The 4 Fundamental Pillars of Emotional Intelligence

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I found a good article on what exactly constitutes having "emotional intelligence," and in doing so gives some insight on how to improve one's own emotional intelligence. It's a field grossly ignored by the modern education establishment. We train the intellect so much, and all the while the development of our emotions and emotional intelligence is left to upbringing, chance and (in some cases) heredity.

http://www.theemotionmachine.com/the-4-fundamental-pillars-of-emotional-intellig

Without further adieu:

Self-Awareness

The first pillar of emotional intelligence is paying attention to your own emotions.

Emotions often come in two main parts: 1) The psychological component – the thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs that underlie most of our emotions, and 2) The physical component – the bodily sensations that often accompany different emotional states.

For example, an emotion such as nervousness may be a mixture of certain thoughts (“ I'm not good at this” or “I'm scared I'm going to make a mistake”) and certain sensations in our bodies (a fluttery feeling in our stomach, ie “I have butterflies in my stomach”).

Sometimes just being more aware of our emotional states (and all their components) is enough to manage them better. In one recent study, they found simply labelling negative emotions can help you overcome them.

The next time you’re feeling a really strong emotion, try stepping back and just observing that emotion as it is. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling? What am I thinking? What physical sensations am I experiencing with this emotion?”

A little honest reflection of your emotions can really help you understand yourself better and how your mind really works.

Self-Regulation

Once you are more aware of your emotions, the next pillar of emotional intelligence is learning how to respond to them better.

Depending on the situation, there are many different strategies we can use to better regulate our emotions. Some of these strategies include:

  • Channelling an emotion in a new and constructive way, such as through exercising, writing, or painting.
  • Avoiding triggers – such as certain people, situations, or environments – that are more likely to bring out a negative emotion.
  • Seeking positive experiences to reverse negative ruts (such as watching a comedy movie when we are feeling down, or listening to motivating music when we are lazy).
    Turning emotions around by doing the opposite of what you feel.
  • Sitting and watching emotions as a passive observer, instead of acting on them impulsively.
    These are all strategies available to us to help us regulate our emotions better on an everyday basis.

Think of “emotional intelligence” as a kind of tool kit. There are many different ways to respond to a particular emotion, and not every tool is going to work depending on what the situation is.

The more emotionally intelligent you become, the better you will be at deciding what is the best way to respond to an emotion. But that’s going to take steady practice and awareness.

Empathy

Understanding your own emotions is half of emotional intelligence, the other half is understanding the emotions of others.

As we improve “self-awareness,” we also improve “other-awareness.” We learn that there is sometimes a difference between our own thoughts and feelings and the thoughts and feelings of others.

Empathy is our ability to see things from another person’s perspective – and to take into account their individual thoughts and feelings about an experience.

This Venn diagram shows the relationship between “self-awareness” and “other-awareness” and how the area where they overlap is where we experience empathy:


Of course, we can never understand another person’s mind completely, but we can actively learn about a person’s inner thoughts and feelings by paying attention to what they are communicating verbally and non-verbally.

Empathy is a kind of “mind-reading,” but it’s based on making inferences about people’s internal worlds based on their external actions.

Another powerful tool for improving empathy is perspective taking. This is a mental exercise where you literally imagine yourself experiencing a situation from another person’s perspective to better understand them.

Be more willing to ask yourself, “What is this person thinking? What is this person feeling? Why is this person acting in the way they do?” These types of questions will be a great starting point in building more empathy in your daily relationships.

Social Skills

Once you understand the emotions of yourself and others, the next question is “How do I respond to other people’s emotions?” This is where social skills comes in as the last pillar of emotional intelligence.

First, understand that a lot of our emotional world has a social component to it. For example, emotions such as love, guilt, rejection, and embarrassment are almost strictly social emotions (they rarely exist outside the context of our relationships with others).

To build healthy relationships it’s therefore important that we are attuned to other people’s emotions, especially how they respond to our own actions and speech.

If your actions cause negative emotions in other people, then that can hurt a relationship and your ability to connect with others in a meaningful way.

Cultivating positive emotions – like joy, optimism, excitement, and humor – is key toward bonding with others in a strong and lasting way.

Have you ever walked into a room of people who are really depressed or stressed out, and you immediately begin to feel depressed and stressed too? This is an example of emotional contagion, which is the idea that our emotions can often spread to others like a virus.

In the same way that other people’s emotions affect us, our emotions affect other people. So if you walk around life with a generally positive attitude, that is going to rub off on those you interact with (but you have to first have your own mind in order).

The social skills aspect of emotional intelligence is about becoming an “emotional leader” of sorts. But you need to practice turning negative people around by first being positive in yourself.
(feel free to move this if you feel it's more suitable as a thread suggesting an article for Sott.net.) :)
 
The article you posted contains common sense with alot of depth to it! It shows how a human being should go about being a human being in a practical way without wiseacreing. Perhaps this would be good in the science of the spirit section of sott because it is applicable to life?
 

