What’s your SQ?
IQ, EQ now SQ. The author of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Daniel Goleman, has a new measure of intelligence SQ or Social Intelligence Quotient. It deals with understanding other peoples feelings, empathy, and social skills.
Scientists have discovered that our interactions don’t just shape our experiences. They actually alter our biology. Fulfilling relationships promote good health, while bad ones “can act like slow poison in our bodies.” Neuroscientists have discovered something even scarier, for anyone trapped in a miserable relationship: long-standing relationships can actually change our brains. It’s called “neuroplasticity” and, Goleman writes, it means that “repeated experiences sculpt the shape, size, and number of neurons and their synaptic connections.” Or, to put it another way: your rotten husband isn’t just wrecking your life — he’s actually wrecking your brain, too.
Key, apparently, is a recently discovered class of brain cells called mirror neurons, that Goleman likens to a form of Wi-Fi in our brains. Mirror neurons “tune into the brain of the person you’re with, and create in you the internal state of that person.” They are not only the basis of empathy and social skills, but explain why emotions are contagious, why we can “catch” someone else’s bad mood even if we don’t share his reasons for being angry. “Our emotions are experienced not merely by ourselves in isolation but also by those around us,” Goleman writes, and wheels out both soft and hard science to prove it.
Neuroplasticity is the hope for mankind, our brains can change at any age, and old dog can learn new tricks.
Human beings are very porus. I believe we often do pick up the emotions of others quite easily and usually unconsciously.
Think of how you feel after being in a meeting room full of uptight, cranky self centered people.
Contrast that to how you feel after hanging around a group of happy positive people. Did you mood change during the meetings and if so how long did it last after it?
Did you notice it and adapt and make changes if needed or did you just go on autopilot?
Most people aren’t even conscious of this happening. Some ADDers are very extroverted and hypersocial, making their living communicating to others ie in sales, marketing, education and have a high level of EQ and SQ.
I believe that having ADD can potentially be an advantage in this area because we don’t filter information as well as non ADDers we are often noticing more info than other people. ADDers often hear, see, and feel more things and more strongly than other people, including other people’s emotions.
Some ADDers however may be more introverted and have lower levels of EQ and SQ and this can negatively effect there work and personal lives, since success is far more related to things like EQ and SQ than to IQ.
If you get distracted easily, are impulsive in words and action and have a constantly racing brain, it can cause problem in social areas of your life.
With some of my clients, the main focus of the ADD coaching is on social and communication skills with their spouses/and or people at work.
Unfortunately for some ADDers they need to go through a divorce or three to get out of denial or minimization and realize they have a problem in this area.
There’s a great book out that I recommend to some of my clients What Does Everybody Else Know That I Don’t? Social Skills Help for Adults With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. . I think the title should be communication skills and it’s not just for people with ADD it’s useful for a lot of people. Even people who think they have good communication social skills would probably find it useful. One thing I like is their self rating checklist of different categories of social skills, ideally do it yourself and have someone who knows you well and you trust do it as well.
Mirror neurons are part of the “social brain,” which operates unconsciously and very rapidly during any encounter. The good news is that humans are hard-wired for empathy and kindness; the bad news is that modern life tends to muffle our innate tendency to respond to others’ distress. In fact, technology, particularly computers, promotes our ability to distress others, because, Goleman said, “There is no channel online for the social brain to read what it would in a face-to-face interaction. We don’t unconsciously pick up the cues that tell us how someone is reacting to us, and thereby adjust what we say and do next. The social brain is blind online, and the result is flaming, where people who are upset or agitated or grumpy type out a message and hit send and the person who receives it takes it as rude or brusque or somehow inappropriate.
The person who wrote the last sentence must have spent some time on usenet:)
What methods have you used to develop or enhance your social skills?