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  • Writer's pictureAnne Brest


By Anne Lapedus Brest/Marnin Romm.

In the recent past people have begun to embrace the psychological, emotional, and cognitive way of living. Due to these ideas, the notion of “emotional intelligence” has become a much used practicality. Many people to date have not had the awareness of what emotional intelligence actually is, however with the crowning of the need to understand the human mind, instead of only the human body, “emotional intelligence” needs to be understood.

DO YOU HAVE EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wonder and can’t make out why your friends behave in a certain way? Have you ever wanted to understand the people around you, in a more constructive way? Perhaps the answer to this, is that your “emotional intelligence” has not been nurtured to its fullest.

What then, is emotional intelligence?

“Emotional Intelligence” is the capacity for an individual to be able to understand, analyse, have the awareness and appreciate the human mind, in its psychological dynamics.

“Emotional Intelligence” is the ability to have empathy( i.e. to feel and understand someone else’s emotions)

“Emotional Intelligence” is the ability to view another persons actions, behaviour and emotional status in a 3 dimensional way, rather than a 1 dimensional way a (Therefore having the innate and nurtured capacity to think abstractly and to understand, in a meaningful and psychological way, the human mind).

When do you have emotional Intelligence?

For example, your child’s teacher is complaining that your child is continuously behaving badly in class. If your “emotional intelligence” was completely absent, or was not developed to its potential, your understanding of this matter would just be of a one-dimensional appreciation. In other words, you would thoroughly believe that your child is just a naughty kid, perhaps the teacher is to blame, or you may just ignore the matter completely. Therefore this would reveal that the Parent is not looking deeper into the emotional side of the situation. The parent is not willing to analyse this situation on a psychological level.

On the other hand if the Parent took this matter to another level, and viewed it in terms of a three-dimensional level, the following would occur – The parent would question, in an analytical way, why really is this child behaving badly. Perhaps the child is acting out other frustrations stemming from home, stemming from peers, etc. In other words, the Parent would understand that the child’s bad behaviour is not just a mere expression of a naughty kid, instead, the Parent would acknowledge that the behaviour lies in deeper psychological grounds. Ultimately, the uncovering of the child’s possible inner turmoil, would be attempted to be unravelled by the “emotionally intelligent” Parent or professional. Therefore it is evident that being “emotionally intelligent” allows an individual to look beyond the image in the mirror, and rather understand the reflection.

Another example, this time in the workplace - You view your work colleague as a work-a-holic ; spending most of his/her time at work, and when at home, still working. Being emotionally intelligent, you would perhaps analyse this matter to the psychological embracement that it deserves. You would ask the question “what does a work-a-holic actually mean? Perhaps what is a work-a-holic really trying to achieve? Money may really only be a small part of it. If you had “emotional Intelligence” you may acknowledge that your work colleague is perhaps really covering up for a sense of low self-esteem. He/she may feel so inadequate in many areas of his/her life, (for example – being a good father or mother figure, being a good sportsman etc) or just feeling like a reasonable human being. To defend against these feelings of inadequacy and a lack of sense of self, he/she may feel that the only way to construct his/her identity and feelings of self worth, may be to work, work, work. Although the behaviour of continuously working may be a sub-conscious defence against his/her inner turmoil, you, as his/her work colleague, would perhaps be able to view his/her behaviour in this deeper understanding due to your “emotional intelligence”

Is “emotional intelligence” from nature (born with it) or is it due to nurture (environmentally taught). Although this point is widely debated, a conglomeration between nature and nurture is the most likely argument. People ultimately do have the capacity to utilise their “emotional intelligence” in a constructive way through individual and external moulding of this pre-disposition. In other words, if you debate that everyone is born with “emotional intelligence” you will have the capacity to understand peoples psychological make-up to an extent. This capacity, however, still with the assistance of self-awareness and self-understanding books, academics (studying psychology) , media (watching good talk shows) , etc would be allowed to grow from a seed to a tree, thereby allowing your “emotional intelligence” to develop.

However, to fully allow yourself to develop your “ emotional intelligence”, so you need to understand your own mind, and behaviour. In order to do this, one requires an objective instead of subjective point of view. If one does not fully understand him/herself, trying to analyse someone else’s behaviour, would be an arduous task as you might project your own feelings and emotions, (that haven’t been worked through) onto the other individual. Thus people who wish to gain a broader awareness and understanding of their psychology often seek out a counsellor or psychologist who would assist in this internal investigation. In turn this would allow an individual to gain an insight into his/her individual mind and thereby allowing the capacity to view people in a three-dimensional, instead of a one-dimensional manner, would be possible.

I would like to thank my friend, Marnin ROMM for helping me with understanding what “emotional Intelligence” actually is, because without his input, I would not have been able to write this article.

Anne Lapedus Brest


Contact details.

Cel: 082 452 7166


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