We are creatures saturated by feelings. We are a species that can love and hate. Having a strong sense of past, present and future, we can worry about what we have done, what we might do, and what might happen. It is because we are social beings that we are also emotional beings. Many of our strongest feelings arise in relationship with others: envy and shame, desire and regret, sadness and joy. In this book, I want to argue that the more we understand ourselves at the level of feeling, the wiser we become. Certainly, being intelligent about emotions and the part they play in our lives makes us socially more skilled. Knowing when to contain anger, knowing when to say nothing rather than something, understanding the value of a kind word at the right time, recognizing the need to stay with someone who is hurt rather than dismiss them as out-of-control, these are examples of emotional intelligence. It is this kind of intelligence that marks out personal success and wellbeing.
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