Emotional Intelligence…Not So Much (Part 2)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Emotional Intelligence Part 2For my first post in this three-part series on the topic of emotional intelligence,  I pointed out that the 2009 book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves left me unimpressed:



“While it correctly pointed out that EQ is an important contributor to personal happiness, harmonious relationships, and both business and financial success, it did not offer truly powerful, transformative improvement strategies.”

I also declared that as a society we desperately need more emotional intelligence help, but when the self-appointed emotional intelligence gurus can’t get it right, then obviously something very important has to be missing.

Been There, Done That…

I also promised to introduce you to two books I believe do lead us in the right direction for developing true emotional mastery.  The first one, which I’m going to talk about today, is Been There, Done That, Do This: An Insider’s Guide To Overcoming Your Dysfunctional Past, by Sam Orbitz (2003).

This short but very powerful little book gives you insights into some of the most important principles of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  It is used and recommended by prominent anxiety disorder treatment centers, such as the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Behavioral Research Program and the Center For Anxiety And Related Disorders at Boston University.  It is also frequently cited by many former anxiety sufferers as one of the major resources that contributed to them finally learning how to master their anxiety problems.

Thoughts And Emotions Are Intimately Related

To a large degree, how you think determines how you feel. It also determines how you behave.  But thoughts are the key drivers of our emotions, and unless you have a sound grasp of how your thoughts contribute to your feelings, you can’t really claim to have true emotional intelligence.

Even more important however is understanding exactly how errors in your thinking, or other dysfunctional thought patterns, can lead you to have very strong emotions that are not based in truth about whatever may have precipitated them.

In his own words, author Sam Orbitz says:

“The first step on the path to freedom and happiness is to familiarize yourself with the most common thinking errors troubled people make…Once you become familiar with them, you will then need to start recognizing when you are making them and then substitute counter thoughts that are more accurate, in their place.”

For me, this is one of the central skills of true emotional intelligence.  Not only do you need to become more aware of how specific thoughts drive very specific emotions, but you also need to have the courage and wisdom to know when your automatic thoughts are not really true, and when they are making you upset for very poor reasons.

Examples Of Common Thinking Errors

CBT was built on the model that human beings frequently suffer from cognitive errors and from behavior patterns that both arise from these errors and repeatedly reinforce them.

In Been There, Done That, Do This, Sam Orbitz identifies four of the biggest cognitive errors many people habitually make, while addressing several others (and how to overcome them) all throughout the book.  Here are the four that both he and many other CBT practitioners tend to focus on:

  •  Jumping To Conclusions—especially negative conclusions, which tend to lead to anticipatory anxiety and in some cases to depression.
  • Blowing Things Our Of Proportion—viewing situations or events as catastrophic or insufferable, when in reality they are neither.
  • Extreme Thinking—viewing life through a series of mostly one-sided Either/Or filters, such as Good/Bad, Right/Wrong, Win/Lose, Credit/Blame, etc.
  • Globalizing—taking an isolated event, or something that may have happened a couple of times in the past, and automatically assuming that this will continue to happen in the future.

CBT practitioners have invented other descriptive labels, like “catastrophic thinking” and “awfulizing” to refer to some of these common errors in thinking. But the key point is that we all are guilty of making these types of cognitive errors from time to time. And some of us engage in them frequently.

I have previously written about one of these very common stress-producing habits of thinking, Extreme Thinking or as I like to call it Either/Or Thinking on several occasions in this blog:

Either-Or Thinking 

Do You Think This Way…Yes Or No? 

I have also written about numerous other topics in this blog which are related to how our thought patterns, and our habitual behavior patterns, frequently underlie our stress.

So if you really want to develop true emotional intelligence…the kind that leads to true emotional mastery, increased happiness, harmonious relationships with others, and many other types of personal success…you’ve got to deeply and correctly understand the ways that certain types of thoughts you might have may take you in the opposite direction.

NOTE: You can order a copy of Been There, Done That, Do This for $12.95 by going to www.tao3.com (I receive no financial compensation for passing this information on to you.)

Special FREE Download Gift!

Free Downloadable Four-Book Stress Relief Library

To get your own complete download of this entire four-book Stress Relief Secrets REVEALED library, go to http://beststresshelp.com and download it right now. Also, when you get these four PDF e-books on your computer, don’t just let them sit there! Don’t promise yourself that you’ll eventually get around to reading them later. That usually doesn’t work, and it’s very likely you will never, ever get around to reading them. And the information they contain is way too valuable and useful for you to miss out on any of it.

Once you do download these four e-books, I’m going to send you an email every day, for the next seven days, to support you in reading them all.

Go to http://beststresshelp.com right now and submit your best email address. Then, you’ll get an email asking you to confirm your intentions. When this email arrives (if you don’t see it within 10-15 minutes, check your spam folder), please click on the highlighted link and you’ll go directly to the download page, where all four e-books can be downloaded as one composite .zip file.

Best wishes and happy reading (and learning)!

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