Zack Vayda and his Emotions: Part 1
Last week at work I had a revelation. Yes, I do understand just how powerful the word "revelation" is, and yes, I do stick by my choice.
I was listening to a podcast (something I never do) discussing shame, what it means and how it often shapes our lives. It was a powerful episode, one that resulted in the conclusion that shame is simply a construct forced upon us by other flawed humans, and since they are also flawed, there is no reason to hang on to that shame. While I consider this a very important lesson (one I definitely plan to come back to), this statement something much bigger for me: The sum of Intelligence in the world is not just Informational, but Emotional as well.
Informational Intelligence is pretty straightforward; you learn things, it expands your understanding of the world and it makes you a smarter, more influential person. For the longest time, I was under the impression this was the only real type of intelligence. Because of this podcast, however, I realized that Informational Intelligence means nothing with out Emotional Intelligence.
I am the perfect example of what Informational Intelligence looks like without Emotional Intelligence to balance it out. Information without Emotional control breeds pride, because I know more "things" than another person. When people don't acknowledge my Intelligence, I overreact through being angry or sad or some other emotion I don't have control over. Since I don't understand my emotions or know how to work through them, I push them away and assume the answer to my problems is more Informational Intelligence. This creates a spiral of close-mindedness, emotional unreliability and disconnectedness from others. After all, what use is Informational Intelligence without the ability to communicate it to others?
Now that I've stopped discrediting Emotional Intelligence, I've learned that my Informational Intelligence is actually heightened alongside Emotional Intelligence, and vice versa. What I've learned is that one can work towards Emotional Intelligence in exactly the same way one works towards Informational Intelligence; through learning and practice. Listen to stories about people and the emotions they dealt with, talk to people about their experiences in life, be aware of your own emotions and analyze them when they arise instead of sweeping them under a rug. Delve into your emotions, don't discredit them. At the end of the day, since your emotions are part of who you are, if you discredit your emotions, you're discrediting yourself.
My Informational Intelligence means so much more, now that I am trying to pair it with emotions. It also significantly improves my ability to communicate information to others; I can use emotions to speak more clearly with other people, because emotion is something we all have in common.
The best part, though, is that I'm finally coming to terms with a lot of emotional insecurities I've been dealing with for a long time. As I learn more about accepting emotions and defining them so I can work through them, the more I find out about myself. I never would have guessed that introspection is a lot more forgiving of a process with your emotions than without them.