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The Big Answer


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Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

a book by Daniel Goleman

(our site's book review)

People who have true people skills like empathy, graciousness, and the ability to read a social situation tend to be more successful in their work and relationships. Kids who have them are more popular and successful in school, even when their IQs are average. IQ accounts for only 20 percent of successfulness. Character accounts for much of the rest, according to the author, Daniel Goleman. IQ gets you hired, but EQ (emotional intelligence) gets you promoted. The best engineers at AT&T’s Bell Labs, a think tank in New Jersey, were the popular ones that related to people as well as problems. They networked as well as thought.

A kid demonstrating that EQ trumps IQ in importance
A kid demonstrating that EQ trumps IQ in importance


If your mind doesn’t get clogged up with the mind mud of emotional stress engrams, your emotions are more constructive
If your mind doesn’t get clogged up with the mind mud of emotional stress engrams, your emotions are more constructive

Another way of looking at this is that if your mind doesn’t get clogged up with the mind mud of emotional stress engrams, your emotions are more constructive, present-based and benevolent, and you end up as a smarter, more perceptive person. (MCs are environments that naturally produce high EQs, and because there’s nothing clogging intellect, that is naturally high too, to the degree that the inherited genetic component of this characteristic will allow. For any mind activity that occurs, whether artistic, mathematical, spatial, musical, intellectual, intuitive, deductive, inductive or emotional intelligence, MCs are designed to have the optimal nurturing impact and the least possible warping, mud-filling, distorting, confusing and negative-emotion-producing impact. See Why Register for an MC?.) Like computers with bugs, counterproductive infinite loops and convoluted logic algorithms, minds can suffer from mishandling, errors and irresponsibility.

Registering for MC search and match
Registering for MC search and match


Goleman points out that when babies are soothed in a nurturing way, they learn to do the same for themselves
Goleman points out that when babies are soothed in a nurturing way, they learn to do the same for themselves

Goleman points out that when babies are soothed in a nurturing way, they learn to do the same for themselves. John Bowlby considers this as one of the most essential of all psychic tools. Note that if babies’ caregivers don’t soothe babies’ effectively, the babies grow up less able to achieve emotional balance and comfort, and are emotionally volatile and/or immature. Babies mirror the emotions of adults, so the more emotionally mature the caregiver, the more the baby will reflect healthy emotions. Babies also learn to continue emotions that parents show empathy towards, and discontinue ones that get no response.

Psychiatrist Daniel Stern has pointed out something very hopeful: Even though one’s emotional patterns are established early on, dysfunctional patterns respond well to reparative relationships. “Relationships throughout life—with friends or relatives, for example, or in psychotherapy—continually reshape your working model of relationships. An imbalance at one point can be corrected later; it’s an ongoing, lifelong process.” (Since relatives usually don’t suddenly drop dysfunctional patterns and engage in functional ones, nor do friends, and since most of us wish to avoid the time, expense and humbling quality of therapy, the fact of evolving MCs in the 21st century, which are optimally designed for functionality in relationship and socialization, represents the best likelihood of discarding frustrating and counterproductive emotional and relationship patterns in favor of fulfilling ones.)

Negative thought patterns are also learned in the early years as a result of misparenting, and it requires a lot of effort devoted to positive self-talk and erasing negative self-talk to curtail this self-destructive pattern. Aaron Beck, the founder of cognitive therapy, says that parallel conversations occurring concomitantly with conversations, which include pessimism, negative self-talk, projection and automatically negative thoughts toward others, wreck marriages and relationships by the millions. Eliminating such ugly habits can be a godsend. Believing one’s negative self-talk is a way of being at effect and having the parenting errors one suffered through as a child destroy happiness, self-esteem, success and good relationships for an entire lifetime. This is one of the most serious errors one can make. Eliminating negative self-talk and replacing it with positive self-talk is a way of evolving towards being at cause and having early parenting errors simply be past truths that no longer limit ones potential.

Goleman, like Thomas Gordon and Louise Hart, feels that active listening and I-statements are one of the best ways to encourage effective emotional listening, because all humans need to have their feelings heard and understood and validated.

Feeling that you have nobody with whom you can share your private feelings doubles the chances of sickness or death
Feeling that you have nobody with whom you can share your private feelings doubles the chances of sickness or death

Intensive studies done over 20 years involving more than 37,000 people show that social isolation—the sense that you have nobody with whom you can share your private feelings or have close contact—doubles the chances of sickness or death. It’s as serious a health risk as smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and lack of exercise. Isolation and solitude are not the same thing. It’s not unhealthy to live alone as long as you have the social contacts you need when you need them; it is the subjective sense of being cut off from people and having no one to turn to that is the medical risk.

