Home | Stevehein.com
EQ For Everybody
Below are links to my complete 1996 book. I decided to put the whole book on line because so more people could benefit from it.
Please note that when I wrote this book I was basing my concept of emotional intelligence on the 1995 book by Goleman. I now believe Goleman himself doesn't really understand what EI is, although he did get many people in the world thinking about it, including me. Now I have my own definition of emotional intelligence:
One of the main differences between my idea of EI and that of most others is my emphasis on it being an innate potential we are born with. This potential can then either be developed in healthy ways during our lives, or in unhealthy ways. As far as the term "EQ" is concerned, I don't use it much in my writing now. But for the purposes of this book, I suggest you think of what I have written as a combination of
April 2006 Note - I made a few more corrections and clarifications to Chapter 1 (in grey text)..
Front Cover, Dedication, Acknowledgements, etc.
1 - Introduction and
Copyright 1996 Steve Hein
Library of Congress CIP Number 96-095131 ISBN 0-9655393-0-X
Aristotle Press, Clearwater Florida
This book is dedicated to everyone who has been told they think too much, are too sensitive, or both.
Thank you to everyone who has supported, encouraged, and believed in me. Special thanks to Steve Brewer who was foremost among those who believed I could write this book, before I believed it myself, and who supplied me with loving prodding to keep me working on it...
... And a very special thanks to Lisa Haueisen, whose help included meticulous editing, creative typesetting, and dependable emotional support, and who helped me do what most would say could not possibly have been done. (more is at the bottom of this page)
I first heard the term "EQ" in the fall of 1995 when the book Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman was widely covered by the American press. The extensive research presented in the book supported my own observations and suspicions about life and emotions, and reassured me that I was on the right track in my elusive pursuit of happiness. The research continues to confirm what I had concluded on my own: that feelings are extremely important to individual health, happiness, and social harmony.
This may seem a bit obvious, but it was not always obvious to me. I grew up in a family where we didn't talk about feelings. We talked about ideas, concepts and principles. As a result, I could tell you what I thought about everything, but I couldn't tell you how I felt about anything. After several failed relationships, I took time off to reflect on my life and realized I had made many decisions which resulted in unhappiness for myself and others. After studying the literature on emotions and feelings, I concluded that most of my self-detructive decisions could be directly attributed to what I now call an unhealthy developement of my innate emotional intelligence.
(In the 1996 edition of this book I said "poor" decisions, instead of unhealthy, and I said they were attributed to "what is now called low emotional intelligence, or low EQ, for short." I have come to realize, though, that I never had low emotional intelligence. It just was not given an opportunity to develop in a heathy way.)
In 1996 I wrote
Now I realize, in 2008, that you can feel good about yourself, and love yourself, but if you are alone and not in love with someone else, your life can be very unhappy. This is one reason I speak to students whenever I can about the importance of love and relationship skills.
Even before I read the EI literature, I had realized the importance of feelings. I had started listening to my emotions, since I concluded that nature would not have developed emotions if they didn't have some important value. Here is more about the importance of emotions.
As I studied emotions, I learned that our feelings are complex feedback systems which let us know when we are on the right track towards health and happiness.
This conclusion is supported by the evidence that negative feelings such as anger, stress, and hatred cause serious health problems. Such negative feelings are nature's way of telling us we are off track, and that we need to make some changes. These changes could be to ourselvesl, to our environment, or they could include changing environments, as I have done many times during my travels since 1996. I wrote this book to help you apply certain emotional principles of in your life, just as I strive to apply them in mine. I believe that by individually addressing our emotional needs, we can make a large impact on collective happiness.
In 1996 I wrote
Now I will add that since 1996 I have spent much more time outside of the USA than inside and I have travelled and lived around the world. I no longer refer to the USA as my country. I have a saying now, "If I can't sell it, then it isn't mine." Also, I no longer think of myself as an "American". I prefer to think of myself as what Socrates called a "citizen of the world."
Also, from my travels I have seen that the influence of the USA is even more pervassive than I realized in 1996. I feel a responsibility to inform people in other countries of the dangers in the American culture.
Now I return to the 1996 text....
Nonetheless, I am encouraged that Americans are also world leaders in the area of personal growth, a field in which this book attempts to make a valuable contribution. In putting together this book, I have tried to make the principles of emotional intelligence easier to understand, more accessible, and more relevant.
To do this I have expanded the academic concept of EI. For example, I include the importance of taking personal responsibility for our emotions as an integral part of our responsible participation in society. I also introduce the importance of emotional validation. Finally, I explain the direct connection between EQ, self-esteem, and happiness.
My best wishes go out to you in your quest for happiness and a high "EQ".
"Boy, do I feel stupid!"
