Buy This Book


Additional thought of Graham White in highlights

If someone makes you feel stupid, that doesn't make you stupid, does it?  Well, actually, it might, according to a two-year study on isolation an rejection conducted by social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister of Ohio's Case Western Reserve University, and two colleagues.

Subjects were given a variety of intelligence tests and then made to feel rejected.  Some were given a personality evaluation that led them to believe (falsely) that they were destined to spend their lives alone.  Others were allowed to mingle with a group of strangers with whom, they were told, they might soon be called upon to complete a task.  But later they were told that none of the strangers wished to have anything to do with them.  After these unpleasant experiences, the subjects were tested again for intelligence.  Their IQ scores plummeted by some 25% and their analytical reasoning by about 30%.

Baumeister says the results are the most dramatic he has seen in 25 years of research on self-esteem, rejection and aggression.  "Connecting with others is one of the deepest and most powerful human drives and thwarting it has a big impact," he concludes.  "After being rejected, people cannot think straight for a while."  Fortunately, says Baumeister, the effects of a single rejection appear to be short-lived.  But how intelligence is affected by repeated rejections is an open question worthy of further study.  JIMMIE BRIGGS Popular Science August 2002



One afternoon Terry was riding home on a suburban Tokyo train when a huge and very drunk and begrimed laborer got on.  The man, staggering and cursing, took a swing t a woman holding a baby, sending her sprawling in the laps of an elderly couple, who then jumped up and joined a stampede to the other end of the car.  The drunk, taking a few other swing (and, in his rage, missing), grabbed the metal pole in the middle of the car with a roar and tried to tear it out of it's socket.

At that point Terry, who was in peak physical condition from daily eight-hour karate workouts, felt called upon to intervene, lest someone get seriously hurt.  But he recalled the words of his teacher: "Karate is the art of reconciliation.  Whoever has the mind to fight has broken his connection with the universe.  If you try to dominate people you are already defeated.  We study how to resolve conflict, not how to start it."

Indeed, Terry had agreed upon beginning lessons with his teacher never to pick a fight and to use his skills only in defense.  Now, at last, he saw his chance to test his abilities in real life, in what was clearly a legitimate opportunity.  So, as all the other passengers sat frozen in their seats, "Terry stood up, slowly and with deliberation.

Seeing him, the drunk roared, "Aha!  A foreigner!  You need a lesson in Japanese manners!" and began gathering himself to take on Terry. 

But just as the drunk was on the verge of making his move, someone gave an earsplitting, oddly joyous shout: "Hey!"

The shout had the cheery tone of someone who has suddenly come upon a fond friend.  The drunk, surprised, spun around to see a tiny Japanese man, probably in his seventies, sitting there in a kimono.  The old man beamed with a delight at the drunk and beckoned him over with a light wave of his hand and a lilting "C'mere."

The drunk strode over with a belligerent, "Why the hell should I talk to you?"  Meanwhile, Terry was ready to fell the drunk in a moment if he made the least violent move.

"What'cha been drinking?" the old man asked, his eyes beaming at the drunken laborer.

"I been drinking sake, and it's none of your business," the drunk bellowed.

"Oh, that's wonderful, absolutely wonderful," the old man replied in a warm tone.  "You see, I love sake too.  Every night, me and the wife (she's seventy-six you know), we warm up a little bottle of sake and take it out into the garden, and we sit on an old wooden bench..." He continued on about the persimmon tree in his backyard, the fortunes of his garden, enjoying sake in the evening.

The drunk's face began to soften as he listened to the old man; his fists unclenched.  "Yeah...I love persimmons, too...," he said, his voice trailing off.

"Yes," the old man replied in a sprightly voice, "and I'm sure you have a wonderful wife."

"No," said the laborer.  "My wife died..."  Sobbing, he launched into a sad tale of losing his wife, his home, his job, of being ashamed of himself.

Just then the train came to Terry's stop, and as he was getting off he turned to hear the old man invite the drunk to join him and tell him all about it, and to see the drunk sprawl along the seat, his head in the old man's lap.



SELF-AWARENESS takes the form of recognizing your strengths and weaknesses and seeing yourself in a positive but realistic light.  Another emphasis is managing emotions: realizing what is behind a feeling and learning ways to handle anxieties, anger and sadness.  Still another emphasis is taking responsibility for decisions and actions and following through on commitments.