“This finding is ominous in light of the increasing isolation bred by solitary TV watching and the falling away of social habits such as clubs and visits in modern urban societies, and suggests an added value to . . . surrogate communities.. . .among men who said they had a dependable web of intimacy—a wife, close friends, and the like—there was no relationship whatever between high stress levels and death rate. Having people to turn to and talk with, people who could offer solace, help, and suggestions, protected them from the deadly impact of life’s rigors and trauma.”

(The fact that PSBs offer an opportunity to connect with the optimally compatible person to hear one’s feelings at a given point in time—especially since so many people one knows are often busy, tired, or gone—dovetails 100 percent with all these scientific findings about communication of feelings, about isolation, and about close-knit social networks. MC practices are the epitome of the application of this knowledge. Are MCs totally in line with the wisdom of Harvard psychologist Daniel Goleman, founder of EQ science? In his words: “Much psychotherapy is, in a sense, a remedial tutorial for what was skewed or missed completely earlier in life. BUT WHY NOT DO WHAT WE CAN TO PREVENT THAT NEED [FOR THERAPY], BY GIVING CHILDREN THE NURTURING AND GUIDANCE THAT CULTIVATES THE ESSENTIAL EMOTIONAL SKILLS IN THE FIRST PLACE?” Since normal, stressed-out, fast-lane American lifestyles demonstrate daily that they have neither the time, the knowledge nor the guidance to accomplish this reliably, doesn’t it make sense to make the few necessary adjustments that will enable and empower such nurturing and guidance to occur reliably? We only live once! See Why Register for an MC?.)

Does Goleman agree that we must take serious and immediate steps because the social deterioration is so serious? After going through a litany of social symptomatology showing most indicators going rapidly downhill, he warns that: “Finally, unless things change, the long-term prospects for today’s children marrying and having a fruitful, stable life together are growing more dismal with each generation. . . . These alarming statistics are like a canary in a coal miner’s tunnel whose death warns of too little oxygen. . . . taken as a group [these negative social changes] are barometers of a sea change, a new kind of toxicity seeping into and poisoning the very experience of childhood . . .”

He outlines the increased social problems, withdrawal, sulking, anxiety levels, depression, loneliness, attention disorders, thinking problems, delinquency, aggressiveness, lying, cheating, and feelings of being unloved that plague the children of all advanced countries, including ours.

Goleman outlines the increased social problems, withdrawal, sulking, anxiety levels, depression, loneliness, attention disorders, thinking problems, delinquency, aggressiveness, lying, cheating, and feelings of being unloved
Goleman outlines the increased social problems, withdrawal, sulking, anxiety levels, depression, loneliness, attention disorders, thinking problems, delinquency, aggressiveness, lying, cheating, and feelings of being unloved

Urie Bronfenbrenner, who has done great amounts of research into all this, says that: “The status of American children and families is as desperate as ever. . . .We are depriving millions of children of their competence and moral character.”

Why is mental health deteriorating and why is depression increasing as the age of first incidence drops?
Why is mental health deteriorating, and why is depression increasing as the age of first incidence drops?

Why is mental health deteriorating, and why is depression increasing as the age of first incidence drops? Increased mobility, the erosion of the nuclear family, increased divorce rates, less parent-child interactions, less availability of extended family members, increased parental indifference to children’s needs, decreased community connectedness, and in general a decrease in the resources that can buffer individuals and families against setbacks, according to the author.

Divorce rate in the US from 1935 to 2010
Divorce rate in the US from 1935 to 2010

(MCs directly and instantly eliminate every one of these problems. Goleman further points out that the development of high EQs [emotional intelligence]—such as those evolved in MC environments—actually tends to immunize people from the corrosive effects of poverty, giving them resilience. Studies that demonstrate this show that MCs will work well even in poverty situations, especially because the effects of the MCs will tend to raise people out of poverty fairly soon anyway.)

Half of all Americans suffer from serious emotional/psychiatric disorders in the course of their lifetimes
Half of all Americans suffer from serious emotional/psychiatric disorders in the course of their lifetimes

Half of all Americans suffer from serious emotional/psychiatric disorders in the course of their lifetimes. The author stresses how important it is to find a way to prevent these problems in the first place, rather than trying to cure them. We need proactivity, not reactivity. Goleman is no social engineer, out to apply politically managed bureaucratic interventions in the lives of the populace. He wants us to wise up and live right and prevent these problems before they occur. He has some general ideas on the way people can live right, and even a few useful specific ones. (MCs have all the general and specific ideas necessary.)