Emotionally out of control? Redefining Emotional Intelligence from a Neuroscience perspective

Both the men and women I work with tell me they have confidence issues and that when they actually meet someone who is attractive to them that they find themselves emotionally out of control and they literally can't go and talk to them and for some it's almost like they are having a panic attack.

What's happening is in your cortex (your human thinking mind) you can tell yourself it's no big deal that you've just got to walk over there and say something and logically it makes sense, logically you know you can walk and you can talk but emotionally it doesn't feel like you can. This is the sub-cortical part of your brain, the mammalian brain that's out of control.

Many people feel like they need to control themselves. They know after a few too many drinks they are out of control. But at the same time when you are a little bit drunk or even a lot drunk isn't that the real you and you just don't want to admit it?

That's really you. You are this slightly less hairy ape who if given the choice would be sitting at home in your underwear watching TV and eating chocolate and pizza.

Why we like alcohol is it frees us of our social inhibitions where we can't go and talk to that attractive person that in reality we're lusting after, we're highly arroused by and are creating all these highly explicit pornographic stories in our minds about what we'd like to do to them.

The reality that we don't consider is that they are also a slightly less hairy ape who would actually quite like to do all of those highly explicit pornographic things with us if we feel right to them.

But they would never say so unless they've had a few too many drinks because it's not socially appropriate to do so. And the reality is we're wired to be tribal people and we still have the unconscious fear that if we don't play by the tribes rules we get kicked out and that meant death because we couldn't survive alone.

So we're stuck - one slightly less hairy ape lusting after another slightly less hairy ape and both wanting to go and play.

Or are we stuck?

What alcohol does is it loosens the grip of the human mind letting our mammalian self come out to play.

But is it only alcohol that makes this happen? What if we could do it intentionally?

What I'll alluding to here is the process I call emotional intelligence or at least how I define emotional intelligence.

This is about building a relationship between your human and mammalian minds where the human cognitive mind trusts the sub-cortical mammalian mind because it knows that the mammal you can get results it can't get. And that the more it looks after the mammalian mind the better time it will have, the more secure it will feel and the happier it will be.

So it's about getting to this win win position from what's currently a lose lose position.

So how do you unchain this beast you've locked in the cellar to hide away from polite society? How do you reform the monster that only gets let out of it's cage when the guard is too drunk to notice?

The answer is you understand what emotional intelligence is really about and you change your view from an academic understanding or being able to cognitively appreciate the insight you get into your and other people's emotions to an embodied felt sense understanding where you can practically use your emotional self by relating directly to other people's emotional selves.

The answer is very simple which is you build a relationship with you. Or as I've said your human cortical conscious mind builds a relationship of trust with your subcortical mammalian unconscious mind.

This isn't a magical quick fix, it's about building a relationship. Yet I have had clients who get this in one session. They realise that they can trust themselves to allow themselves to go out to play more. For many people it's not so much something they have to do but more a not doing. Where they realise they don't have to inhibit themselves in the way that they've been used to doing. And because of that they are more free to be themselves fully present in a potent and powerful way which is of course very attractive.