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Emotional Intelligence and Self-Harm

One way EQI.org differs in its views of emotional intelligence is concerning the connection, or lack thereof, between emotional intelligence, depression and self-harm.

Based on over 10 years of work in both the field of emotional intelligence and in direct youth suicide prevention, we believe the evidence clearly shows that self-harm is caused by abuse and neglect, including emotional abuse and neglect - not a lack of emotional intelligence.

We have found that the adolescents who self-harm are sensitive, empathic, intellectually intelligent, aware and high in innate emotional initelliegence.But they come from exceptionally unhealthy and abusive home environments in which their self-esteems are seriously damaged and in which they become innnocent victims of what psychologist Martin Seligman calls "learned helplessness" and "learned pessimism".

Some, though, believe that self-harm is caused by low emotional intelligence. For example, on his university website, John Mayer, says this:

The high EI individual, relative to others, is less apt to engage in problem behaviors, and avoids self-destructive, negative behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking, drug abuse, or violent episodes with others.

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See also "Who Is Emotionally Intelligent"

See note below

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Emotional Intelligence | Empathy
Emotional Abuse | Understanding
Emotional Literacy | Feeling Words
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Here is one academic research article which suggests that it is abuse, not low EI, which leads to self-harm.

Childhood Origins of Self-Destructive Behavior

 
Here is another quote

....depression has been positively identified as one of the long-term consequences of childhood physical abuse (Malinosky-Rummell and Hansen, 1993), this could explain why self-injurious behaviors are seen more frequently among those abused as children than among the general population (Malinosky-Rummel and Hansen, 1993)

 
Note

In Feb of 2010 the quote "The high EI individual, relative to others, is less apt to engage in problem behaviors, and avoids self-destructive, negative behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking, drug abuse, or violent episodes with others" was found on many sites.

Here are a few of them:

hubpages.com/hub/tPaysToBeEmotionallyIntelligent-HarshSharma

euroafrica-multiculture.com/index.php/key-concepts/49-typography/114-why-is-emotional-intelligence-important.htm

theneuron.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=31:emotional-intelligence&catid=21:psychology&Itemid=68

ejop.org/archives/Emotional%20intelligence.pdf

slideshare.net/hawleybrown/Emotional-Intelligence-Group-Presentation

absenceofyoucoaching.com/Newsletter/ColleenMoore/September2008.htm