Aude was feeling desperate as everybody was mounting on their horse and happily going for a ride. At only five years old she was too young to participate. Unable to hide her despair, Aude could not yet articulate its motive. Admits her tears she suddenly saw Eugene, the owner of the local equestrian centre, walked towards her […]
Aude was feeling desperate as everybody was mounting on their horse and happily going for a ride. At only five years old she was too young to participate. Unable to hide her despair, Aude could not yet articulate its motive. Admits her tears she suddenly saw Eugene, the owner of the local equestrian centre, walked towards her with the oldest mare of the place, Marizza, all saddled.
This episode happened to me forty years ago and yet I still remember Eugene, Marizza and actually still physically feel the surge of joy that overwhelmed me at the time. Eugene was one of this person. although not financially successful or wealthy, with a striking interpersonal intelligence. He could recognise the feelings of people around him and make easy connections. Eugene bespoke a talent for emotional skills and rapports essential to build and preserve close relationships whatever they might have been (business or friendship). As far as I can remember everybody loved him and he was always surrounded by a crowd of people.
Eugene’s talent represent one of the four skills that compose emotional intelligence.
Empathy and connecting make it easy to enter into an encounter and respond to others’ feelings. Such people are team players, good spouse, good friends and business partners. They also can be excellent teachers and display a particular talent at reading facial expressions, negotiating solutions, preventing conflicts or solving those that flare up. Such people excel in arbitrating and mediating disputes. They may have a career in diplomacy, law and politics.
Able to detect and gain insights about people’s feelings, motives and concerns. These abilities make one competent counsellor or therapist and if combined with literacy: a great novelist.
Initiating and coordinating the efforts of a network of people are the attribute of leadership.
These people are the kind that leaves others with a feel good impression, whom others wish to be around with.
However, these interpersonal abilities need to be balanced with a sheer sense’s of one own needs and feeling otherwise they could lead to a shallow social popularity or even a loss of self. Such people if they make an excellent first impression end up with few satisfaction or stable relationship. “social chameleon” live with a discrepancy between their private reality and social life. Usually in the search of approval and validity, they try to fit in with whomever they are with.
The emotional intelligence, that is sustainable, requires the capacity to be true to one’s own feelings which allows to act with one’s deepest values, no matter the social consequences.
Emotional intelligence requires a real awareness of one’s values and being self confident enough to stick to them. Such emotional integrity may lead to provoking confrontation to cut through denial or duplicity, a clearing of the air that a “social chameleon” would never attempt but which will prove rewarding in the long term.
We all know “smart” people with social awkardness.
People who lack such skills are inept at social niceties and handling others emotions. Their awkardness leave disturbance and spawns of anxiety and can destabilise a group, team, a couple or a project even though they have score well on the IQ test.
Aude is an ex corporate Lawyer with a passion for health, self development and independence which lead her to give up her former career to help others through health.
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