 Emotional aptitude is a meta-ability, determining how well we can use whatever other skills we have, including raw intellect.

"Many people with IQ's of 160 work for people with IQ's of 100, if the former have poor interpersonal intelligence and the latter have a high one."  Gardner

The high-IQ male is typified by a wide range of intellectual interests and abilities.  He is ambitious and productive, predictable and dogged and untroubled by concerns about himself.  He also tends to be critical and condescending.

By contrast, men who are high in emotional intelligence are socially poised, outgoing and cheerful, not prone to fearfulness or worried.  They have a notable capacity for commitment to people or causes, for taking responsibility and for having an ethical outlook; they are sympathetic and caring in their relationships.  Their emotional life is rich, but appropriate; they are comfortable with themselves, others and the social universe they live in.

Purely high-IQ women have the expected intellectual confidence, are fluent in expressing their thoughts, value intellectual maters and have a wide range of intellectual and aesthetic interests.  They also tend to be introspective, prone to anxiety, rumination and guilt.  They hesitate to express their anger openly (though the do so indirectly).

By contrast, emotionally intelligent women tend to be assertive and express their feelings directly and to feel positive about themselves; life holds meaning for them.  They are outgoing and gregarious and express their feelings appropriately; they adapt well to stress.  Their social poise lets them easily reach out to new people; they are comfortable enough with themselves to be playful, spontaneous and open to sensual experience.  The rarely feel anxious, guilty or sink into rumination.

These of course are the extremes.  All of us mix IQ and emotional intelligence in varying degrees.  To the degree a person has both cognitive and emotional intelligence, these pictures merge.  Still, of the two, emotional intelligence adds far more of the qualities that make us more fully human.

.At best, IQ contributes about 20% to the factors that determine life success, which leaves 80% to other forces.  "The vast majority of one's ultimate niche in society is determined by no-IQ factors, ranging from social class to luck."

EMPATHY is the fundamental "people skill".

Self-awareness is maintaining self-reflective ness even amidst turbulent emotions.  It is being aware of both our feelings and our thoughts about our feelings.

Self-Observation manifests itself simply as a slight stepping-back from experience.

The best way to handle anger:  "Don't suppress it.  But don't act on it."  Tibetan Teacher

People who are anxious, angry or depressed don't learn.

Positive motivation; the marshalling of feelings of enthusiasm, zeal and confidence in achievement.  Developing these qualities earlier offers a lifetime edge.  What seems to set apart those at the very top of competitive pursuits from others of roughly equal ability is the degree to which, beginning early in life, they can pursue an arduous practice routine for years and years.  And that doggedness depends on emotional traits-enthusiasm and persistence in the face of setbacks-above all else.

In a test at Stanford University, 4 year olds were given a test where if they could wait 15 minutes to have a marshmallow that was in front of them, the would get two.  If they couldn't wait, they would receive just the one.

Some of the four year olds were able to wait.  To sustain themselves, they covered their eyes so they wouldn't have to stare at temptation, or rested their heads in their arms, talked to themselves, sang, played games with their hands and feet, even tried to go to sleep.

The others, almost always within seconds of the experimenter's leaving the room, snatched the marshmallow.

When the same children were tracked down as adolescents, those who had resisted temptation at four were now more socially competent.  They were personally effective, self-assertive and better able to cope with the frustrations of life.  They were less likely to go to pieces, freeze, or regress under stress or become rattled and disorganized when pressured.  The embraced challenges and pursued them instead of giving up even in the face of difficulties.  They were self-reliant and confident, trustworthy and dependable and they took initiative, plunging into projects.  More than a decade later, they were still able to delay gratification in pursuit of their goals.

When tested again at graduation, those who had waited patiently at four, were far superior as students to those who had acted on whim.  They were more academically competent, better able to put their ideas into words, to use and respond to reason, to concentrate, to make plans and follow through and more eager to learn.  Most astonishingly, they had dramatically higher scores on their SAT tests.

At age four, how children do on a test of delaying gratification is twice as powerful a predictor of what their SAT scores will be as is IQ.  Poor impulse control in childhood is also a powerful predictor of later delinquency, again more so than IQ. 

There is ample evidence that emotional skills such as impulse control and accurately reading a social situation CAN be learned.

The number of worries that people report while taking a test directly predicts how poorly they will do on it.  Our worries become self-fulfilling prophecies, propelling us toward the very disaster they predict.

