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BOOK REVIEW
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 193-195

Emotional intelligence


General Education Department, Colegio de Muntinlupa, Muntinlupa City, Philippines

Date of Submission19-Jul-2022
Date of Decision30-Jul-2022
Date of Acceptance25-Sep-2022
Date of Web Publication20-Dec-2022

Correspondence Address:
Louie Giray
General Education Department, Colegio de Muntinlupa, Muntinlupa City
Philippines
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jpcs.jpcs_35_22

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How to cite this article:
Giray L. Emotional intelligence. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci 2022;8:193-5

How to cite this URL:
Giray L. Emotional intelligence. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 3];8:193-5. Available from: https://www.j-pcs.org/text.asp?2022/8/3/193/364542





Author : Daniel Goleman

Genre : Neuropsychology, Motivational Leadership

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing

Release Date : December 8, 2020

Pages : 352

USD : 16.87

ISBN : 978-1526633620

Country : United States

Language : English

Subject : Emotional intelligence, relationships, emotion

Media type : Print (hardcover), ebook

Growing up, I barely learned from school instruction how to manage one's emotions and deal harmoniously with other people. If there were such subjects in our school curriculum, it surely would be of great help to me. I was just into academic grades when I was studying from elementary to college. I believed that having good grades would commensurate a successful life. Alas, that rosy belief is tainted and erroneous.

Who ingrained in me such a principle? I couldn't remember. Perhaps, it is the educational system that values academic achievement over discipline and perseverance, or my parents who innocently believe that learning of the child can be quantified through grades, or my teachers who focus on dispensing facts rather than teaching the whole human child, or me because I did not delve deeper. Or it is the combination of these factors which has evolved into programming me with cold and superficial thinking.

Years later, I graduated with honors. However, there's something wrong. I had a hard time expressing myself and cultivating relationships. I was shy. I could not assert myself in difficult situations. Yes, I was low in emotional intelligence. I saw my mind stuffed with the knowledge that could not be utilized well in the world of people. I whispered, “I need to cultivate my emotional intelligence.”

It's no good if I trace the root cause and blame someone. It is better if I start filling the gaps, making myself human again, and allowing myself to feel and be connected. It is not yet late. I resolve to work on this kind of intelligence. I know I can still catch up. Perhaps, reading books regarding this subject plus applying the lessons in real life can help me to remember, to be part again of a bigger whole. I want to be a member again of the ecology I am in. I want to be part of the warm and vivid gregarious network of people. Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence is my stepping stone.

A New York Times Best Seller, Emotional Intelligence is an awesome and thoughtfully crafted book that redefines what it means to be intelligent. His thesis is that emotional intelligence can even matter more than cognitive intelligence. It is filled with practical insights on how to deal with oneself and with other individuals. Personally, this book has opened my mind to another realm of intelligence. My gratitude goes to Dr. Goleman.

The author, Daniel Goleman, is an acclaimed clinical psychologist who has popularized the concept of emotional intelligence. He is not the originator though. However, he is commended for relaying psychological science to common folks, majorly through his popular books. He is collaborating with other researchers to integrate emotional intelligence into other disciplines such as leadership, parenting, management, and so on. I find it very entertaining and insightful. The tales and real-life stories infused helped me better understand the concepts introduced.

In the first part of the book introduced are the basic parts of the human brain. One of which is the brainstem, the most primitive part of the brain and is responsible for breathing, metabolism, and homeostasis. There is also the amygdala which is in charge of emotional behavior and the hippocampus for the formation of memory. I also remember the neocortex which is dubbed as the thinking brain; it helps us to plan long-term and the corpus callosum which is the divide between the brain's halves. There is also the prefrontal cortex which executes the working memory.

The book offers a pragmatic advice on how to handle melancholy, anger, worry, and other negative states. Mood lifters are presented there. They, from the term itself, help a person to lift one's mood. Examples are small triumphs, cognitive reframing, distractions (e.g., reading and daydreaming), and downward comparisons (i.e., comparing oneself with others who have more unfortunate circumstances than one has). I have learned too that the most powerful mood lifter is helping, but sadly, it is one of the rarest. Furthermore, the book introduced me to the terminologies such as metacognition and metamood. While metacognition simply refers to the awareness of one's thought process, metamood, meanwhile, pertains to the awareness of one's emotions.

Wonderfully, the author does not think that emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence are opposing competencies. It is not when one is cultivated, the other is compromised. Good thing, he clarifies that this black-and-white thinking is what he wants to convey in this book. Moreover, he accentuates that “there is perhaps no psychological skill more fundamental than resisting impulse.” Goleman suggests that it is the mother of all emotional self-control. Indeed, the capacity to resist impulse is indispensable in many situations; this puts forward that the person has a full autonomy over his body and actions. If one lacks this, it can lead to trouble and/or abuse of oneself or others. It can even mean many problematic misbehaviors too.

