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How being selfish, prejudiced and narrow-minded improves emotional intelligence - Robin Hills

Updated: Sep 30, 2019

Self-awareness is a key component of emotional intelligence. This includes an awareness of how your attitude impacts upon your state of mind around your circumstances within a given situation.

To a certain extent everyone is selfish, has prejudices and is narrow minded, but your self-awareness around these can make you much more emotionally intelligent.

Being selfish

Being self-ish is completely different from being self-centred – caring only about your own needs, wants and priorities. Looking after and taking care of your physical health and psychological wellbeing by engaging in good eating habits, exercise, sleep, relaxation and enjoyable activities will mean that you will be well enough to help and take care of others. This puts you in a better position to benefit others. If you don’t look after yourself, you are not going to be capable of providing the best support to others.

Being prejudiced

Bias is a prejudice in favour of or against something, a person or a group compared with another that is considered to be unfair. Biases may be conscious (explicit) or unconscious (implicit).

Unconscious bias is, by its very definition, something that you are not consciously aware of and so is not easily open to you to examine or observe in yourself.

Your awareness and your acceptance of this means that you can be alert to unconscious bias and so constantly check for it. Having cognitive strategies such as engaging perspectives and opinions that are different than your own, checking your assumptions, and listening will help to reduce unconscious bias.

Being narrow-minded

You pay attention to certain things in order to create your moment-to-moment perception of reality. Your brain cannot possibly process every element of an experience, it has to prioritise what it believes to be important. Everything else is lost or blurred.

Recognising that your mind is susceptible to blindness narrowly focusing on only a small part of what is happening is a good start. Asking good quality questions enables you to remove any arrogance around what you experience and to continually enquire about what you are missing or have overlooked.

Accepting that you are selfish, prejudice and narrow-minded

Accepting that you are selfish, prejudiced and narrow-minded will help you to reduce any misconceptions that you may have about yourself and how emotionally intelligent you are. By continually checking and adapting to what you learn increases your self-awareness that drives your emotional intelligence.

Robin Hills is Director of Ei4Change, Silver Sponsor of EQ Connects

Join us at the conference for Robin's session 'Creativity: The Brain and Emotional Intelligence'

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