Hope has been discovered as a better predictor of first semester university grades than how well someone did on their SAT tests. From the perspective of emotional intelligence, having hope means that one will not give in to overwhelming anxiety, a defeatist attitude, or depression in the face of difficult challenges or setbacks.  Indeed, people who are hopeful evidence less depression than others as they maneuver through life in pursuit of their goals, are less anxious in general and have fewer emotional distresses.

Optimists tend to respond actively and hopefully, by formulating a plan of action, seek out help and advice; they see setback as something that can be remedied.  Pessimists, by contrast, react to setbacks by assuming there is nothing they can do to make things go better the next time and so do nothing about the problem.  They see the setback as due to some personal deficit that will always plague them.

Optimism and hope, like helplessness and despair, can be learned.  Underlying both is an outlook psychologists call self-efficacy, the belief that one has mastery over the events of one's life and can meet challenges as they come up.  Developing a competency of any kind strengthens the sense of self-efficacy, making a person more willing to take risks and seek out more demanding challenges.

Good moods, while they last, enhance the ability to think flexibly and with more complexity, thus making it easier to find solutions to problems, whether intellectual or interpersonal.  There are proven intellectual benefits of laughter.

Flow is a state of self-forgetfulness, the opposite of worry.  Instead of being lost in nervous preoccupation, people in flow are so absorbed in the task at hand that they lose all self-consciousness, dropping the small preoccupations of daily life: health, bills, even doing well.  Paradoxically, people in flow exhibit a mastery of what they are doing, their responses perfectly attuned to the changing demands of the task.  People perform at their peak while in flow and are unconcerned with how they are doing, with thoughts of success or failure.  The sheer pleasure of the act itself is what motivates them.

For example, Csikszentmihalyi found that it was the individuals who had savored the sheer joy of painting as students who become serious painters.  Those who were motivated by dreams of fame and wealth for the most part drifted away from art after graduating.  If they began to think about how much the painting would sell for or what critics would think instead of painting for the pleasure of it, they couldn't pursue the art.  Creative achievements depend on single-minded immersion.

In another test it was observed that both high and low achievers spent a great deal of time during the week being bored by activities, such as TV watching, that posed no challenge for their abilities.  They key difference was in their experience of studying.  For high achievers, studying gave them the pleasing, absorbing challenge of flow 40% of the hours they spent at it.  For low achievers, studying produced flow only 16% of the time.  More often than not it yielded anxiety with the demands outreaching their abilities.  The low achievers found pleasure and flow in socializing, not in studying.  In short, students who achieve up to the level of their academic potential and beyond are more often drawn to study because it puts them in flow.  Sadly, the low achievers, by failing to hone the skills that would get them in flow, both forfeit the enjoyment of study and run the risk of limiting the level of intellectual tasks that will be enjoyable to them in the future.

You have to find something you like and stick to it.  You lean best when you have something you care about and you can get pleasure from being engaged in it.

In tests with 1011 children, those who showed an aptitude for reading feelings nonverbally were among the most popular in schools.  They also did better in school, even though, on average, their IQ's were not higher than those of children who were less skilled at reading nonverbal messages.

Children are more empathic when discipline includes calling strong attention to the distress their misbehavior causes someone else's: "Look how sad you've made her feel" instead of "What's wrong with you?  That was bad!"

Attunement is the process of laying down the basic lessons of emotional life.  Of all such moments, the most critical are those that let the child know their emotions are met with empathy, accepted and reciprocated.  

Attunement occurs as part of the rhythm of relationships.  Through attunement, mothers let their infants know they have a sense of what the infant is feeling.  Small affirmations give an infant the reassuring feeling of being emotionally connected.  It's a message that mothers send about once a minute when they interact with their babies.

Attunement is not simple imitation.  You have to play back the feelings in another way.  It's also called EMPATHY.

Prolonged absence of attunement between parent and child takes a tremendous toll on the child.  When a parent consistently fails to show any empathy with a particular range of emotion in the child-joys, tears, needing to cuddle-the child begins to avoid expressing and perhaps even feeling those same emotions.  In this way, presumably, entire ranges of emotion can begin to be obliterated from the repertoire for intimate relations, especially if through childhood those feelings continue to be covertly or overtly discouraged.

The flip side are people who make an excellent impression, yet have few stable or satisfying intimate relationships.  To get along and be liked, they are willing to make people they dislike think they are friendly with them.  