DandG

The Force is Strong With This One
  • Self-Regulation

    ...
    Turning emotions around by doing the opposite of what you feel.
sry but i have to completely disagree with this as it is the worst thing u can advice to someone with some sort of social disorders.
dont get me wrong, mindfulness is a great achievent by budha monks, but most of the current displayed content its propaganda.

i sugest the reading of this article
_http://mindfulconstruct.com/2011/02/04/17-ways-mindfulness-meditation-can-cause-you-emotional-harm/
 

Buddy

The Living Force
DandG said:
  • Self-Regulation

    ...
    Turning emotions around by doing the opposite of what you feel.
sry but i have to completely disagree with this as it is the worst thing u can advice to someone with some sort of social disorders.
dont get me wrong, mindfulness is a great achievent by budha monks, but most of the current displayed content its propaganda.

i sugest the reading of this article
_http://mindfulconstruct.com/2011/02/04/17-ways-mindfulness-meditation-can-cause-you-emotional-harm/
I read it. My impression is that the author is unfamiliar with Mindfulness or has an axe to grind, because that's not my experience at all.

If you're interested in another perspective we can turn to research into stress management and psychosomatic medicine.

The following info can be found in various places on the internet:

Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Context: Past, Present, and Future, Jon Kabat-Zinn, University of Massachusetts Medical School

This commentary highlights and contextualizes (1) what exactly mindfulness is, (2) where it came from, (3) how it came to be introduced into medicine and health care, (4) issues of cross-cultural sensitivity and understanding in the study of meditative practices stemming from other cultures and in applications of them in novel settings, (5) why it is important for people who are teaching mindfulness to practice themselves, (6) results from 3 recent studies from the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society not reviewed by Baer but which raise a number of key questions about clinical applicability, study design, and mechanism of action, and (7) current opportunities for professional training and development in mindfulness and its clinical applications.

Key words: mindfulness, meditation, mind/body medicine, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). [Clin Psychol Sci Prac 10: 144–156, 2003]
...and there is:

Principles and Practice of Stress Management
Edited by
Paul M. Lehrer
Robert L. Woolfolk
Wesley E. Sime


About the Editors

Paul M. Lehrer, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He has published more than 100 articles and chapters, mostly on biofeedback, psychophysiology, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Dr. Lehrer is past president of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback and has received their Distinguished Scientist Award. He has also recently served as president of the International Society for the Advancement of Respiratory Psychophysiology and of the International Stress Management Association—USA Branch.

Robert L. Woolfolk, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and Visiting Professor of Psychology at Princeton University. He has published numerous papers and several books on psychotherapy, psychopathology, and the philosophical foundations of psychology. A practicing clinician for more than 30 years, Dr. Woolfolk has sought in both his work with patients and his scholarly endeavors to integrate the scientific and humanistic traditions of psychotherapy. He is the coauthor of Stress, Sanity, and Survival and Treating Somatization: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach, and the author of The Cure of Souls: Science, Values, and Psychotherapy.

Wesley E. Sime, PhD, is a health psychologist and stress physiologist and Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Health Science at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He is past chair of both the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (BCIA) and the International Stress Management Association—USA Branch (ISMA-USA). He was one of the founders of the Stress Management Certification program through BCIA and continues to work with ISMA-USA. Dr. Sime was an early contemporary of Hans Selye and Edmund Jacobson and continues to facilitate stress management developments with Paul Rosch, Charles Spielberger, and James Quick. He is also a consultant in medical and sports performance settings.


...and including the input from about 30 or so contributing Ph.D's and medical doctors.


...and you can google for:

Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation
 

DandG

The Force is Strong With This One
been there, done that.

dont need to stop feeling, why would i want to be vegetable? breading exercises are good for stress relief tho.

i suggest u read better

_http://mindfulconstruct.com/2010/01/15/the-dark-side-of-mindfulness/
 

Buddy

The Living Force
DandG said:
been there, done that.

dont need to stop feeling, why would i want to be vegetable? breading exercises are good for stress relief tho.

i suggest u read better

_http://mindfulconstruct.com/2010/01/15/the-dark-side-of-mindfulness/
Thanks for the suggestion. I read it. As I thought, there seems to be an axe to grind against Monks. I don't know anything about that, just my own experience, and that is totally unrelated to a Monks' behaviors and lifestyle. Really, the important component here is attention.

In the initial stages of Mindfulness, the most difficult task is the control of attention for seconds and minutes at a time. If you can't do that, then you can't perform mindfulness correctly. Anyone who can cultivate control of his own attention can perform self-observation or self-remembering which is a fundamental practice in the Fourth Way Work that serves as the cornerstone of this forum.
 

