Introduction

This book is meant to be a practical guide for understanding, and internalizing emotional intelligence concepts.

Here, new vocabulary, scenarios and templates for dealing with different real life situations are presented.

Vocabulary for Emotional Intelligence

Here are some of the common words for better understanding what is emotional intelligence.

Change and Contingency

Boring discussion

If we faced with a question as to whether we could build a software like Microsoft Windows, then the response would be

  • now we don't need Windows right!
  • or there is demand for operating system

This line of thinking comes from an understanding that change is constant and a belief that we can't write the history, because history is something that people in the past could write. But, what we need to look into more closely is that change happens all the time.

Few concrete works

#FieldThingsLink
1.Mechanical EngineeringFunction, use casethe car models of Bugatti
2.Software Engineering / CodeCode changesTensorflow code history

How to Build confidence

Start with the daily work that we are doing, see the small changes that are happening:

  • Updating a wallpaper on screen
  • An effort into reading more about the work we do
  • Watching a movie

These small tasks provide a small changes, which helps us take the further dependent tasks.

Do we have the opportunity

Yes. But, it is not obvious most of the time. Depending on the problem we are solving the ingredient differ and the way feels as it is not there.

We do have all contingency of the past i.e., we all have the time and place appropriate opportunities (which do not seem like they are). Once we build enough confidence and work through it, things change.

External resources

  1. https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/world-ready-to-be-changed-now/

Civil distance

A distance in feelings, physical with another person or thing to develop a right kind of mechanism for its function.

Functions

  • Decrease friction between entities
  • Gives space for medium (ether) to intervene in order to develop the right kind of field.
  • Businesses to flourish
  • Create a long term relationship with neighbors, colleagues and entities.
  • Acts as a buffer, to accommodate any urgencies, or inevitabilities
  • Take account of the vulnerabilities of people or things involved, acknowledge warmly and accept the difficulties charitably.

Why?

  • Because demanding much control over circumstances can be challenging
  • This can be attributed to the characteristic of the human mind. (But, also of entities)
  • There is a lot (a good number, difficult to control) of uncertainty around the functions of the entities and their reliability.

For caution

  • It is better to know the depth before diving in
  • Polite distance
  • Caution
  • airtime (sufficient airtime for reaching a decision)
  • take time
  • take a deep breath

Resources

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-do-thoughts-and-emotions-affect-health

Emotional weather

Weather is a set of conditions and the state of elements (air, water, soil, temperature, and materials).

RainySunny

  • rain drops
  • black clouds
  • wet/humid air

  • white/no clouds
  • sun presence
  • Higher temperature

The same applies to our emotions

Emotions are a set of conditions or a state, that have an impact on thought process, physical feeling, energy levels, sense of self, confidence (our position in the environment).

Cycle

The emotional weather cycle can be in hours and may not be regular/irregular based on our activities.

While, the atmospheric weather will have a cycle of few months, with a daily localized changes.

What are our elements

Water (75% of the body composition), air, food, external (health, human influence, environmental influence). The elements, in a state of flux, defines weather.

Since the above elements vary so does our emotional weather.

Consequences

  • change of choices, or consistency in choices
  • Unable to make a quick decision, with good consideration
  • Comfort (it have a contrast effect, with a baseline)
  • Confidence
  • Working efficiency fluctuates

Shameful Inconsistency

While working on a task, going well with expected outcomes, creates a sense of confidence that we could do anything. After the lunch, you attempt the task and it didn't work - we feel like total disaster.

Reasons

  1. Mood swing causes the evaluation to be corrupted. Our reasoning ability is not constant. It changes with time of the day, work pressure, motivation.
  2. Our brains inability to do computation and holding information at the same time.

    For example, you could answer 2 x 2 = ? but
    - 22 x 22 = ? (take significantly longer), we know how to compute but we need to hold the intermediate results.
  3. Keeping a flux benchmark, which is not clear to make decisions upon.

Social formulation

The identification of a thing, thought, or process by a number of people. This identity acts as a base. This is the collective idea of people about domains life in a social setting. This is essential for the social fabric to sustain in the so called dwellings like villages, cities or countries.

Examples

For example, the "Job" is a widely accepted formula for earning for a living at a recurrent fixed income over the years. The concept of job is well known, and widely accepted across time - in medieval ages to the modern age, geographically, even in space!

Few other examples are education, and money.

Few vocabulary examples

Portuguese word "Saudade" - expresses a subtle emotion that we feel when we walk down the lane.

