The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was getting everyone to believe in “emotional intelligence.” You don’t have it. It doesn’t exist. Only in a self-aggrandizing society which glorifies charisma over character does a notion of intelligence quotients to emotion become a thing.
“Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.” (Psychology Today). And, it’s a corporate concept for “I won’t be myself and I’ll help you not be also.”
Identifying emotions is simple. There’s 7 – surprise, fear, disgust, anger, happiness, sadness, and contempt.
You win a million dollars. Surprise. Are you intelligent now?
You jump out of an airplane. Fear. How intelligent is the parachute?
Definitely a good boy…but emotionally intelligent or merely responsive?
The expression of these 7 base emotions are an innate universal human behavior. All humans show the same facial expressions for surprise, fear, disgust, anger, happiness, sadness, and contempt. It’s so core to our being that we literally see emotion everywhere:
You see and know emotion at a physiological level. Instinct does not denote intelligence. And there’s no “managing” emotions, neither for oneself or others. We experience. We reflect. We move on.
The major message behind the concept of emotional intelligence should be to incite each other to pay attention again. Learn each other’s stories. Look at each other and experience each other’s happiness. Reflect on each other’s sadness, not your own. Note a moment of contempt and move on. We’re not to manage…we’re to be aware.
I loathe the thought of “emotional intelligence.” It gives false self-confidence and pressures us to hide our emotions as well as manipulate the emotions of others. It makes us unauthentic.