Earlier today, Paula Prober posted on her fascinating blog, Your Rainforest Mind, an entry entitled Too Sensitive, Too Dramatic, Too Intense –What Is Emotional Intelligence? . With the Facebook (FB) entry, she included the question "What does emotional intelligence look like in the gifted?"

James Duncan replied to her FB post:
This is very difficult to manage, and there's often insufficient or non-existent guidance. The person must develop insight into this trait and figure out a strategy to manage it. The trait is truly one of the best possible blessings when it can be managed. There can be many instances such as this one: I had a long career in broadcasting. One night I went to a special premier of "A Clockwork Orange" with colleagues. The station was doing a promotion for the movie. I went for free as an employee, and we had the best seats in the classy theater. When I got home, I felt depressed for hours as a reaction to the film. Fortunately, I later got insight into this issue and could better control it. It is after all a most powerful and precious instinct when it works for you.

Emotional sensitivity, emotional awareness, and "emotional intelligence" strike me as three different axes, with a degree of overlap if they were done as a Venn diagram, but only a small region where all three meet, while having many degrees of independence for each beyond that area.

I would likely recast Paul Prober's question to "What does emotional giftedness look like?"

This has been a question bandied about for decades, at least! There was a pre-conference exploration before a Roeper Symposium talking about assessment of emotional capability and what exactly 'we' were looking for. About 20 folks met in Chicago to bang on the topic. Lots of fascinating discussion, a few conclusions, but I have no idea if it went anywhere from there. (I suspect that it did for individuals, but that there was no further substantial group effort in that realm.)

James is absolutely right about the lack of guidance for at least the first two sets. The third there are beginnings of, increasingly. There are some pretty good resources for the people who have some of the first two, but no clue on the third. This is far easier to accomplish than the second and it is unclear to me that the first is teachable in the slightest - but that does not mean that those who have it do not need or cannot receive training in how to nurture it and how to be less overwhelmed by it!

Over the next few posts, let's explore these three areas of potential emotional giftedness - what each is, what the differences are, where they overlap, and what to do with them if you have them (or if you don't).



February 2017



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