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Emotional intelligence vs logic


TimmyBoy

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Hi guys,

 

I thought I would post something about a conflict I have been experiencing.

 

I am a very logical person, and for the most part I get on very well with people, but I feel that I may have some difficulties with "emotional intelligence".

 

I struggle with dating, because a lot of the norms and traditions seem illogical to me, especially when one bears in mind that we are supposed to be liberated now. For example, I have had girls complain that I did not insist on paying for dates because I am the guy and that is the "tradition", even though this is the 21st century and these women can and do earn just as much as me, or even more. Most of the dating advice for men admonishes us to "man up" and adopt a traditional macho gender role in order to seem like the "protector" and thus get "respect" from women, which flies in the face of the notion that women are equally intelligent and capable of looking after themselves. But when I question this advice using logic, the discussion reaches a point at which I am basically told to just accept things the way they are and stop being argumentative.

 

Another problem I have is that I frequently have this big, explosive arguments that cause me untold stress. For the most part I get on very well with people, and I am often complimented on my people skills and what a nice guy I am. However, every now and then, I will rub someone up the wrong way without meaning to because I have violated some kind of boundary or unwritten social custom that I was unaware of. When the argument breaks out, I often fail to see the logic to what they are saying and I explain why, but the argument reaches a point at which they tell me that, rightly or wrongly, they can't help how they feel, and I should just accept it.

 

The common thread here is that emotional intelligence would seem to encompass accommodation of people's feelings even when those feelings are not based in logic, and that's the brick wall I keep banging my head against. People who do well socially often seem to be good at navigating these customs without really thinking about them critically, whereas to me, demanding that I change my behaviour to accommodate someone else's irrationality is completely unreasonable. I hate, hate, HATE backing down when I know I am right just to appease others. It feels like selling out. But at the same time, I worry that all this conflict is taking its toll on me.

 

I should add that this situation is not entirely bad, and this post should thus not be taken merely as a rant. As I say, I generally do very well with people, and I think this is because I am completely uninterested in silly gossiping and social hierarchies; for example, I always get on very well with the admin/support staff at firms where I work, whereas other lawyers can be very arrogant and look down their noses at them, and this pays dividends when I need these people to help me with something. Similarly, when it comes to dating, I have often surprised myself by attracting incredibly good looking girls because I was apparently demonstrating some kind of traditionally masculine trait (such as confidence or assertiveness) without realising it.

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Emotions are not logic based.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and feelings. There is no need for you to agree with them. However, social discourse and custom allows that you don't tell them they are "wrong". If you do not feel or believe their rationale...that is your right.

 

 

 

Social conversation is not the same as debate. There need not be a victor. Stalemate is allowed.

Agree to disagree.

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Emotions are not logic based.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and feelings. There is no need for you to agree with them. However, social discourse and custom allows that you don't tell them they are "wrong". If you do not feel or believe their rationale...that is your right.

 

 

 

Social conversation is not the same as debate. There need not be a victor. Stalemate is allowed.

Agree to disagree.

 

So if they are angry with me for emotional reasons despite being logically wrong, what is the solution? I have a hard time respecting people if I think they are being stupid.

 

EDIT: I should add that I experienced severe bullying at school because I did not "fit in", even though I did not do anything morally wrong, and compromising on logic to appease these people feels like selling out to the school bullies.

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The solution is not to argue. Emotions are not wrong they just are. They are a part of being human. Telling someone their emotions are wrong will just piss them off. The only person you can control is YOU.Just don't have arguments with people.

 

Logic AND emotional intelligence are equally important. They now know that emotional intelligence is a huge part of what makes an intelligent and well-balanced person.

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Stop pushing them with your "Yes...but" logical responses to their emotional expressions.

 

You seem to have missed the point.

If I tell you I like chocolate because it is sweet and you say...yes, but it isn't actually sweet..it has salt in it as well. I am not going to care if your statement is factually correct. My "emotional" attachment is too the sweetness...not the actual chemical components.

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Emotional intelligence comes with practice, I think.

It took me a long, long time to grasp it as well.

There are so many things humans *require* that just don't make sensed to me.

Watch Dexter, lol.

You can hear his thoughts about certain situations and although he doesn't get them,he does explain it.

For example, he'll be like "Deb is the closest thing I have to family so I'[m obligated to let her stay at my place even though I don';t see the the need to sleep 2 feet away from another adult"

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So if they are angry with me for emotional reasons despite being logically wrong, what is the solution?

Emotions, BY DEFINITION, are illogical. If someone's angry with you, telling them they're wrong to be angry is not going to help the situation at all - unless, of course, you're being wrongly accused of something - when it would be helpful to point out the truth. Otherwise, accept that this is just the way the other person feels without trying to prevent it, argue against or anything else. You could say that you're sorry they're angry. But someone feeling angry is not necessarily a 'problem' to be 'solved', and often just acknowledging the other person's emotions will be enough.

 

If you find that people are consistently angry over specific things, and you do not like this, then it would be useful to look at your own behaviour and see if it can be changed. Otherwise, if you're happy the way you are, then maintain the status quo.

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Does it ever occur to you that your logic is badly flawed? From what you've written, all I see is stubborn, and arrogant while lacking logic and basic common sense. Add to that insecure due to past issues you haven't emotionally dealt with. Fyi, feeling like you are selling out is an irrational emotion that has nothing to do with this rock hard logic you claim to have.

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Stop pushing them with your "Yes...but" logical responses to their emotional expressions.

