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Is Acting Impulsively a Sign of Low Emotional Intelligence?
For those who are familiar with the popular writing on emotional intelligence you may have heard about the marshfmallow study that Dan Goleman made famous in his first book. He makes a convincing argument that the ability to delay gratification and not act impulsively is a very good thing, and he says or implies that it is a sigh of high EI.
Today I was just having another look at my true story about an after-school fight which I impulsively stopped in South America when I was living there. Violence bothers me. It hurts me to see it. I do what I can, where and when I can to prevent it. On that day I acted very impulsively indeed. I could have gotten hurt myself. But I followed my heart, or my feelings or my amygdala, whichever way you want to say it. And I believe I did the "right" thing.
Please have a look at this story, or a second look, if you have read it before, and think about whether you believe my actions were a sign of low emotional intelligence.
November 20, 2008
Here is another article about acting impulsively. It is a satirical story about a boy who drowns while someone stops to think about what to do.