For engineering "Incremental approach" - tells the small step increase over time for accomplishing simple, hard or impossible tasks.

Advantages

This formulation saves human time and makes it easy to communicate complex ideas in an analogous fashion. For the formulation to happen the attributes have to be felt by a substantial number of people. Some formulations take years to decades to manifest.

Every now and then there is new kind of formulation happening as our understanding develops where people pioneer in a new way of doing things.

A well formed social formula paves the way for easy spreading the knowledge around it and pass it down easily the learnings. For example, the business strategies, fallacies, and biases.

Disadvantages

Social formulae are difficult to change without a jolt. A lot of effort is expected or a sudden realization happened with masses. Only during the extraordinary circumstances that have consequences at a massive level does the formulation changes considerably.

The formulations persistent across generations even when the essential conditions that lead to the formulation in the first place cease to exist. This presents a challenge to people blindly adhering to the status quo. This can sometime even lead to misunderstandings and even conflict.

Time windows

While working as a designer, I do some design calculations each day. These calculations need to be checked which would only take some fifteen minutes. The managers' input is required at various steps of the design.

One challenging task for me was to find a suitable time for a conversation with my manager. In between the conversation, there are interruptions like the site calls, people with urgent doubts about their projects etc. Due to this, the initial fifteen minutes will become one hour.

Instead, we could ask for a mutually agreed small-time period regularly.

What are Time Windows?

The times during which you can expect an immediate response for emails, code reviews, triage discussions and instant com channels. These are to be agreed upon by the team.

For example,

  1. 9:30 to 10:00 AM
  2. 1:30 to 2:30 PM
  3. 5:30 to 6:00 PM

How to implement?

First, start with the timing at which the team meetings or discussions happen. For example, if the team code review happens an hour after lunch then the first time window would be 3:00 to 3:30 PM. Introduce additional time windows incrementally.

The maximum number of time windows are 4 in a day. Depending on the amount of concentration required for a task adjust time windows. The duration of the time window depends on the type of communication. Generally, Code reviews last longer while the email takes less time.

The number of time windows does not need to be the same every day in a week, can be curtailed. It is preferable not to change the timing of the window.

Time windows do not replace scheduled weekly meetings or discussions about unexpected downtimes.

Practical steps

In direct messaging apps, the status message can be used to inform your time windows

References

  1. https://hbr.org/2019/01/the-hard-truth-about-innovative-cultures
  2. https://www.calnewport.com/books/deep-work/
  3. https://hbr.org/2020/06/a-plan-for-managing-constant-interruptions-at-work
  4. Interruptions, link: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_94.htm

Que sera sera

After learning how to use a tool, and different options of it - I feel like I know a lot about everything related to it.

Especially, when I am using the incognito browser as if I am hidden from the internet while the reality is that web addresses that I enter is like a open book that people can intercept.

Examples

We definitely do have control over our personal life, but to what extent and with what kind of effort? - is to be considered.

Personal life

Friends - Our friends do what they think they want to do, they chose to be with us vice versa. Don't I have a thinking at times that our friends are influenced a lot by us.

Body - We can with effort do change. Over the internet we do see a number, of 1 in 1000s of people, of examples. This gives us an thought that we have control over body with food, and other efforts sometimes.

Work

Often our span of control is within the confines of the job description. If we are a data engineer with a managerial position our span of control would most likely be up to 5 people. But, there are a lot of departments even for the charismatic personality to influence. I do feel like I have more control over the so many things, we do if we ask people the desk we need and the timings etc. Many people don't ask, right?

Political

Yes, we have control. But, 1 in population of a country i.e., 1:1000 000 000.

Cricket

Yes, we have control. How, (the ticket price) / (total cost of hosting the match + pay to various parties).

So what now

Circle of competence

The circle in which we have better control.

  • If we are a bridge designer, in the design phase of the project we can design and deliver drawings
  • A highway designer, ability to shape a city transport and map to an extent. Which could further influence the land improvement along.

Other than the circle of competence, it is Que sera sera.

Chapter 3

On Family

Being a friend to children

0 Start Early

Start bonding early. Take time to be there for the needs of the child from changing diapers, health care, so that things won't get awkward when they grow up since the bonding has formed.

The relative lack of early contact with your child has a circular effect. The older your child becomes without a bond having been established, the more awkward you and your child will feel when you are together. And the more awkward you feel together, the less you will want to engage each other again.