How many times have we all said that? (I am not sure now if this is something commonly heard outside the USA)
All of us feel "stupid" from time to time. All of us do things we realize were "dumb." So when you are feeling incompetent, try to remember you are not alone. Just realizing this might help you feel better -- being hard on yourself certainly won't. Yet we are conditioned to beat ourselves up. In fact, the smarter we are, the better case we can make to prove our own stupidity. Smart people are often experts at making themselves (and others) feel miserable. Why? Because bright people are good at forming conclusions from collecting, organizing, and interpreting data. The smarter they are, the faster they can do it. In mere seconds, they can clearly see the connection between their slightest imperfection and the end of the world as we know it. It doesn't even matter whether the data is true or false, relevant or not--whatever they want to prove, they can.
2008 Note - When I wrote the above, I had not yet begun listening to suicidal teenagers. I had not written about the "dark" side of emotional intelligence. Since then I have seen that suicidal teens are first taught to feel incompetent, inadequate, undeserving, unworthy, unimportant, etc. Then they become their own worst enemies. I was making a small joke when I said "the end of the world as we know it" but now I see that teen suicide is no joke. What I described is exactly what happens. The teens act as self prosecutors and self judges. They then find themselves guilty, even when factual evidence to the contrary will prove ineffective at correcting their innacurate and distorted self-images.
If we're not busy making ourselves feel worse, we often try not to feel anything. Many of us use our cognitive abilities to become masters at detaching ourselves from our feelings. We have tried to get through our unhappiness by "being strong," in other words, by denying, repressing or "stuffing," our feelings. We intellectualize, rationalize, justify, deny, and defend. In other words, we use our upper, thinking brain to quell the feelings in our lower, feeling brain. The roles which these two brains play in our emotions and in our lives has been the focus of much of the emotions research. The findings show that each part of the brain has a clear and distinct purpose, and that we function best when the two are working smoothly together and not fighting each other.
When we do fight our feelings, we waste a lot of time and energy, since our feelings are very real. In effect, when we fight our feelings, we fight reality-- something which is generally a frustrating exercise. Instead of finding out who we really are, we try to be who we are expected to be or who we are told we should be. We seek the approval of those important to us, such as our parents, our partners, our teachers and religious leaders. But to be happy, we can only be who we are. We can grow and change, but when we try to grow in a direction which is against our individual natures (i.e. against our unique genetic instructions), we are fighting nature and millions of years of evolution. All this wasted and misdirected energy is not very smart, since both our time and energy are precious, limited resources.
Perhaps that is why the term emotional intelligence attracted so much attention. It offered a new meaning to "smart." In the following pages I take a close look at this new meaning, using lots of practical examples to make the theory relevant to your life. We often take our emotions for granted by saying things like, "That's just the way I am," or "That"s just me." Research, however, proves we can, and often do, change the way we handle our emotions. The goal of this book is to help you do just that. By applying these principles, you can begin implementing changes which will result in raising your long-term happiness. By doing so, you will also be making a significant contribution to society.
The happiness of a society depends on the happiness of its individuals
Emotional intelligence addresses a broad spectrum of issues. For example, it helps us answer all of the following questions:
"Why do we do things we know we will regret?" "How can I make a positive difference in the world?" "What does it really mean to be happy?" "What is the root cause of anger, violence, and greed?" "Why are people so disconnected and uncaring these days?" "How can people in the richest countries be so unhappy?" "Why are so many young people be killing each other and killing themselves?" "Why are countries like the USA and England constantly at war?" "Why do so many people around the world resent them or hate them?"
Each question can be answered by studying ourselves and human nature in terms of the emotions research and the ideas I present here and on my website www.eqi.org All are related to our emotional needs and our emotional skills.
Research tells us that nature developed emotions over millions of years of evolution to let us know when our needs are not being met. Because we are all human, we share certain universal needs. When one of these needs is not met, we feel some negative emotion. When things do not feel good, we are unhappy. Likewise, when things do feel good, we are happy. A simple definition of emotional intelligence, then, is knowing what feels good, what feels bad, and how to get from bad to good.
Figuring out how to get from bad to good sometimes requires a lot of thinking, and this is one way our upper brain helps distinguish us from our less evolved animal relatives. Additionally, we humans learn proportionately more of our behavior from our adult mentors than any other animals. Most animals rely primarily on their instinctive, or genetic memories. Mother spiders don't teach their babies how to make webs, for example. Thus, what goes into our upper brain is primarily all the things we are taught in school, at home, on TV, etc. What we call thinking, then, is often just a regurgitation of what someone else has programmed into us.
Our feelings, though, are more instinctive, more animal-like, and harder to program. This is because they stem from our lower brain, the brain which science has proven is much older than our upper brain in evolutionary terms. As man evolved, his brain literally has grown from the lower, back portion of the head, to the upper, front portion.
Because our feelings are harder to program, they are as unique as our fingerprints -- they belong to us alone. This is because we each have different genetic temperaments and different genetic likes and dislikes. Research shows that our emotions are largely, though by all means not entirely, a function of biology. (How we act upon those emotions, though, depends primarily upon our upbringing.)