 

You seem to have missed the point.

If I tell you I like chocolate because it is sweet and you say...yes, but it isn't actually sweet..it has salt in it as well. I am not going to care if your statement is factually correct. My "emotional" attachment is too the sweetness...not the actual chemical components.

 

You are talking about everyday social conversations. I am not one of those guys who will debate someone's music taste to death. I am talking about when someone picks an argument with you over something emotional.

 

Emotions, BY DEFINITION, are illogical. If someone's angry with you, telling them they're wrong to be angry is not going to help the situation at all - unless, of course, you're being wrongly accused of something - when it would be helpful to point out the truth. Otherwise, accept that this is just the way the other person feels without trying to prevent it, argue against or anything else. You could say that you're sorry they're angry. But someone feeling angry is not necessarily a 'problem' to be 'solved', and often just acknowledging the other person's emotions will be enough.

 

But is it really fair that I have to back down when I am right? I really can't emphasise enough how much I resent doing this. I can't stand the thought of someone judging me unfairly and getting away with it.

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Does it ever occur to you that your logic is badly flawed? From what you've written, all I see is stubborn, and arrogant while lacking logic and basic common sense. Add to that insecure due to past issues you haven't emotionally dealt with. Fyi, feeling like you are selling out is an irrational emotion that has nothing to do with this rock hard logic you claim to have.

 

Care to elaborate?

 

The reason I say that I am "right" and "logical" is not because of arrogance on my part. Further, I do not believe that I am necessarily more intelligent, or more CAPABLE of using logic than these people; it's just that I seem to stick to it more vehemently in my everyday life. It is because discussions about these issues always result in the same conclusion: the other person concedes that I am in the right, as a matter of logic, but expects me to kowtow to their irrational expectations anyway. Isn't THAT arrogant?

 

I am stubborn about backing down to appease other people's emotional problems if they cannot support their position using logic, because I think that is an unreasonable demand. I would probably have an easier time if it came more naturally to me, but it feels like selling out. Even when I do it for the sake of an easy life - e.g. if I am living with a difficult housemate - I do so with gritted teeth. Surely I am entitled to stand up for myself?

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You are talking about everyday social conversations. I am not one of those guys who will debate someone's music taste to death. I am talking about when someone picks an argument with you over something emotional.

 

 

 

But is it really fair that I have to back down when I am right? I really can't emphasise enough how much I resent doing this. I can't stand the thought of someone judging me unfairly and getting away with it.

 

Who says you are right though? There is an old adage that says you can be right or you can be happy. Would you jump in front of a car just to be right? I mean pedestrians have the right away don't they?

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Who says you are right though? There is an old adage that says you can be right or you can be happy. Would you jump in front of a car just to be right? I mean pedestrians have the right away don't they?

 

No offence but this sounds very postmodern to me. Do you really believe there is never a right or wrong answer to a moral dispute? If a black guy experiences racist abuse, should he just accept that they are allowed to think what they like, or does he have the right to take umbrage?

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The point is not every situation fits into logic. And if you want to take an emotional situation with someone and argue it to death you are not going to "win." What exactly would you be winning?

 

If they don't want to argue about it then they shouldn't start an argument with me.

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You remind me of my friend.

Not only does she not understand social customs or taboos, she REFUSES to abide by them.

For example, we went to a wedding & she asked me how she looked before we left.

She looked way too provocative, IMO, but I didn't say "Hey! You look like a streewalker!"

I said: "That seems more like something we'd (notice the WE not the YOU - never isolate someone) wear to a club, not a wedding? You don't want to outshine the bride do you?"

I presented it in such a way that although I didn't agree with her, I didn't knock her down, either.

However, she went on and on about how she likes this dress, bought this dress for the wedding.

She even went as far as to say she shouldn't have to hide who she is (tats and boobs) just because it's a wedding.

Um... That's EXACTLY what she should do, lol.

Tats and boobs are no approriate for a wedding... Those are the RULES.

Of course, everyone was hating on her... The MOB even asked her to put on pants, lol.

She went off in a corner and cried.

Then she blamed ME for not "making her change".

Do you SEE how poor her emotional intelligence is?

You can't fight the world to be right and wear whaqt you want to wear unless you want to be asked to put on pants.

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Sure you can. You walk to another room and close the door. Or you go outside for a walk or you getting your car and go for a drive. There is always a way to walk away from emotionally charged situation.

What do married people do? I know when my husband and I get overemotional we go to another room or we go for a walk or somebody goes for a drive and we walk away from the emotional situation until we can come back and talk about it later in a calm reasonable way.

 

That way you're exercising your own personal responsibility not to carry on a bad situation.

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I can see how this is an example of what might be dubbed "poor emotional intelligence". I do not necessarily agree with your conclusion, however. Social customs are not always based in logic, and if they are not, then their enforcement is not justified. If a goth boy gets picked on at school for having long hair and make up, HE is not the one who should have to change his ways. It is not fair to expect him to kowtow to other people's small-mindedness and bigotry.

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Unless you don't want to accept that people are entitled to FEEL what they feel without checking with you to see if it fits your logical criteria...you are destined to be alone with your opinions.

 

Frankly, mhowe, I think you are right. That is the crux of the issue here. I fiercely resent kowtowing to irrational expectations, and even when I try to force myself to do it, I make a very unconvincing attempt because it is just not me, in my heart of hearts. But it does seem to me that, if everyone thought like you, we would still have slavery.

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