September 13, 2017

"Emotional intelligence starts with emotional granularity"

I've long been fascinated by certain words that can't be translated into English because they describe with precision an emotional state that we all can recognize but never had a word for.  That's why I have a whole category for new words for emotions.  Little did I know that these words can increase my emotional intelligence until now.

New Neuroscience Reveals 3 Secrets That Will Make You Emotionally Intelligent

Emotional Intelligence. It’s everywhere. They won’t shut up about it. And yet nobody seems to be able to explain what it really means or how you develop it.  The latest research shows that the little we know about emotions is actually all wrong. And I mean really wrong. ....[For example, the idea that} emotions are hardwired and universal. And research pretty convincingly shows they’re not. There is no set crayon box. Emotions aren’t hardwired or universal. They’re concepts that we learn. And so they can differ from culture to culture.
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In sum: Here’s how to be more emotionally intelligent:
Emotions are concepts: They’re not hardwired or universal. They’re learned.
Emotional intelligence starts with emotional granularity: If your doctor came back with a diagnosis of “you’re sick”, you’d sue the quack for malpractice. Doctors need to be able to distinguish between “chancre” and “cancer.” And you need to know the difference between “sad” and “lonely.”
Emotional intelligence is in the dictionary: You can’t feel Fremdschämen* if you don’t know what it is. So learn new emotion words so you can feel new emotions and increase your emotional granularity.
Create new emotions: We could all use a little more “passion-o-rama” in our lives. Name those unnamed feelings you have and share them with others to make them real.

* Fremdschämen:  to feel ashamed about something someone else has done; to be embarrassed because someone else has embarrassed himself (and doesn't notice)

A fascinating article by Daniel Tammet about how differently he is depending on the language he is speaking. Languages revealing worlds and selves

I have multiple lives: my life in French, in Icelandic, in Spanish, in German, in Esperanto. English, the language in which I was raised and schooled, and today write, is also the one that makes me feel most foreign. I am most fluent in English, and yet least myself. In my mind, I am forever slipping in and out of it, thriving on other words, in other worlds.

I was not born a polyglot; I was born autistic, high-functioning.....Whenever I sat reading an English book, however, its words would glow and shimmer on the page, and if I closed its covers and my eyes, the words would stay with me, as shapes and textures and colored letters (a neurological phenomenon called synesthesia)...

I feel myself to be a better reader in French, more attentive and more scrupulous. Its grammar has made me more patient, has taught me the virtue of diligence...My Icelandic has continued to grow.... I have become more confident, outgoing, even chatty, than I ever was growing up in English....every time I speak with my friend Leandro, an Argentinian expat, I can see Latin America’s vivid colors with my tongue....I blush more frequently in German. I’m told I smile more broadly and nod more too. And nothing, in my experience, becomes my voice so much as saying aloud, Gemütlichkeit*, cosiness.

* Gemütlichkeit a German-language word used to convey the idea of a state or feeling of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer. Other qualities encompassed by the term include coziness, peace of mind, and a sense of belonging and well-being springing from social acceptance.  There is no English synonym for Gemütlichkeit. Cosy captures an element of it but crucially lacks those of friendliness and belonging.

Posted by Jill Fallon at September 13, 2017 2:14 PM | Permalink