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If You’re Working On Your Kid’s Emotional Intelligence, Be Aware Of The One Big Downside

Psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer first coined the phrase “emotional intelligence” in 1990, and it was later popularized in New York Times writer Daniel Goleman’s book, aptly titled Emotional Intelligence. In the long term, EI (not to be confused with AI or ET) will can help your kid in terms of better future work performance, health and overall life satisfaction. In the short term, it can help you with less of them freaking the hell out. But like most trends that came out of the 90s, new research shows that it doesn’t always look great on everyone.

Research suggests emotional recognition (a key part of EI) is associated with narcissistic exploitativeness, which is a complicated way of saying you can be a good listener, but also a bad person. A similar study looking at 594 individuals found that social and emotional intelligence was linked to emotional manipulation, narcissism, and psychopathy. However, there was a negative relationship between EI and Machiavellianism, one of the other dark triad personalities — so even if your kid has the emotional intelligence of a psycho, they will still never be The Prince.

Although your emotionally intelligent kid may seem like a manipulative monster, more data shows they’re victims who are more likely to get duped by others as well. But what are the alternatives for dads who don’t want to raise emotionally inept weirdos? In his book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, And The Hidden Power Of Character Paul Tough recommends teaching them executive brain functions like persistence, self control, curiosity, motivation, determination and confidence instead. Not only will you have a less self-absorbed kid, you’ll get a great comeback for when your spouse says you’re not emotionally intelligent enough.

[H/T] Business Insider

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