Online Debate: Emotional Intelligence
Written by Marija Vasilevska
How can we become better persons for ourselves and for our society? Why and how can we work on our own feelings? How can we manage our feelings? How is emotional intelligence related to sexual intelligence? These are just a few of the questions and issues that were addressed during the online debate entitled “Emotional Intelligence“ organized by the Macedonian American Alumni Association in collaboration with MENSA on May 28th this year, as part of a project financed by the US Embassy.
The main speakers, Ms. Ivana Marinček and Ms. Tatjana Aleksić tried to raise the awareness of about a hundred online attendees of the importance of emotional and sexual intelligence. The debate was moderated by Ms. Tanja Tomic and it was divided into three parts. In the first part, Ms. Marinček talked about the importance and meaningfulness of emotional intelligence, in the second part, Ms. Aleksić focused more on sexual intelligence and the third part was dedicated to an open discussion with the participants, who were invited to ask questions.
The first speaker, Ms. Ivana Marinček, is a licensed psychologist and a Gestalt psychotherapist, a member of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT) and European Association for Psychotherapy, and a licensed career counselor (GCDF). She is part of the Gestalt Institute Skopje and a national supervisor of MENSA Macedonia. She mainly talked about some general facts and characteristics of emotional intelligence.
She stated that emotional intelligence refers to the capacity of the person to identify their own emotions, to learn how to manage them and when to show and share them with other people. In addition, she added, it refers to the capacity of the person to identify other people’s feelings and to act in accordance to them and the given situation. This type of intelligence is more important than general intelligence, said Ms. Marinček during her presentation.
Ms. Marinček pointed out that emotional intelligence has three main characteristics: self-awareness, self-management and social awareness. This type of intelligence helps us develop better contact with ourselves, be proactive and become creators of our own lives and the world. She also highlighted that there are different methods of canalization of our own feelings such as through practicing sports, dancing, arts, and playing different types of games.
In addition, she advised the participants to start writing their own diary in which they would express their personal everyday feelings, the events or actions which caused those feelings, the way they connect, and their overall effect on their personality. She also pointed out the necessity of developing a protective system through which a person may check every day if they are doing alright, if their needs are satisfied, if they are aware of the other people’s feelings and reactions towards them, and if there is anything they haven’t said or done in that particular day. Finally, the speaker concluded that each person should always work on themselves and their own feelings, because their wellbeing is the most crucial aspect of their personal development. We are the leader of our life and we should continuously invest in ourselves, said Marinček. She concluded that the persons who have high emotional intelligence are the ones who are able to identify their needs and address them in the most suitable manner.
Since emotional and sexual intelligence are closely connected, the second speaker, Ms. Tatjana Aleksić, focused her speech on sexual intelligence, which, as she stated, is a conglomerate of emotional, general and spiritual intelligence. Ms. Aleksić first presented and defined the concept and then talked about how people can achieve sexual intelligence. Tatjana Aleksić is a highly respected professor at the “Rade Jovchevski Korcagin” High school in Skopje. She created the TV show “Sexual alphabet” that aimed to educate the youth on this very important topic, which is still considered a taboo.
According to Ms. Aleksić, the sexually intelligent person has very advanced interpersonal skills. A sexually intelligent person is aware of their own needs, but also their partner`s needs, said Aleksić. The persons who are sexually intelligent are open-minded, always trying to get better, they are not judgmental or interested in other people’s lives. She explained that the three basic components of sexual intelligence are sexual knowledge or cognition (knowledge, theory), awareness for the person’s own sexual personality (something that everyone has and should explore alone) and the capability to connect with a partner. She pointed out that intelligence is what is really sexy and that sexual enjoyment is related to brain development. She highlighted the importance of possessing and working on the development of a higher level of sexual intelligence before deciding to have a sexual relationship. In the last part, the participants shared their positive impressions of the speakers’ speeches, their personal experiences and opinions and asked questions. Finally, it was concluded that we should all continuously work on ourselves in order to develop and strengthen both our emotional and sexual intelligence and become better persons. Only in that way we can contribute to the development of a better society.