1 Try again

You approached your child and asked "Shall we play together." Your child say "No thanks, Dad. I don't want to play now." You feel rejected. (If he doesn't want to play with me, it's fine why bother!) You feel self-righteous about asking again. You feel "I tried once, it won't work for me."

Simply respond with "Okay, let's make a specific date for another time. What do you think might be fun?"

2 You have a very difficult child

Difficult children are difficult to be with. Instead of pleasure, they often provide stress and frustration. Instead of offering joy, they cause you to wish you had a different child. You believe that he can't do anything right. It is natural to want to withdraw from interactions which are painful and unrewarding.

Ironically, it is more difficult child who needs you the most. He hears your constant criticisms. He sees your looks of exasperation. And he feels terrible that you think those things about him, for he is desperate for your love. He is desperate for you to tell him he is not the bad person who he suspects everyone believes him to be.

How do you not lose patience with a difficult child?

Your child is so bossy because inside she feels so powerless. Your child is a brat because inside he feels frightened and out of control. The patience, self-control, and generosity you can ham from raising a difficult child will also help you better deal with the problematic, troublesome people you will inevitably encounter in daily life.

The Gift of Fatherhood: How Men's Lives are Transformed by Their Children, Fireside, 1994

Copyright © 1994 by Aaron Hass, PhD

How to Talk to a Teenager

You start to make decisions that have real life consequences College, friends, driving, and substance use. Coping with emotional challenges is tough at this stage, and there is a chance of risk and impulsive decisions.

A healthy relationship with teen during these years will payoff. Interference in their decisions and wants would come across as hostile.

While they're an open book to their friends, who they talk to constantly via text messages, they might become mute when asked by mom about how their day went.

Be focused and build awareness that it is a tough time for both you and the teen. It is a phase which will pass.

Tips

  1. Listen - Simply sit back and listen what they have to say.
  2. Validate their feelings - Let them solve their problems, this way you build confidence. and acknowledge age appropriate disappointments. But saying something like "She wasn't right for you anyway" after a romantic disappointment can feel dismissive. Instead "that sound difficult."
  3. Take them seriously - Teens want to be taken seriously, especially by their parents or guardians. Let them take the game.
  4. Be thoughtful of their independence - A thoughtful explanation about why parties on school nights are not a good idea will make it more reasonable.
  5. Be observant - It's normal for kids to go through some changes as they mature, but pay attention if you notice changes to her mood, behavior, energy level, or appetite. Likewise, take note if he stops wanting to do things like that used to make him happy.

Think Different

Be original

Let us explore the concept a bit, originality is often associated with things that are either made from scratch or made with solid input from the originator. The originator can verify their work contentedly and with certain familiarity. It does involve an amount of time and effort.

The things to which originality applies: People, thoughts, things, concepts.

Why original

Why do we need to be original? - Looking at this question more closely, why we don't need to be unoriginal. After a sense accomplishment with the objective at hand, we tend to think more clearly of its intricacies - the process, the properties, and the incomprehensible material that is inherent but discloses itself over time and with an involved effort.

Although being unoriginal feels okay and easy for a while, going through the work for more time makes work uninteresting, creates a fear of surprise and consequent lethargy.

Do I have a choice? - If the objective for one is to simplify life, the originality is the best path forward and a good deal compared to the loss done for one's emotional wellbeing and anxiety associated.

How to be original

Did you crosscheck something such as an answer paper, an email before sending, or a bit of intentional preparation for a presentation? - then you are being original.

Since the tasks mentioned above can be practiced so does the task of being original.

Practice

No.TaskPractice
1.Writing a presentation
  1. Have an outline.
  2. Stick to it, change often, rewrite/improve.
  3. Get a consensus before a presentation
2.Email
  1. Do you need to send an email?
  2. Write the email body first as if you are writing to questions that this email should answer
  3. Write/rewrite subject based on the body
  4. Mention the expectation from the reader in clear lines.

For example, Read and write email

3.Code
  1. Do you need to write new or refactor existing?
  2. Add working code with a test case
  3. Improve code with involved test cases
4.Processing emotions
  1. Have sometime for acknowledging (write it down on a piece of paper) certain feeling
  2. You will get the grip over that feeling after a few tries
  3. Take the help of a book or a friend to systematically approach
  4. Find the possible causes, circle around the seemingly relevant ones.
  5. Wait until you get mastery with time

Happy is not a default emotion

After examining the contents of our minds and the things hidden beneath the surface that we have carefully chosen not to surface - it will be apparent why we shouldn't aim to be happy. Trying hard to be happy when we are not feeling so is even more agonizing.

