The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it: Nicholas Sparks
Emotions and instincts, desires and drives, sentiments and volitions, empathy and sympathy, love and lust, imagining and thinking, intelligence and idiocy, etc. are the inbuilt elements in humans. The question is how we can bring intelligence to these binaries; because disciplining all these belligerent binaries will help us to live a socially conducive life. Any kind of imbalance in these binaries destabilizes us and we sound a sort of oddity to ourselves and others as well. This also leads to social seclusion and ostracization. It is customary to think that we need intelligence to get going in the quickly changing world, but we fail to understand that being intelligent only is not sufficient to live a stable life. If we need intelligence to live a life of social rank, we also need emotional intelligence to stabilize our lives.
It has been well said by Warren G. Bennis that emotional intelligence, more than any other factor, more than IQ or expertise, accounts for 85% to 90% of success at work… IQ is a threshold competence. You need it, but it does not make you a star. Emotional intelligence does. Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist has written a book titled ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ’. In this book, Goleman underscores the importance of ‘emotional intelligence’. He argues that our view of human intelligence is too blinkered and that our emotions play a far greater role in thought, decision-making, and individual success than is commonly acknowledged. Emotional intelligence helps us to maintain a close bond with our spouses, siblings, bosses, and other acquaintances, etc. Besides this, it helps us to make a mark and impression in the social coterie. That is why it is much needed than IQ.
Being emotionally intelligent means having control over one’s emotions, knowing where to emote and where not to, knowing which drive can lead to disaster; knowing how to stymie violent impulses and devious desires, and knowing how being sentimental and impulsive is always counterproductive in every field of work and social standing. It also means understanding the emotions of other people and filtering one’s own. Goleman says that emotional intelligence includes self-awareness and impulse control, persistence, zeal and motivation, empathy, and social deftness. These are the qualities that mark people who excel: whose relationships flourish, who are stars in the workplace. The most destructive drives in us are of anger, ill-will, and lust. If this dangerous trio remains dominant in people, it will perish them in every way. One needs to have complete control of this trio of violent emotions to achieve peace of mind, the serenity of the soul, and tranquillity of the heart. Impulsive mind and sentimental heart lead us to no good in any way.
Patience and sobriety of mind police us and thereby help us to live a well-satisfied life. Living a well-satisfied life is a social knack and personal dexterity. One acquires this dexterity by intelligently schooling the violent emotions. Displaying violent emotions ends up in corollary violence. In addition to this, it has been researched by psychologists that being excessively emotional, sentimental, and impulsive always proves detrimental to our psychological and social life. Jumping the gun and giving vent to one’s pent-up emotions has to be avoided to maintain the poise both within and outside our elemental being. Like the emotions of anger, ill-will, and lust, we need also to have control over the instincts of jealousy, animosity, and hatred. We should never give space to these formidable instincts. Instead of feeling jealous about anybody’s achievements, we should feel happy and good. Doing this thing will surely maintain the equanimity in us. Alongside jealousy, avoiding animosity and hatred is also the need of the hour.
Harbouring animosity and hatred against anyone proves harmful for the person who harbours them and not the other way around. We also need to control our instinct to love others. Showing excessive love and affection for people may also lead to one’s emotional breakdown and collapse. Express your love for others to a logical degree! Once we tell others that we have an excessive emotional involvement with them, they exploit us in a manner that results in psychological trauma and social insult. So, be mindful while expressing love for others. Do not prove emotional handicap while loving someone to the degree of frenzy! For it is nicely said by Shakespeare that: Alas, that love, so gentle in his view, Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
We also need to prioritize the emotions of sympathy; empathy and fellow-feeling to maintain the human connection. We need to feel the pain of others. Instead of having an instinct of schadenfreude, we need to empathize with them. This is both ethically, religiously, and psychologically demanding and lucrative for us. In summary, we need to save ourselves from being impulsive, indifferent, belligerent, lusty, jealous, etc. We need to maintain a balance in our elements and emotions to prove that we are emotionally intelligent and not emotionally idiot. Avoid emotional idiocy and be the master of emotional intelligence. We must manage our emotional life with intelligence. Our emotions, when well exercised, have wisdom; they guide our thinking, our values, and our survival. But they can easily go awry. The problem is not but with emotionality, but with the appropriateness of emotion and its expression. We must try to remain in contradiction and not in consonance with the trials and tribulations of one’s sentimental self. Thereby hangs a tale!
Postscript: Anyone can become angry-that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and to the right way-this is not easy: Aristotle
The author works as a Lecturer in English. He has qualified UGC-NET and JKSET in English and did Ph.D. and M.Phil from AMU. His book of poems ‘Sounds of Silence’ will be published in 2024 by BlueRose Publishers. He can be mailed at: [email protected]