Emotional Intelligence

by Mark Ivar Myhre on February 23, 2009

The term ’emotional intelligence’ basically refers to the relationship you have with your emotions.

In this post you’ll learn what emotional intelligence is, and then you can take my free emotional intelligence test to get an idea of how you stack up.

Two different schools of thought have emerged around emotional intelligence.

  • One school believes the goal is to control your own emotions while simultaneously manipulating the emotions of others.  I call this the ‘domination theory’ of emotional intelligence.
  • The other school believes the primary goal involves developing a healthy relationship with your emotions, and perhaps helping others develop a healthy relationship with their emotions as well.  I call this the ‘dominion theory’.

The first school, unfortunately, gets all the press.  But as you might imagine, I’ve camped out with this second group.

Not because I’m smarter and cooler; not because I’m more spiritually evolved; not because of my disdain for domination and manipulation;  but because – in the long run – it’s the only way that works.

You might be able to get away with manipulating others your entire lifetime, but you won’t get away with manipulating or controlling your own emotions.

And why would you even want to?  Emotions make you alive.  The healthier your relationship with your emotions, the more alive you feel.  The more wonderful life becomes, and the more powerful you become.

Are you powerful? Are you alive? Are you wonderful; filled with wonder?

If not, you can be.  That’s the promise of true emotional intelligence.

Mocking the conventional concept of emotional intelligence.

Going to war with your emotions by trying to control them? Please don't call it 'intelligent'!

But maybe you’re like I used to be.

I avoided my emotions because I just didn’t know any better.  I thought I was doing the right thing.  I thought I was supposed to manipulate and control the way I felt.

I didn’t know emotions were the source of my power.  I didn’t know they were meant to flow through me; giving me energy and aliveness.  And I certainly didn’t know the dangers of blocking that flow.

For example, blocking the natural flow of emotions results in fabricated, man-made, artificial, imaginary emotions.

  • Imaginary fears; where you never feel safe…
  • raging angers; where you explode at other people…
  • wallows of pity and guilt, melodrama… (whew!)
  • even delusional thinking comes from manipulating the flow of emotions.

Not to mention the fact you’re at risk of anxiety and depression.

I used to believe emotions were bad and wrong, and it almost killed me.  I didn’t know any better.  Nobody told me.  In fact, everyone else seemed to believe as I did.

Eventually, I started thinking for myself.  And I made some amazing discoveries about emotions.  You might say I gained emotional intelligence, although I’d never heard of the phrase.

It’s actually kind of a misleading term, since it implies a certain amount of intelligence is required.  It’s not.  Remember, emotional intelligence simply refers to the degree to which you have a healthy relationship with your emotions.

It’s like physical health.  You can be dumb as a box of rocks and still have excellent physical health.  As long as you inherently follow the habits and patterns that promote good health.

Unfortunately, just as society has a physical health crisis, we’re also in the midst of an emotional health crisis.  Very few people exhibit any degree of emotional intelligence at all.

So how do you stack up?  Read these list of criteria and you can judge for yourself.  Just consider this your…

Free Emotional Intelligence Test

So what does it mean to possess ’emotional intelligence’?  And how do you stack up?  You can determine for yourself where you stand by reading the following statements.

Here’s my definition of emotional intelligence:

1. You can distinguish between real and imaginary feelings.

2. You use techniques to eliminate the imaginary emotions while you embrace the real ones.

3. You love and accept and embrace ALL your feelings.

4. You don’t place emotions on a hierarchy – where some are ‘good’ and others are ‘bad’.

5. You don’t seek to avoid your feelings – in fact you go out of your way to embrace them.

6. You inherently know emotions are the very source of your power in this lifetime – all emotions.

7. You take the time to release the trapped emotions from the past, because you realize your power is also trapped in that past.

8. You realize that trying to block the flow of unwanted feelings never works. There is no ‘selective filter’ to block certain feelings.   Instead, you feel less of ALL your feelings when you attempt to block the ones you don’t want.

9. You understand emotional pain comes from blocking or manipulating your feelings.  The pain comes from crimping the hose, not from the water that passes through the hose.

10. Real emotions last only a short time – and always leave you feeling ‘more’. Fabricated emotions linger on and on and drain you of power and aliveness. They hurt you and leave you feeling ‘less’.  When you possess emotional intelligence you inherently know this.

11. And finally, in my opinion, if you have emotional intelligence the last thing in the world you’ll want to do is to manipulate others.  Because you’re secure in yourself.

Because you feel wonderful.  Even when you’re miserable.  That’s a paradox only the emotionally intelligent understand.

And please remember,  emotional intelligence is always a work in progress.

{ 1 comment }

Anonymous March 12, 2009 at 10:17 am

I wouldn't call myself a depressed person, but lately I've had a lot of crying spells… Just a few minutes ago, I began to tell a co-worker about a bad dream I had, where I had lost my father. I began to cry immediately. I can't find any real reason why I am so emotional lately, but reading your post @ http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Crying_Spells.html, really helped. Thank you.

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