Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman Book Summary, Notes, and PDF

Last Updated on November 16, 2020

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For the past few years, more and more research has been developed on emotion biology. Such research has shown that genetics make up a part of our human character and intelligence. However, this produces two questions. 

First, what can you change about yourself? 

Second, why do some intelligent people fail, while people with less intelligence flourish? 

The answer lies in a person’s ability, also called emotional intelligence.

All through evolution, humans have displayed emotions. These emotions allow people to deal with critical situations. 

Modern people inherit their emotional systems from their ancestors. Cave people were forced to experience extreme situations consistently.

As of today, it’s believed these emotions overpower proper thinking and logic. 

In the truth, each person has two brains. One thinks, and the other feels. With the logical mind, the person will think and reflect. However, the emotional mind can be more impulsive. In general, these two minds work in harmony. That being said, intense feelings make the emotional mind overtake the rational mind.

Having high emotional intelligence (EQ) helps you to:

  • Communicate with clients, business partners, and other famous people.
  • Encourage your team with better leadership and more positive thinking.
  • Make more friends that will benefit you in the long-term.
  • Have better family relationships and enjoyable dating life.
  • Improve your family income and career, giving you an edge over your competition.

Men that possess high intelligence but lower emotional intelligence will be:

  • Bright but experiencing a failed personal life.
  • They are very ambitious but always doubting themselves.
  • Critical towards themselves.
  • Detail-oriented
  • Not comfortable with their sexuality
  • Tend to be somewhat detached and cold.

Men that have high emotional intelligence are:

  • Rather outgoing
  • Always cheerful
  • Not fearful at all.
  • Tend to commit to people and their objectives and have an ethical mindset, and take responsibility for things.
  • Always sympathetic and take proper care of their relationships.
  • Have a precious emotional life.
  • Feel comfortable with themselves and their social world.

Women that have high intelligence and lower emotional intelligence are:

  • Confident with their IQ level
  • Fluent in telling people what is on their mind.
  • Value things that require knowledge. 
  • Extensive range of interests related to knowledge
  • Thoughtfully reflective.
  • Prone to feeling guilt and anxiety.
  • Hesitate to express anger in public.

Emotionally intelligent women:

High EQ women are social and assertive. Do you recognize these traits in people that you know? Do you know people that do not have these traits?

  • They are assertive
  • They express their feelings appropriately without going into outbursts.
  • They feel positive about themselves.
  • Life has a meaning to them
  • They are social
  • They can adapt appropriately to stress
  • They reach out to meet new people
  • They feel comfortable and are playful and spontaneous.
  • They do not feel guilt or anxiety.


What is The Brain Evolution About?

Having emotions is not a bad thing. It evolves because they have aided us to act and make crucial decisions that we cannot make based on logic alone.

These emotions have helped us survive since the start of humanity.

However, emotions are viewed as not helpful in modern society, as humans have evolved faster than the evolution process itself. 

Feelings had developed in the human brain before logic ever did.

The emotional intelligence helped our ancestors back survive when they were exposed to predators. And yet, nowadays, they have turned into a threat because they begin to hinder young children that can access guns or knives when they are angry.

The amygdala is a part of the brain that overrides rational thinking by using up emotional intelligence. It is in our primal brain system, and it imprints on your mind. Any emotional memory is located here. The thing is that things that have already happened in the past can trigger here as well. Only a few parts of the mind have to be the same for behavior to start triggering memories.

It also applies to me and other human beings (having past social rejection makes you feel unsafe in making new friends or bad experience in the family holds you back from having a good dating life)

There is a large part of the brain related to emotional intelligence that deals with decision making. For instance, people who’ve received a lobotomy and have a part of their brain removed cannot make proper decisions in their everyday life.

Valedictorians tend not to become successful later in life. A study states that only 25% of these people have success later in their life, while others that struggle to survive. Academic performance does not relate to emotional mastery, as well. Do not look down on intra-personal skills and people skills.

What Does Emotional Intelligence Comprise of?

IQ only determines 20% of life’s success. Other influences that determine a person’s success is emotional intelligence. 

These are things like self-motivation and mood control. IQ and emotional intelligence do not conflict with each other. 

They just operate as two different separate entities. Some are very intelligent but emotionally incapable. 

This can create a lot of problems in life.

Salovey, a psychologist, states that emotional intelligence has five different aspects. 

These are being self-aware, managing one’s emotions, motivating oneself, having empathy, and handling relationships properly.

Being Self-Aware: Knowing What You Feel

Feelings are always hidden. They are self-aware means that you need to focus on your internal state. Another thing is being aware that it produces proper self-analysis and controls yourself even when you have strong emotions. Mayer, the psychologist, states that you need to be conscious of both your thinking and your feelings. Therefore, to properly train self-awareness and regulate your moods are precisely the same. Emotions are both the conscious and unconscious mind. These emotions begin even if you are aware of the upcoming emotions. Unconscious emotions have affected your feelings and responses strongly. You might not be aware of them, but when you are conscious of them, you can control them properly and analyze them properly. Being self-aware is the mother of controlling emotions.