DandG

The Force is Strong With This One
mindfulness meditation is an escapist attitude from response ability to life. it also fails when u use the word 'control', its like u are trying to program human brain and its chemistry, sounds like lobotomy.
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
DandG said:
been there, done that.

dont need to stop feeling, why would i want to be vegetable? breading exercises are good for stress relief tho.

i suggest u read better

_http://mindfulconstruct.com/2010/01/15/the-dark-side-of-mindfulness/
"i suggest u read better" was quite condescending and unnecessary. It would be helpful if you at least questioned if your own reasoning and behavior contributed to the communication problem you perceived buddy as having. When you send a link and just say, "read," you can't really complain about them not taking the right things away if you don't explain how the article has influenced your own thinking on the topic in question.

Who says having more self-awareness through inner observation blocks the feeling of emotions? If anything it expands one's awareness of them, as well as its finer nuances. That awareness helps to protect from automatic emotional responses and other negative programs we acquire during our upbringing. No one here would ever suggest that emotions are bad things. There are an instrument that needs to be tuned properly. And having an active and discerning mind that can impartially watch emotions is essential to that tuning process. Have you had a chance to look at some of the cognitive psychology reading material, such as Timothy Wilson's Strangers to Ourselves, or Peter Levine's In an Unspoken Voice?

The article contains a lot of information pertaining to the author's grandfather's experiences with monks, and how useless they were during war and times of strife. While that is valid -- many people do use spirituality as a crutch to avoid reality -- I think it's quite different from tossing out mindfulness and self-remembering as a result of some skewed cultural experiences and intellectual package-deals. In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky is a decent introduction to concepts of the Fourth Way Buddy mentioned, if you were interested in learning about it.

it also fails when u use the word 'control', its like u are trying to program human brain and its chemistry, sounds like lobotomy.
Reprogramming the brain and its chemistry is the primary goal of this forum. I highly recommend you read In Search of the Miraculous, or at least some of the works of Gurdjieff, to see if the aims of this forum are suitable for your own ends.
 

DandG

The Force is Strong With This One
im sorry if was rude or not very polite in the discussion.

it is my solely intention to express my views, even if that comes as a big contradiction to your beliefs.

i've had my experience with mindfulness and i can tell i can be very damaging than healing for todays ppl with psycological issues. that was my case, i ive done reading and practicing a lot of material on this, i dont actually have a pHD or fancy vocabulary to maybe express myself to your level, but ill do my best.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
DandG said:
mindfulness meditation is an escapist attitude from response ability to life. it also fails when u use the word 'control', its like u are trying to program human brain and its chemistry, sounds like lobotomy.
Just like any other tool, mindfulness meditation is tool and has proven to be helpful for many. we suggest to you search the forum, read and think before making blanket statement like 'program human brain' etc. LOT more angles to it. we want to avoid noise.
 

DandG

The Force is Strong With This One
i understand your views, but mindfulness like many others philosophizes/practices has its good and bad things.

ive never said it was all wrong, just mostly bad used. i also want to avoid the noise, but that does not require brain programing, its the wrong way ppl, its called denial. dont ever ignore/kill your feelings or you will most likely be a vegetable.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
DandG said:
i understand your views, but mindfulness like many others philosophizes/practices has its good and bad things.

ive never said it was all wrong, just mostly bad used. i also want to avoid the noise, but that does not require brain programing, its the wrong way ppl, its called denial. dont ever ignore/kill your feelings or you will most likely be a vegetable.
if some body uses technique incorrectly ( for disassociation or denial or suppressing emotions or expecting it to will cure every thing/any thing ), that's not the technique's problem. No body in the forum said ignore/kill feelings, instead you will find TON of research in the forum related to emotions - its origins, different manifestation, how to process.
 

DandG

The Force is Strong With This One
seek10 said:
if some body uses technique incorrectly ( for disassociation or denial or suppressing emotions or expecting it to will cure every thing/any thing ), that's not the technique's problem. No body in the forum said ignore/kill feelings, instead you will find TON of research in the forum related to emotions - its origins, different manifestation, how to process.
its not using incorrectly, i agree metidations has its benefits. im mostly talking about the "mindfulness lifestyle" that suggests wrong things as brain programing, avoiding negative emotions and "Turning emotions around by doing the opposite of what you feel." as said in the article of OP, can be very damaging to a persons health, especially someone with psychological disorders.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
DandG said:
seek10 said:
if some body uses technique incorrectly ( for disassociation or denial or suppressing emotions or expecting it to will cure every thing/any thing ), that's not the technique's problem. No body in the forum said ignore/kill feelings, instead you will find TON of research in the forum related to emotions - its origins, different manifestation, how to process.
its not using incorrectly, i agree metidations has its benefits. im mostly talking about the "mindfulness lifestyle" that suggests wrong things as brain programing, avoiding negative emotions and "Turning emotions around by doing the opposite of what you feel." as said in the article of OP, can be very damaging to a persons health, especially someone with psychological disorders.
I understand where you are coming from. but we don't want black and white statements. There are so many mindfulness techniques and adaptations. If some so called "mindfulness lifestyle" teaches suppression of emotion that is either incorrect technique or incorrect usage or mixture of it, that doesn't mean it should apply for every thing.
 
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