* It was 19 minutes into the extra time of the final match of the 2006 World Cup when Zinedine Zidane, one of the best football players of all time, left the whole world in awe. In one sudden move, the French head butted Marco Materazzi of Italy for allegedly hurling spiteful words at him.
* In 2009, outraged, a man attacked Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, knocking out his two front teeth, breaking his nose and lacerating his lips
* Same year, Joe Wilson, an American congressman shouted “you lie” interrupting Barrack Obama’s speech. This was in response to the President’s statement on illegal immigrants.
* In 2010 a fight broke out in the Nigerian Parliament, with a number of lawmakers sustaining injuries including a broken arm.
* Mass shootings have become more common in recent years. These shootings, in more public places and often of strangers.
Each day’s news comes to us rife with such reports of the disintegration of civility and safety, an onslaught of mean-spirited impulse running amok. But the news simply reflects back to us on a larger scale a creeping sense of emotions out of control in our live and in those of people around us. No one is insulated from this erratic tide of outburst and regret; it reaches into all of our lives in one way or another.
The last decade has seen a steady drumroll of reports like these, portraying an uptick in emotional ineptitude, desperation, and recklessness in our families, our communities, and our collective lives. These years have chronicled surging rage and despair, whether in the quiet loneliness of latchkey kids left with a TV for babysitter, or in the pain of children abandoned, neglected, or abused, or in the ugly intimacy of marital violence. A spreading emotional malaise can be read in numbers showing a jump in depression around the world, and in the reminders of a surging tide of aggression with guns in schools, freeway mishaps ending in stabbings and shootings, disgruntled ex-girlfriends stabbing boyfriends, emotional abuse, drive-by shootings and post-traumatic stress all entered the common lexicon over the last decade.
The society is sustained by human interaction. Relationships are built as a result of these interactions. However, the success of these interactions (relationships) largely depends on the exercise of Emotional Intelligence (EI). Everyone I believe is gifted with a certain level of EI, but due to unfortunate experiences, struggles and sometimes health conditions, EI is lost and may require conscious effort and practice to revive.
Simply put, Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to recognize, manage and communicate your emotions, and respond appropriately to the emotions of other people. According to Steve Bressert, Ph.D., emotional intelligence is defined by five core traits:
> Self-awareness – How conscious you are of your emotions in the moment;
> Self-Regulation – How well you are able to manage your emotions under pressure;
> Motivation – Your drive to transform negative thoughts or situations into positive ones;
> Empathy – The capacity to recognize others’ emotions and respond to them sympathetically; and
> Social skills – The ability to interact well with others (good communication, team work etc)
Emotional Intelligence is a hopeful remedy to understanding the realm of the irrational and solving the growing calamity of incivility.