Managing How You Feel and Controlling Your Emotions

Since the beginning of time, the world recognized self-control over-emotional feelings as an asset. However, a life that does not have passion is dull. Therefore, this gave birth to a medium stance. The stance is to control emotions accurately. Managing proper feelings is a job that has to go and on. Many people try to control their moods and emotions each day. This is to create a balance of emotions. The art of managing emotions is an important skill to learn in life. It is also a tremendous psychic tool. This is what these feelings are or how long they will last. With some effort and change of attitude, it will become better as well, or taking medicine.

A painful feeling to get rid of is anger. This is because anger gives the person energy. It is also exhilarating. Anger lasts for an extended period when you trigger it. 

This makes people angry quickly.

If the person is already irritated, another emotional attack will trigger the time bomb. The following emotion will be a strong one. 

A proper way to avoid emotional attacks is to find something to distract you. You need to exercise and let off steam when you are all alone. 

Some triggers lead to sadness. These feelings can make the person have a higher risk of getting depression. To avoid depression, therapists tell patients to oppose feelings that might lead to depression.

 After that, these therapists schedule a series of good distractions. This might be exercising, praying, or giving help to other people. Looking at the event in a positive manner is also a useful tool.

Self-Motivate Yourself and Meet Your Goals

Positively motivating yourself is the key to attaining success. The best musicians and athletes become outstanding because they can endure hard practices. 

Year after year, without fail, they keep going on.

Emotions are important in whether a person can go on with life. Why? This is because they can limit or improve a person’s efficiency of using internal skills. 

The ability to control personal emotions and delay proper gratification is an important skill. This is necessary for achievements such as graduating from college and carrying out a strict diet.

Anxiety makes a person less intellectual. However, having a good mood makes you think much better. 

People that can harness their feelings use stress to motivate themselves. Experts state that performance and anxiety affect each other. Too little pressure means no motivation and low performance. However, too much anxiety damages the intellect. Proper execution is somewhere in the middle. 

The example given here is hypomania. It is excellent for creative individuals.

Being Optimistic Vs. Hope

These two things also play critical roles. Optimism is being very positive, so that things will turn out fine. Hope is not giving in the face of adversity, although there are many obstacles. 

Optimists accredit failure to something that they can fix. Therefore, they do not feel down when things do not go their way. This is an excellent emotional intelligent attitude that promotes better performance in the corporate world. Self-efficacy creates both optimism and hope. It is a belief that the person can face any storm that they meet.

Psychologists have discovered a peak-performance state. 

It is named the “flow,” and it gathers the most actual uses of emotional intelligence. It is the feeling you obtain if you are completely involved in a task that you enjoy. Flow is in the grey part between the perception of boredom and anxiety. The emotions that you go through the flow are positive and focused feelings. It is a state of proper attention and self-forgetfulness. The brain is at peace during the stream. After that, you can carry out tough tasks with as little energy possible. If you want someone to attain the flow, ask them to perform the activities that they love in a repeated process.

Empathy: Mastering The Best People Skills

The more self-aware you are, the more adept you are at reading others. Rapport comes from a caring nature. It comes from giving other people empathy. People that can read other people are more popular and can adjust to the environment better.

Empathy starts with attunement. It is mirroring a parent and child link. Attunement makes the child happy and emotionally healthy. There has to be a peaceful feeling to read signs from others.

Handling Other People and Relate to them

The ability to express your feelings is an essential social skill. Emotions can affect people more. People send out these signals every time they meet each other.

They tend to mimic their reactions and gestures and try to comprehend what these mean.

The more that people can read other people, the more they influence the people around them.

Applying Emotional Intelligence for Everyday Life

EQ is applicable and essential for everyday life, for example:

Management – Some bosses have such pride that they drive their workers away. 

Using emotional intelligence to prevent this adverse outcome is cost-effective. 

Accepting feedback is the base of the management’s emotional intelligence. 

Therefore, managers should start learning how to give and receive feedback and embrace change. 

Do not view criticism in the wrong way. 

Use some empathy when delivering the message to the co-workers. 

Successful teams are crafted out of the strong bond between team members. The leaders must make use of each member’s talent.

Marriage – Emotional intelligence aids relieved personal and social tensions that destroy relationships. Women and men have different abilities in this field. If there is sharp criticism, then it may ruin everything. 

One of the partners should not attack the other person when they commit a mistake. 

Never condemn the person that messed up too harshly. It leads to making the other person defensive and activates the fight-or-flight reaction.

Raising Children – Children and adults need to be taught the five areas of emotional intelligence skills and aided in developing them.

Medicine – Immune systems might affect the emotional mind. This makes you more exposed to illnesses. If you have heart disease, any shock might end with you in the hospital.

Doctors learn that learning to handle emotions is a proper way of preventing diseases.

Author Biography

Goleman is a psychologist and often delivers lectures in college seminars.

He is also an accomplished writer. His book, Emotional Intelligence, has topped The New York Times’ bestseller list for a full year and a half. 

Other subjects he writes about are creativity, motivation, and social learning.

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