Are You Emotionally Intelligent

My recent reading has turned up some new thoughts on emotional intelligence. I thought I would focus on two traits this morning. Self-aware and Empathetic.

I think these go together.

To be self-aware means that we can see ourselves as others see us. I can still remember one of those experiences when I was perhaps 11 or 12. I was doing one of those “boy” things and had a vision seeing myself from the outside. And how stupid I was. There have been other occurrences since I provide plenty of stupidity times.

A good time to actually try to do this is while in a queue at an airline counter when all the flights are cancelled. You see yourself being less than kind to the poor gate agent–the only person who can help you.

This leads to empathy–a trait lacking in the narcissistic among us. Seeing the whole incident from outside ourselves, so to speak, allows us to see the other person as a fellow human being with feelings just like us.

A narcissistic person (one who is self-absorbed) will tend to look at the situation as one where someone else can help me or hinder me. An empathetic person begins to feel what the other person is going through. Our feelings mesh with theirs. It’s not just about us anymore. It’s about us.

Just today someone told me about a terrible hurt from an incident of many years ago. It still hurts. It hurt me to think about it.

Perhaps today we can try self-awareness and empathy. Life is so much better that way.

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