In my last article, we looked at Emotional Intelligence and its importance for managers and leaders and life itself. There is the dark side of emotional intelligence, which we will have all experienced at some time in our lives.
Here I will look at the dark side of emotional intelligence and what to look for, why it can be dangerous and how people will use it against you to achieve what they want to achieve.
Emotional Intelligence the Dark Side.
Daniel Goleman published a book in 1995 called “Emotional Intelligence” written around a theory by two psychologists, John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey, that posited that people not only have a wide range of intellectual abilities but also have a wide range of emotional skillsets that affect their thinking and actions.
What is the dark side of emotional intelligence? It’s a tool. In other words, emotional intelligence can be used for good or evil. This is the dark side of emotional intelligence. Ultimately it is using knowledge of someone’s emotions to achieve self-serving goals.
People using the dark side of emotional intelligence.
Have you ever been to a funeral and seen someone behaving insensitively there? These people have low Eq (Emotional Intelligence) and will likely act insensitively for the lack of anything appropriate to say or do.
A perfect example of this is children at funerals or weddings. They still need to possess the Eq skill sets and have yet to learn how to act in their current surroundings. Behaviour that you would not expect in adults.
The definition of a narcissist is someone with supreme confidence in themselves, and they feel that they deserve privilege and special treatment whilst being recognised as superior without actually achieving anything significant. They also do not understand or care about their behaviour’s effect on people.
Let us now add the dark side of emotional intelligence to this personality type, and you have an extremely dangerous person.
These people have the ability to read people and act accordingly to nurture allies. At each end of the scale, you have a high-powered politician and the other a manipulative sociopath.
Some of histories famous narcissists with emotional intelligence were:
Alexander the great.
He had no emotion for the carnage his officers or soldiers performed and believed utterly in his grand visions.
Killed 300,000 to 400,000 people.
Complete lack of empathy for anyone and is massively concerned with his looks.
Executed 57,000 people
He believed he was special and was considered a tyrant by all that knew him.
2.5 to 3.5 million combat deaths.
No empathy for anyone and demanded total acquiescence.
21 Million Killed
So yes, these people are locked into the annuls of history but what of modern times?
How about the salesman who sold you something you got home and did not want or need? Or the politician walking among the disaster victims, praying on emotions to achieve the required votes to keep him in a job.
We have all heard about this on social media or in the news. This term first came to light as the title of a 1938 play and later a movie. The plot is about a man who attempts to make his wife believe she is going out of her mind. When out of sight of his wife, he repeatedly dim the house gas lights, and this disturbs the wife. He then insists there is something wrong with her.
Now gas lighting is a form of abuse that makes you question your beliefs and perception of reality. Over time this wears you down to the point that you depend on the person doing it to you.
- They make promises they don’t keep.
- They divert attention or change the subject.
- They Lie
- They distort reality.
- They force you to make quick decisions.
Gas lighting is part of the dark side of emotional intelligence, and with the knowledge above, it is possible to identify it and use it to protect yourself.
Bad Leaders and Managers
I have written many articles on leaders and managers, both good and bad. But a leader or manager with a high understanding of Eq but decides to use the dark side of emotional intelligence can not only destroy your career but also affect your mental and physical health.
We all know the workplace assassins. These people are slow and methodical. They befriend you and praise you. They make you feel good about yourself, so you relax around them, and all the while, they gather the information they need to use against you. Once they have this information, it is used, and you are thrown under the bus.
They have a predilection for praise from managers, and some have been known to “sleep their way up” the chain.
Bad Managers and leaders will try to break your heart to get the desired results. They will tell you whatever they believe you want to hear to get the job done. They will use phrases like “We are both in trouble if…” or “We are both in it up to our necks”. The royal “We” is a word to listen for when listening to a manager or leader you know you should not trust.
Just remember that some smiles and promises are a mask for self-serving individuals.
Scammers are masters of Eq and the dark side of emotional intelligence. Now any conversation is made up of several parts. The main parts are:
- Part 1 The information or subject of the conversation
- Part 2 The body language
- Part 3 The tone of voice
Email can often be misinterpreted and land us in hot water due to confusion. This is because they need Parts 2 and 3, almost 95% of any conversation. So, most email scams are there to try and get you on the phone or in person.
Once on the phone, you add another part of the conversation with the information they need to get you thinking about, they will pray on your emotions, and once those heartstrings are pulled, they are onto a winner.
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