According to Mischel, the capacity to delay gratification is vital to living a thriving life − self-control not only forecasts but also better social and cognitive performance and a keener sense of self-regard; it also aids us to cope with stress and take up goals more successfully. In a similar manner, Shanker believes that self-regulation brings about deep and lasting change that persists throughout the life. From my observation as a teacher, students who resist the impulse to talk out of turn or to do something immediately (e. g., answering tests even not all have the test papers, snatching materials from classmates) are the ones who get high scores and are commonly praised by teachers and elders. They want to do things in the right situation and try to analyze the probable repercussion of their action.[1],[2],[3],[4]

Another point that the author puts forward is, that “a more healthy pattern…is to balance being true to oneself with social skills…” Being authentic to oneself is indispensable to having a fulfilling life. It is the cornerstone of genuine living; hence, without authenticity, matters may lack subjective worth and may seem shallow from the individual's point of view. Possibly, this can lead to anxiety or depression. The inhibition to do what we want in life can be a hindrance to seeing our worth in life. It is fitting then for us to reflect on our real desires, because sometimes, we just want what we want because others want them (i.e., mimetic desire). Or, we just want to impress other people.

I must make a caveat − authenticity to oneself actually may vary as the course of development progresses since personality is plastic. We change. Moreover, we must be aware of those changes and the status of our current selves. Another matter to consider is that authenticity should be coupled with social skills. These skills are important to fully operate in this world of individuals. Inherently, we are social and gregarious human beings. Our brain is hardwired to connect. We need to love, be loved, appreciate, be appreciated, collaborate, and interact with people so that we can integrate ourselves socially and we can live life in harmony with our fellow human beings. Being authentic to oneself but without social skills is half-baked. The two should be balanced to reinforce a healthy pattern of personality and thinking.

Goleman also integrates the topic of emotional intelligence into organizational studies; one of his observations is that “many managers are willing to criticize but frugal with praise, leaving their employees to feel they only hear about what they're doing when they make a mistake.” This is a lugubrious scene in the workplace. The boss gets to highlight what is wrong rather than what works. If the gravity of pinpointing deficiencies and mistakes is so heavy, employees would feel terrible about themselves and their work leading the languishing or even depressive states.

Moreover, this, in turn, can negatively affect the organization like the attrition rate can increase. Many say, “Employees don't leave the bad company but they leave bad bosses.” Those bosses are the ones who do not know how to manage people and have low emotional intelligence. If we want harmonious supervisor–employee relationships in the workplace, we must accentuate the positive in the undertakings of the employees. When we do that, we boost their confidence. Confidence starts externally. We gain confidence from people who believe in us, and later internally, we feel that we are doing good things, and then, we believe in ourselves. However, this does not mean that we should neglect the wrong things that employees do. Rectifying their mistakes is as critical as appreciating their properly done work. A through feedback correction, they get to learn and improve. It must be done in a humanizing way to reinforce its effect.

One of his contentions in the book is that “emotional lessons — even the most deeply implanted habits of the learned in childhood − can be reshaped.” This puts forward the plasticity of the mind that gives people hope knowing that problematic behaviors that relate to emotions can be changed. Regardless of age, one can cultivate emotional intelligence which is necessary for the course of life; through that, we can be at peace with ourselves and get to improve our relationships with our loved ones and colleagues. Although emotional intelligence is not taught commonly in schools, when we are dedicated enough to learn it, we can change. What matters most is the conviction and action that we take rather than just merely reading books about this topic without application. Emotional intelligence is lifelong. It neither stops at a certain age nor does it mean that when we are old. A continual progress is necessary.

Lastly, Goleman thinks that “by leaving the emotional lessons, children learn to chance; we risk largely wasting the window of opportunity… to help children cultivate a healthy emotional repertoire.” This call of the author is to make deliberate plans and actions toward cultivating emotional intelligence, most especially for children. The brain of the young is highly suggestible and can easily be taught which can be a good pathway for them to be educated emotionally. Schools must incorporate it into their curricula. Parents must help their kids in their actions and their teachings too. Educating them cognitively but not emotionally is an incomplete education. This makes them prone to dysfunction. We must give an equal attention to the role of emotional intelligence, because it is as important as any other type of intelligence.

Ethics clearance

Not applicable.



 
  References Top

1.
Burgis L. Wanting. New York: St Martin's Press; 2021.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Eisenberger NI, Lieberman MD. Why rejection hurts: A common neural alarm system for physical and social pain. Trends Cogn Sci 2004;8:294-300.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Hardy B. Personality Isn't Permanent. New York: Penguin; 2020.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Kishimi I, Koga F. The Courage to Be Disliked. London: Atlantic Books; 2018.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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