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London Riots and Our Need to Develop Emotional Intelligence

London Riots and Our Need to Develop Emotional Intelligence
    From The Atlanta Post

    When I was watching the London riots on the news, the song called ‘London Calling’ by the band The Clash started playing in my head.  That tune and its associated music video had the same type of anger that the London rioters were displaying.  What was happening in London was of course yet another global event that we can call a crisis and we get enough of those on TV on a regular basis.

    However, despite the occurrence of these horrible events, there are some important lessons from them for us to learn.  All we have to do is look at how some of the people from each of these events behaved.

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    The London Riots

    For example, the riots in London and other UK cities were sparked by a shooting of a crime suspect by police.  Rioters responded by turning over cars and setting them on fire.  They also smashed windows and looted store merchandise.  The offenders were obviously caught up in the emotions of the original police shooting plus the current local economic climate in general.  They decided to take their anger and frustrations out on the city.  Many were caught on camera and video with some even willingly showing how proud they were of their actions.  They were obviously not thinking about the consequences of these actions as the police soon started multiple raids arresting suspects at their homes.

    This is an example of very low emotional intelligence.  The rioters were not able to manage their actions brought on by their emotions.  As a result, many will be punished and tainted with criminal records.

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    The Japan Disaster In Contrast

    Now let’s look at another terrible world event which brought on a totally different reaction from the people affected.  The tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan devastated that country.  The damage to property and loss of life also created high emotions.  However, in contrast to what happened in London, the Japanese remained orderly and calm.  People, including those in the same age range as the London rioters, patiently waited in lines for food and supplies rations.  There were no riots, no windows smashed, no cars set on fire and no businesses were looted despite such immense losses.

    Here is an example of very high emotional intelligence.  The Japanese managed their actions well despite the emotions from such a gigantic tragedy.  Compare this to the London rioters who used a single police incident they don’t have any direct connection with, as an excuse to let loose and cause trouble.

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    What We Can Learn From Emotional Intelligence

    The Japanese survivors will recover and move on with their lives faster while the hooligans in London will either be in jail or in trouble with the law again in the future. Here we have two world events that showed two opposite ends from the emotional intelligence spectrum.  What can we learn from these?

    I would suggest that we will be more successful in many areas of life if we develop higher levels of emotional intelligence.  We will be able to interact better with others in both our careers and personal lives.  We will also be able to handle the various peaks and valleys that come our way with far more effectiveness, because we can respond to our emotions better.

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    Emotional Intelligence Can Be Developed

    It is estimated that only 15% of society is of high emotional intelligence (Nelson Mandela would be a clear example in this group).  That means the majority of us can still improve in this area.  For example, think of all the daily road rage out there.  Think of all the fights among youths that end up with somebody getting knifed or shot.  These are all results of low emotional intelligence.

    Unlike standard intelligence which is thought to be genetic, emotional intelligence is something that can be developed with training.   Many corporations have sent their executives to seminars on emotional intelligence. I was such an executive during my corporate years and made it a personal commitment to develop my own emotional intelligence ever since.

    What about you?  What are your thoughts on emotional intelligence?  Feel free to share your experiences with this area.

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    Last Updated on June 24, 2019

    Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

    Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

    A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

    Social Media Could Lead to Depression

    Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

    Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

    If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

    • low self-esteem,

    • negative self-talk,

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    • a low mood,

    • irritability,

    • a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

    • and social withdrawal.

    If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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    Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

    We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

    Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

    Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

    Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

    Why We Need to Take This Seriously

    Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

    Advice on Social Media Use

    Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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    One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

    Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

    Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

    If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

    Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

    Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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    Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

    Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

    The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

    Reference

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