Chapter 2.2 – Emotional Intelligence: transforming myself in order to include the “Other”
As we stated above, becoming fully aware of how stereotypes and prejudices may guide our choices is an important step towards a more inclusive society. In this sense, emotional intelligence
helps to become aware of the link very often existing between negative emotions and prejudices.
The recognition and management of emotions
are useful instruments of emotional intelligence that increase the awareness of the self and the other. When, for example, a person faces a friend shouting at them when angry, they might react in the same way. However, emotional intelligence would suggest different strategies to resolve a conflict situation peacefully. In this sense when a person recognises and understands that his/her anger may be a barrier to comprehension, the outcome may be twofold: on one hand, this person will try to control anger; on the other hand, this person will recognise anger in other individuals and acts consequently. The control of emotions through emotional intelligence is different from their repression. Indeed, managing emotions means to feel them consciously in order to take advantage of them for successful achievements. This is the key.
Some professionals suggest that emotional intelligence is more important than rational intelligence because success mostly depends on the ability to stand comfortably in social relations. We prefer to say that the two intelligences are complementary as the two sides of our brain. On one hand, persons need to use their rational capacities of analysis of daily life realities; on the other hand, individuals need to be aware and at ease with their emotions in order to react appropriately in social relationships. It could be inferred that “intelligence” is the ability to find a successful balance between reason and emotions.
Emotional intelligence can be divided into five categories:
– it is the ability to recognise the emotions when they emerge. The recognition of emotions allows their evaluation and management.
2- Self-regulation – it is the ability to control emerging emotions. There may be persons that have an innate ability while others may need to acquire specific techniques.
3- Motivation – it is the ability to develop a positive attitude to reach desired goals. Positivity can be natural or derive from an effort to reframe negative thoughts.
4- Empathy – it is the ability to recognise how people feel. Empathy allows persons to recognise emotional signals and act accordingly.
5- Social skills – it is the ability to understand, empathise and negotiate with others in a global society. This requires the capacity to recognise different situations and adapt to them.
- One of the most relevant factors of emotional intelligence is EMPATHY: the possibility of understanding someone else’s emotions. Watch this video
and answer the question: what would I do if I met her? You will realize how prejudices and stereotypes are powerful forces in our daily life.