February 24, 2012

Emotional Intelligence: An Amnesiac Discovery

Follow-up to Emotional Intelligence: Illness Interferes. Irksome. from Midgley, Christopher - Pointless twaddle and meaningless diatribes

Tutor was Samantha Tarren.

On the not-working side: I did a lot of work this week. Unfortunately, it was all on the same thing, which I've been working on for about two weeks. I'd been putting off parts because I thought they'd be boring; they were (incipient boredom), but when my code didn't work I found I couldn't leave it alone - that the solution would come to me if only I stayed at it (unreasonable eagerness). After completing it, though, I feel somewhat burnt out.

On the "I can't remember the last time I felt sad" time: it appears that statement was literal. I felt sad yesterday, but all I can remember from that is "huh, guess I do feel sad, I'll have to blog about that". Unfortunately I cannot remember the circumstances or the reason that lead to the emotion, or how I felt at the time (I am great at forgetting things, clearly). Suppressed or ignored, I don't know. Such a curious happenstance.

- 3 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Samantha Tarren

    Hi Chris
    How does your first point link in with emotional intelligence learning?? What did you do when you noticed the feelings of bordeom, eagerness and then burnt out? How do you understand the feelings and how did you feel them? As I mentioned in my last blog comment, were you able to respond to your feelings appropriately?

    It’s ‘interesting’ that you have blocked yourself from thinking around your sadness the other day…i encourage you to get curious about it…’forgetting’ how you felt is interesting indeed….

    As I mentioned last time, do try to continue developing your insight in to yourself in terms of emotional intelligence and see what emerges and give yourself encouragement to explore yourself emotionally.
    I look forward to reading your next blog

    25 Feb 2012, 09:26

  2. Christopher Midgley

    Hah, I managed to think about that but somehow avoided putting it in the post. Sorry about that.

    We’ll start with the easiest: burnout is sort of a mesh of tiredness and boredom. It’s a sort of “I’ve finished this massive thing that’s been taking up so much of my time lately; what shall I do with my time now?”. I reacted by taking a few hours off. I feel pretty good now, so that was probably the right decision.

    Incipient boredom is what I name the ‘feeling of not wanting to work’. It is somewhat circular, because if I don’t work on the thing I don’t want to work on, it sticks around, because the condition is still present. The only way to stop feeling it is to work on the thing I don’t want to work on, because once I get finished, the problem will no longer be present. I noticed it, did nothing for several days (apart from complaining), then worked on it heavily for several days. This was a mediocre reaction, I should have started sooner.

    Unreasonable eagerness – I found that my program didn’t work properly (I put the wrong equation in, in the end). The condition was that for lower values of h, the curve graphed was a very poor approximation - the opposite of what was expected. I found myself unable to leave the code alone - perhaps it is this? no, this? Despite noticing, and thinking I’d be better off taking a break (I’d already been working for a good few hours), I kept going back to it - I didn’t want to leave it half-finished in such a state. Then again, I made the same (or a variant of the same) mistake multiple times the day after, so the occurrence of having found the problem was a good thing.

    While intellectually I see that taking a step back and considering the simple things that could have gone wrong could have saved me a lot of time, emotionally I couldn’t do that - I saw an error, and immediately assumed it was in the most complicated part of my code (as I would have had the greatest chance of making some error there), when actually this one was due to an arithmetic error before I started coding at all - I had a + where I needed a -.

    So, in short, this was an emotionally unintelligent action - I was strung around by my eagerness and pride. But at the same time, I was able to continue on for much longer than I would have otherwise due to the eagerness I felt.

    I didn’t notice how much I wanted to work on it until I decided to take a break and found myself coming back immediately - I was sure the answer was just around the corner. In the end I surrendered to the feeling and worked until the problem was fixed. I suppose that’s one vein of an appropriate response - “I can’t stop, so I’ll just go with it”.

    25 Feb 2012, 11:37

  3. Samantha Tarren

    Hi again Chris
    Thanks for fleshing out your blog entry and linking it I an a bit more with your learning about emotional development. Do keep asking yourself (and answering in your blog) how does this link directly with what i am learning about myself in terms of emotional intelligence? I look forward to reading your next summary reflections blog.

    26 Feb 2012, 19:07

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