Emotional Intelligence: Curse or Gift?

No feeling understood can be the source of great pain. It is a symptom for many mental diseases, such a Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Social Anxiety and more. Not being understood leads to the loneliness that we humans dread so much. Feeling a bit lonely from time to time appears to be a normal part of life and nothing to stress out about. It is not like anyone who ever feels lonely has a serious mental issue. But when is feeling lonely an actual problem? When is the pain that it causes too big to be ignored? Being honest I think this has a lot to do with how the individual experiences the loneliness. But at the point, where it seems that the isolation starts to swallow everything it is definitely a problem.

Now, where does this all-threatening loneliness come from? Throughout history there have been brilliant minds such as Van Gogh who suffered from severe mental disorders and loneliness and yet were extraordinary personalities. And we see a pattern: many artists showed this issue. But why artists? Is there something, that makes artists different from other people? Something that makes them lonely? I think there is.

It is “emotional Intelligence” and I am honest I do not like the term. It is the ability to “see deeper”. Yeah, what the heck does “see deeper” mean. It means, that an artists sees connections that others don’t. And this is why that person can be an artist in the first place: As an artist, we do not define the world newly (though some do create worlds), but we find extraordinary connections between ordinary things in life. We shed a new light on the existing world.

But this “seeing connections that others don’t” is making artists lonely. Because we think differently. The way we perceive the world is different. We feel the world differently. And often times, we cannot explain why. We are not able to tell, why this beautiful sunset moved us to tears and the people around us do not understand. We keep asking fundamental questions. We challenge reality day after day. This is what cannot be understood. Why ask the same questions over and over. Why do we see connections between separate things in reality? And sometimes, we do not even know why we just happened to know what is going on in another person. We do not know how we could find the right words to comfort them. But we probably just saw those subtle hints in the world around us and without even realizing what we were doing, we followed our “Intuition” and did the right thing.

I am throwing around words like intuition and emotional intelligence and some might still not know what it is and say that these are not scientific concepts. Well no, they are not. But intuition and emotional intelligence in essence is the ability to make connections between things. And because it is something that not everyone has to the same extent it can make a person lonely.

But there is a bright side to it: in many sciences making connections between things is crucial for progress, which means that people with high emotional intelligence have a higher probability of understanding science faster. Note that it is only the the likelihood that is affected, because it is possible, that someone has high emotional intelligence and is great at human interaction, but has problems with math, because those two fields are so different.

However if we have high emotional intelligence, we have at least some area in our life, where we see connections that others don’t. This allows us to be better in that field than other. And this is a fact that we can draw energy from. We may not always be understood. But in turn we are allowed to have a deep understanding of the world, which I personally find overwhelmingly beautiful.

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