinarily limited.

Finally, the most promising benefit of using the emotional intelligence theory in social problem solving with articulated disputation is the potential for the learner to recognize the similarities between h/er past and current emotional issues. If the learner is successful at mindful commitment to resolve h/er emotional issues using the EI paradigm, s/he is more likely to use the solutions acquired from these experiences to address future problems.

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