The slowness of men to bring up problems in a relationship is no doubt compounded by their relative lack of skill when it comes to reading facial expressions of emotions.  Women are more sensitive to a sad expression on a man's face than men are in detecting sadness on a woman's.  Thus, a woman has to be all the sadder for a man to notice her feelings in the first place, let alone for him to raise the question of what is making her so sad.

Specific issues such as how often the couple has sex, how to discipline the children, or how much debt and saving a couple feels comfortable with are not what make or break a marriage.  Rather it is how a couple discusses such sore points that matters more for the fate of their marriage.  Simply having reached an agreement about how to disagree is key to marital survival.  Failing to overcome their emotional awareness differences, couples are vulnerable to their relationship being torn apart.  These rifts are far more likely to develop if one or both partners have deficits in emotional intelligence.

An early warning signal that a marriage is in danger is harsh criticism.  For example, "If there's a way for your father to screw something up, he will."  Such attacks become more likely the more a spouse feels their complaints go unheard or ignored.

If a husband shows contempt regularly, his wife will be more prone to a range of health problems.  When a wife's face shows disgust four or more time within a fifteen minute conversation the couple is likely to separate within four years.

Couples that last tend to stick to one topic during a fight.  They give each other the chance to state their point of view at the outset.  They go one step further; they show each other that they are being listened to.

Calming down is particularly difficult in love relationships where we have so much at stake.  The reactions triggered here touch on some of our deepest needs-to be loved and feel respected, fears of abandonment or of being emotionally deprived.  Small wonder we can act in a marital fight as though our very survival were at stake.

One key marital competence is for partners to learn to soothe their own distressed feelings.  This means mastering the ability to recover quickly from the flooding caused by an emotional hijacking.  This involves being able to inject thoughts like "Well, I know they care about me some of the time."  or "There are some things I like about my partner".


The best formula for a complaint is "XYZ":  "When you did X it made me feel Y, and I'd rather you did Z instead.

Be specific.  Say exactly what the problem is, what's wrong with it or how it makes you feel and what could be changed.  Specificity is just as important for praise as it is for criticism.

Offer a solution.

Be present.  Do it in person or by phone.

Be sensitive.

Leadership is not domination, but the art of persuading people to work toward a common goal.


Whenever people come together to collaborate, whether it be in an executive planning meeting or as a team working toward a shared product, there is a very real sense in which they have a group IQ, the sum total of the talents and skills of all those involved.  How well they accomplish their task will be determined by how high that IQ is.  The single most important element in group intelligence, it turns out, is not the average IQ in the academic sense, but rather in terms of emotional intelligence.  The key to a high group IQ is social harmony.  It is this ability to harmonize that, all other things being equal, will make one group especially talented, productive and successful, and another--with members whose talent and skill are equal in other regards--do poorly.

One surprise is that people who are too eager to take part are a drag on the group, lowering its overall performance.  These eager beavers are too controlling or domineering.  Such people seem to lack a basic element of social intelligence, the ability to recognize what is apt and what is appropriate in give-and-take.  Another negative is having deadweight, members who do not participate.

INTERNAL HARMONY-Overall performance of harmonious groups are helped by having a member who is particularly talented.  Harmony allows a group to take maximum advantage of its most creative and talented members' abilities.

What makes the difference between stars and others is not their academic IQ, but their emotional IQ.  They are better able to motivate themselves and better able to work their informal networks into ad hoc teams.

The stars of an organization are often those who have thick connections on all networks, whether communications, expertise, or trust.  Things go more smoothly for them because they put time into cultivating good relationships with people whose services might be needed in a crunch as part of an instant ad hoc team to solve a problem or handle a crisis.  When they call someone for an answer, they almost always get faster answers because they do the work of building reliable networks BEFORE they actually need them.

Stars master building consensus; being able to see things from the perspective of others, such as customers or others on a work team; persuasiveness; and promoting cooperation while avoiding conflicts.  While all of these rely on social skills, the stars also display another kind of knack; TAKING INITIATIVE--being self-motivated enough to take on responsibilities above and beyond their stated job--and self-management in the sense of regulating their time and work commitments as well.


The 3 most common emotionally inept parenting styles are:

  • Ignoring feelings altogether.

Such parents treat a child's emotional upset as trivial or a bother, something they should wait to blow over.  They fail to use emotional moments as a chance to get closer to the child or to help the child learn lessons in emotional competence.

  • Being too laissez-faire.