We should be given opportunities to feel the original emotion instead of "Don't worry, be happy". Here, what we have to do is its opposite - "Worry, try to be a bit sad and let the emotions take their natural expression". Initially uncomfortable is this activity but over time, we will develop a clarity in thought and an authentic self and a non-cynical attitude. Naturally we would develop a brilliance and cheerful attitude which will be long term, lasting the test of time in various situations of work, family, friendship and general life.

Few situations

  1. When a child feels sad, we should refrain from saying "What is there for you worry about", instead literally dropdown to their level and empathize with what they are feeling -- "Yes, it is true".
  2. If our friend got rejected, we should refrain from saying "She is not suitable for you anyway", instead console with "that sound difficult".

Maybe it takes a few years, to wipe of the scowl face we have developed over our encounters that far in life. Note that we have some raw memories and circumstances which are not processed may be for a longer period of time (days to months to years). We can take the help of books, people who have gone through similar situations and learn to process the silos of information inside our heads by labelling what a situation actually mean, and if possible give each emotion a well crafted name such as melancholy, sadness, jovial, saudade, forelsket.

Of course, sadness doesn't look good on our face, neither does a suppressed one with a jovial expression. People do understand, at least we can hope. But, being fake we cannot guarantee whether they would stay along without a considerable friction. We tend to feel that being happy attracts people, that's fine. But, we will somehow drive them away if we keep unfinished business inside which naturally blurs our choices.

If we are feeling sad, let us do the courageous thing "Be sad". And remember that it will be only a matter of time, generally few days, before we feel fine once again.

As they say life is colorful.

Further reading

  1. https://hbr.org/2020/11/its-okay-to-not-be-okay

New Morning Routine

Do not use morning alarm

If you feel generally sad about the morning alarm sound. Then consider not using alarm. If you sleep early enough, you can wake up on time. Try experimenting with this on holidays. And push it in the working days incrementally.

Early morning alarm will spoil your mood. Reserve alarm for the special occasions but for the daily use trust your biological clock. I decided not to use alarm from the last 8 years. I feel fine now.

I am naturally forgetful but that didn't deter me from attending early morning exams, classes or work. I just wake up after 8 hours of sleep.

If I feel that I would like to sleep a bit further I do not feel guilty about it. If the day allow I will make room for 1 to 2 hours of extended sleep.

Happy sleep.

Do not make bed first thing in morning

People generally assume we need to make bed immediately after we wake up. But, we should wait while before we do that. Here are the reasons:

  1. Bedsheet and blankets get wet with body sweat. They need to left on the bed for a while to dry. Then you can fold all you want
  2. Immediately after waking up body will be changed from sleeping to waking mode. So, allow the body to actually wake up before doing a an activity i.e., making bed sheets.

Listen to the body. Do not be too much carried away with the notion that discipline and bed making are related.

Love and its Components

Resilience and Relationships

Calmness and strength when faced with difficulty is an important characteristic. We face difficulties around workplace, at home, relationships, or bureaucracy.

Resilience is an approach to the difficulty in an objective, focused, and open manner. This skill can be learned with practice and transferable to other aspects of life.

How to solve challenges

  1. See everyday problems as opportunities to build resilience. Develop skills in

    • handling tax increase and hidden costs of a purchase
    • Customer care agent calling regularly to sell a credit card
    • Nagging child
    • Poor service at the restaurant
    • Clumsy acquaintance
    • Standing in queue
  2. Try to manage these setback by reacting with humor, optimism, strength and rationality.

  3. Think through the problem in a good frame of mind over a period of time. Wait!

  4. Describe the problem more vividly, this would help keep the actual problem from emotional flux. So, you could find a simple, actionable solution.

  5. Write things down. See the problem the you have solved, keep context. After a year or two you might forget the context, but this solutions might be a starting point for even more complex problem.

Relationships

Test of time, misunderstandings, separation shall test the strength of relationship.

  • Listen to the partner not just when an issue arises. Regularly talk, play, tease, share and keep the link intact. It is better to ask and listen than to assume.
  • Learn the boundaries and do not get disappointed. People chose to be with us. If you feel disappointed share with them.
  • Take responsibility for your own emotions.

References

  1. https://psychcentral.com/lib/building-resilience/