March 08, 2012

Emotional Intelligence: Reflections; an Afterword

Follow-up to Emotional Intelligence: An Amnesiac Discovery from Midgley, Christopher - Pointless twaddle and meaningless diatribes

Tutor was Samantha Tarren.

Commentary: We begin with the second point, “I don’t feel sadness”, or at least its twin “I don’t remember feeling sadness”. It’s looking like this is a coping mechanism of sorts, with the final stage being “forget the problem ever existed”. We have the sequence: observe problem, contemplate reasons for problem, decide only own opinion matters, tease out explanation/learning, focus on something else, forget journey and only remember results. I’m not sure why it wound up like that. I can garner the feeling back if I try, but I’m not sure why I’d want to. I used to dwell on this sort of thing for days, which is probably why I expunged it: it’s not a nice thing, even if it helped me get my thoughts in order/focus/write. I couldn’t deal with it and had no idea where it came from, so I “dealt” with it by ignoring it until it went away. But here I am, dealing with depression through arrogance and apathy.

We then move on, linearly, to the first part, “why do I not want to do things?”. It turned out there were a lot of these: “there is too much to do”, “there is too little to focus on”, “I have other things to do”, etc. As stated in the overview, however, I noticed, went “huh.”, and then went for business as usual, so I can’t even be sure I was correct! I’m not even all that good at differentiating them, these reasons underlying the feeling. Also, remembering how I felt in the past is a trick for feelings as..specific as these.

Overview: Well, I solved one problem. Yay.

For the other, however, I was asking the wrong question. The aim was not “why do I not want to do things?”, it was “how can I make myself do things, considering my current state?”. Realising how I felt was the first step, but it is also important to try doing things in different states, in different ways, to find the most effective. As it was, I was reflecting, noting the results, and then ignoring them in favour of the “brute force” approach that worked reasonably well for a variety of feelings in the past, instead of considering a specialization.

So I suppose we have here a lesson: ask the right questions. Don’t split things into steps so fine you forget your own head - remember what the aim is.

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Samantha Tarren

    Hi Chris
    thanks for your reflections and afterword summarising your learning to date about your emotional intelligence. It seems like you’ve identified some interesting thought patterns and have gone a little way in to understanding the context in which they developed. Perhaps having given yourself some time to focus on your emotions and get curious about them that may be the beginning of an interesting EI journey for you. I like your key learning about noting how essential it is to check you are asking the right questions. I hope you continue to ask questions about yourself, and seek out the answers using your feelings as a guide.

    11 Mar 2012, 17:55

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