INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCES AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
Chapter 2.2 – Emotional Intelligence: transforming myself in order to include the “Other”
2.2.2 The importance of emotions
The glorification of “reason” and “rationality” has contributed in time to the damnation of the unknown and the different. For instance, the classification of human races was rationally acknowledged as irrefutable science. However, it justified racism, slavery and other inhumane behaviours that nowadays are considered to be crimes against humanity. At the same time, anti-racism movements do not campaign by waving academic references on the inexistence of different human races but make use of emotions and empathy.
The importance of emotions
emerges from the acknowledgement that rationality cannot repress feelings. Human beings have four fundamental emotions that constitute the basic instinct of individuals: (i) fear; (ii) anger; (iii) joy; and (iv) sadness. Emotional intelligence
starts from the recognition and the conscious management of these four emotions. In fact, it is not necessary to repress emotions
but rather to increase the capacity to understand them. Persons that do not recognize their negative emotions are at risk of being overwhelmed by them. When this happens, individuals may react in a discriminatory way towards others perceived as unlike themselves and compromise social relations.
Emotional intelligence is pivotal for developing inclusive social relationships
between those who might be “rationally” labelled as different. The encounter of persons that are physically and culturally very different from ourselves could be challenging and would require a consolidated emotional intelligence competence. Since our world is more and more small and interconnected, we all need to increase the emotional capacity to live in a melting pot of ethnicities by looking at it as an opportunity for development.
Table of Content