Emotional Intelligence

Saturday, 24 October 2020



Emotional Intelligence

Dhiman Kakati | August 29, 2018 16:17 hrs

What does the idea- the concept- of “Emotional Intelligence” mean to someone like the author- a 23 year old fresh College passout ready to take on the increasing sophistication and adrenaline of the 21st Century lifestyle? There happen to be numerous instances on a daily basis which have successfully reinforced my belief in an already obvious conclusion- that in modern day society, emotional intelligence should (and does) demand greater importance and significance than rational intelligence (typically called the IQ level). Look around and you will find impatient, occasionally grumpy, and increasingly volatile elements at a variety of locations you happen to be present at during the course of a typical day- be it your workplace, or when you are in the middle of the road (regardless of being the driver or the driven), at restaurants and shopping malls and even in movie theatres! The interesting part, however, is that in many cases these volatile elements are highly educated, intelligent and respected members of society. The ever-increasing strain and demands of modern lifestyle leading to “neural hijackings” (physiological term indicating exaggerated responses to relatively trivial issues, which the person later regrets upon introspection) has made things worse, and this problem seems to plague a large section of the society, particularly the youth.


To understand what Emotional Intelligence is all about, consider the following lines from “The Nicomachean Ethics”- a treatise on ethics by the great 4th Century philosopher, Aristotle:


“Anyone can become angry- that is easy. But to be angry with the right person to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way- that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy”



A concise, to-the-point statement which brilliantly encapsulates the dilemma modern society finds itself in. The statement can be successfully extended to a range of other emotions whose unrestrained and unchecked flow could prove to be detrimental in social interactions. In other words, Emotional Intelligence refers to the ability of an individual to respond accurately to social situations and complexities. An emotionally intelligent individual has a positive temperament, the ability to properly assess the situation he or she find themselves in, and respond accordingly. They make more relevant and informed decisions and stays balanced throughout - thus making them good leaders and better team players.  In today’s day and age of increasing self-obsession and the unfortunate weakening of the social fabric, the emotional intellect plays a crucial role in holding together the threads of this fabric and ensuring the survival of a cooperative, caring and understanding society.


It is also important to realize that divorcing emotions in order to make a suitable and proper decision is not a solution in itself. In fact, from a purely biological point of view, millions of years of evolution has ensured that the “emotional brain” (regulated by a region called the amygdala) has intricate connections to the “rational brain” (the region of the cerebral cortex) and plays a major role in influencing our assessment of a particular situation and subsequent behaviors and responses. In addition to this, positive emotions such as empathy, optimism, and compassion have, time and again, proved to be the glue that binds a healthy society together, as discussed earlier. 


And this is where the role of the society’s youth comes into play- all the more important because they are the future of this society. From a professional point of view, it is not enough to have a vast academic knowledge and a commendable set of soft skills to survive in the professional world. Emotional Intelligence helps us get along with colleagues and work as a team by means of empathy and collaboration, in maintaining a positive approach to work and give mature and sensible responses to various complications emerging out of the workplace.  It will make us better and more efficient professionals. On top of that, the importance of emotional intelligence in our personal lives cannot be overemphasized. Managing our emotions and understanding those of our loved ones are key to maintaining healthy and durable relationships. It adds quality to our relationships and strengthens them further.  Emotional Intelligence is no rocket science, either. All one needs to do is manage one’s emotions, behave in a gentle and suitable manner and try and empathize with the other party. And with patience and noble intent, it is not difficult to master at all.


Hence, for a better quality of Life, a proper combination of emotions and logic is of utmost necessity. And it calls for immediate action on the part of the individual- to realize this dream of a healthy and cooperative society.

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