These parents notice how a child feels, but believe that how a child handles the emotional storm is fine--even, say, hitting.  Like those who ignore a child's feelings, these parents rarely step in to try to show their child an alternative emotional response.  They try to soothe all upsets and will, for instance, use bargaining and bribes to get their child to stop being sad or angry.

  • Being contemptuous, showing no respect for the child's feelings.

Such parents are typically disapproving, harsh in both their criticisms and their punishments.  They might, for instance, forbid any display of the child's anger at all, and become punitive at the least sign of irritability.  These are the parents who yell at a child who is trying to tell his side of the story, "Don't you talk back to me!"

Almost all students who do poorly in school lack one or more of the elements of emotional intelligence, regardless of whether they also have cognitive difficulties as well.


Punish often.  Punish when you're in a bad mood.  Let your kids get away with things when you're in a good mood.  Punish your children based on how you feel, not on what you've done.  This is a recipe for feeling worthless and helpless.  (Note, some antisocial girls don't get violent, they get pregnant).


Protect your children from whatever might upset them.  Deprive them of the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.  The protective strategy backfires by depriving the child of the very opportunity to learn to calm themselves in the face of the unfamiliar.  Children who become less timid have had parents who put gentle pressure on them to be more outgoing.  

Seeing how the brain itself is shaped brutality-or by love-suggests that childhood represents a special window of opportunity for emotional lessons.

Fortunately, there are parents who seize the opportunity of a child's upset to act as what amounts to an emotional coach or mentor.  They take their child's feelings seriously enough to try to understand exactly what is upsetting them ("Are you angry because Tommy hurt your feelings?") and to help the child find positive ways to sooth their feelings ("Instead of hitting him, why don't you find a toy to play with on your own until you feel like playing with him again?").

In order for parents to be effective coaches in this way, they must have a fairly good grasp of the rudiments of emotional intelligence themselves.  One of the basic emotional lessons for a child, for example is how to distinguish among feelings.  A father who is too tuned out of his own sadness cannot help his son understand the difference between grieving over a loss, feeling sad during a movie and the sadness that arises when something bad happens to someone the child cares about.  There are even more sophisticated insights, such as that anger is often prompted by feeling hurt first.

Though some emotional skills are honed with friends through the years, emotionally adept parents can do much to help their children with each of the basics of emotional intelligence: learning how to recognize, manage and harness their feelings; empathy; and handling the feelings that arise in their relationships.

The impact on children of such parenting is extraordinarily sweeping.  When parents are emotionally adept, their children get along better with, show more affection toward and have less tension around their parents.  Beyond that, they also are better at handling their own emotions, are more effective at soothing themselves when upset and get upset less often.

The children are also more relaxed biologically, with lower level of stress hormones.  They are more popular and seen by their teaches as more socially skilled.  Their parents and teachers rate them as having fewer problems such as rudeness and aggression.  Finally, they pay better attention and are therefore better learners.

The payoff for children whose parents are emotionally adept is ASTOUNDING.  There is a surprising range of advantages across and beyond the spectrum of emotional intelligence.  The difference between the outlook of a child who feels like a failure and one who feels confidence starts to take shape in the first few years of life.  The ability of four-year-olds to control the impulse to grab for a marshmallow predicted a 210 point advantage in their SAT scores 14 years later.


1.  CONFIDENCE.  A sense of control and mastery of one's body, behavior and the world; the child's sense that he is more likely than not to succeed at what he undertakes, and that adults will be helpful.

2.  CURIOSITY.  The sense that finding out about things is positive and leads to pleasure.

3.  INTENTIONALITY.  The wish and capacity to have an impact and to act upon that with persistence.  This is related to a sense of competence, of being effective.

4.  SELF-CONTROL.  The ability to modulate and control one's own actions in age-appropriate ways; a sense of inner control.

5.  RELATEDNESS.  The ability to engage with others based on the sense of being understood by and understanding others.

6.  CAPACITY TO COMMUNICATE.  The wish and ability to verbally exchange ideas, feelings and concepts with others.  This is related to a sense of trust in others and of pleasure in engaging with others, including adults.

7.  COOPERATIVENESS.  The ability to balance one's own needs with those of others in group activity.

Whether or not a child arrives at school on the first day in kindergarten with these capabilities depends greatly on how much her parents-and preschool teachers-have given her the kind of career that amounts to a "Heart Start," the emotional equivalent of the Head Start Programs.


Buy This Book