Though each of us is unique, we were all programmed to act in similar ways according to the wishes of our parents, our culture, our society, etc. Ever since we were young children, we were told what to say, what not to say, what to do, what not to do, what was acceptable, and what was unacceptable. We were even told how we should feel-- when to feel guilty, ashamed, or happy, for example. But we are the sole keepers of our feelings, since they are based on our unique combination of innate temperaments, innermost thoughts, and individual life experiences. More than anything else, it is our feelings that make us distinct individuals. A whole society may be forced or led to believe the same things, repeat the same slogans, practice the same rituals, and wear the same clothes, but no one can force even two people to feel the same way. Therefore, it is not our cars, our clothes, our jobs, or our bodies that make us who we are. It is our feelings.
EI theory has relevance in all areas of our lives, since wherever we go, we take our emotions with us. Our emotions play a major role in determining how well we raise our children, how well our children perform in school, how successful we are in our careers, how well we get along with others, and how much intimacy we have in our relationships. In sum, our emotions determine how happy we are as individuals, and how happy our society is.
Now let's take a quick look at the background of EI.
What exactly is "EQ"?
EQ stands for Emotional Quotient. It borrows from the term "Intelligence Quotient," and is often used interchangeably with "Emotional Intelligence."
What is your definition of Emotional Intelligence?
A simpler definition might be: Knowing what feels good, what feels bad, and how to get from bad to good.
How is EQ measured?
In 1996 I wrote:
Now in 2008 there are many people and companies selling test whidh they claim measure a person's emotional intelligence. Personally, I don't believe any of them are actually doing this though. Instead I believe these tests are mostly ways for people to make a lot of money and sell a lot of consulting services. I discuss this more on my EI tests page.
Who coined the term "Emotional Intelligence"?
The term is credited to Peter Salovey from Yale and John Mayer from the University of New Hampshire. (1999 Correction - These authors do not claim credit for the term. See History of EI page)
When did it become a popular discussion topic?
Though the term "emotional intelligence" has been around since 1990, it got popular in late 1995 when Daniel Goleman's book, Emotional Intelligence, became a best seller.
Why is it receiving so much attention?
The catchy term "EQ" helps, but primarily because more and more new studies are showing the clear relationship between the emotions, brain chemistry, happiness, good health, and general success in life.
Why are emotions so important?
Our emotions are the way our bodies talk to us and tell us what they need to be healthy and happy. Emotions were designed through millions of years of evolutionary refinement to help us survive and thrive. If we don't listen to the messages our emotions are sending, we ensure our own unhappiness, while risking ill health and early death.
Our emotions also communicate messages to others. For example, when the anger in our faces says "STAY AWAY," -- people usually do. On the other hand, when we smile, we communicate that it is safe to approach us.
What are some of the main findings from the EQ research? (2006 Note - When I said "research" I was taking Dan Goleman's word for it that this research was about emotional intelligence. Actually, it was research from many different areas, all pulled together by him and placed under the umbrella of EI. Also I did not realize there was a big difference between someone's innate level of EI and their level of emotional skill later in life.)
What are the practical consequences of high and low EQ?
Inadequately or unheathily developed EI or "low EQ" is likely to lead to general unhappiness as seen in the feelings of:
High "EQ", on the other hand, is associated with feelings of general happiness as evidenced by:
Mini EQ Test -- How do I know if I have high or low "EQ"?
These questions help you judge your own level of EQ:
1. When you're feeling depressed and a friend asks how you are feeling, are you more likely to answer:
2. When your partner does something which upsets you, are you more likely to say:
3. When someone points out a mistake, are you more likely to:
4. When facing a scary situation are you more likely to:
5. When someone reacts strongly to something you say, are you more likely to:
Generally speaking, the more you tend towards the answers in the second set of responses, the higher your EQ. Here's why:
Now let's take a closer look at what I call the B.A.R.E. essentials of high Emotional Intelligence: Balance, Awareness, Responsibility and Empathy.
If you found these pages helpful, please consider making a small donation.
More of the acknowledgment from the 1996 Edition
Thanks also to Chevy Alden for his inspiration by showing me that I could self-publish this book without having to feel dependent on the approval of others. Thanks to Dan Poyntor for his manual on self-publishing, and to Chris, Mark, Ron, Rob, Stacey, Jaime, and the rest of the staff at the Copy Control Center for coming through for me with my first printing. Thanks also to DJ at Associated Press in St. Petersburg whose encouragement and book bindery helped make my dream reality. Thanks to my family who valued strength, self-reliance, honesty, integrity, hard work, and persistence, and who believed in me enough to give me the self-confidence to take the risks which continue to lead to the fulfillment of my highest level needs. Special thanks to my mother who has proven that we are never too old to learn, and that a parent's job is never over. Thanks also to my male friends, Doug, Gary, John, Jason, Jeff, Micheal, and Chris, with whom I learned to talk about feelings. And thanks to my female friends and partners who admired me, supported me, loved me, taught me, and fought me. Some of these are Pranita, Nathalie, Jazzmo, Kim, Jane Ann, VTL, and Anushka. Special acknowledgment also to Gretchen, Galina, and Karen who each made a major impact in my life.