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Reader comment on Daniel Goleman's passage ...

Social Intelligence


On Dec 28, 2012 david doane wrote:

Central in my transcending the emotional economy is to realize that no one else can "activate in us circuitry for those very same distressing emotions."  I may activate circuitry of distressing emotions in myself, but no one has the ability or power to activate circuitry in me, and when I say they do, I'm fooling myself or trying to fool myself.  Emotions aren't contagious.  We don't "catch" emotions like we do a rhinovirus.  We influence each other and are stimuli in one another's world, but we can't make each other feel anything, be it happy, sad, angry, better, or worse.  The other doesn't determine my feelings.  My emotions are mine, and my transcendence occurs in realizing that, that is, making it a reality which I personally have accomplished only in some situations at some times thus far, with my goal being to grow further in that transcendence.  Nothing determines the kind of day I have except me.  I've had many experiences of becoming upset/agitated/angry at someone who is being unpleasant in one way or another at me, and I walk away from those situations disappointed in myself.  I've had a few experiences of maintaining my inner peace even in the presence of someone being difficult, and those occasions feel wonderful.



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