We know that IQ is a measure of intelligence fully rooted in the mind and has, for many years, been used as a predictor of future success. EQ, which speaks to emotional intelligence, is one’s ability to understand the motivations and feelings of others and to be guided by this knowledge in our interactions with them. It is also widely believed that while IQ is set, EQ can be developed. Understanding LQ as it relates to IQ and EQ is simple. LQ refers to the intelligence of the heart. It is one’s ability to be kind and compassionate to self and others. LQ begins where EQ ends. It is the next evolutionary step in the intelligence paradigm and in some ways LQ may be more important to our development than either EQ or IQ. If someone has a low IQ, or a low EQ, they can still learn to love themselves and in turn to be more kind and loving to others. We all know of that one person in our lives, who is not book smart, or street smart but has a heart of gold. Which person would you rather be around? Someone who is has a high IQ but is not very kind, someone who has a high EQ, but uses that knowledge to manipulate others in a self-serving way, or someone who displays emotional maturity in a kind and loving way? That is the power of LQ. It is the magnetism of the human experience and as we will explore so much more.
The Misuse of Emotional Intelligence and What It Looks Like When We Operate Without LoveEI and its application has had a great impact on our society, in schools, in our personal lives and in business. However without love and kindness (LQ) there can be a tendency to use a high EQ in a self-serving or selfish way. At times for some who have a highly developed EQ and are adept at reading the emotions of others, they could use that knowledge in unhealthy ways to manipulate others. Developing LQ and really loving oneself deeply, with the intention to be kind and loving to others will lessen the impulse to operate in a way that serves oneself exclusively. High EQ without a high LQ inhibits our ability to create mutually beneficial solutions. When we have a high LQ, we will work to find a solution that not only fully benefits ourselves but also benefits all parties involved in the interaction. Stephen Covey, in his best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, refers to this type of transaction as a win/win situation. When we combine EQ with LQ, we approach situations from a loving place, our endeavors become more meaningful and we are more easily able to create universally beneficial solutions that not only serve our best interests but the interests of those around us. EQ has been used very effectively to manage conflict, but without high levels of LQ it can be difficult to fully feel the negative emotions that arise as a result of conflict. Without love we may find ourselves being defensive or we may operate from a place of fear. When we operate from a place of fear or defensiveness in managing conflict, it typically causes the other person to respond in turn, also operating from a place of fear, thus creating a less than optimal interaction. When we operate from a place or fear or scarcity there is often a lack of internal love and safety in the body. When we feel safe in our bodies, we are able to deal with negative emotions as they arise and to move through them using positive self-love techniques. Without love, vulnerability, which is the magnetism of human connection, will be avoided, feeding into the tendency to mask or hide how we really feel. Even though we may have an awareness of what those emotions are and how to communicate about them, we don’t feel safe enough to be vulnerable, thus we mask, avoid, hide or escape being with or communicating to others how we really feel. While EQ is a function of the mind and body, being both physical and intellectual, LQ is a function of the heart. LQ is the energy or fuel that empowers and enlivens our EQ through our intuition. When LQ is present, a different set of neuro-chemical reactions come into play.
Taking a Broader View of LoveUnderstanding LQ requires that we open our minds to the possibility that our ability to give and receive love may be an indicator of the quality of our lives and the many complex relationships in it. Really, LQ is about opening one’s heart. It goes beyond the mind and that is why for many it is intellectually elusive or inaccessible. Social psychologist Barbara Fredrickson frames the idea of love most aptly in her 2013 book Love 2.0. Fredrickson asserts that many of us are clueless about love. We think about love as finding that one special person and we reserve love for a small group of family and friends. She encourages her readers to look instead at the science of love to expand our understanding of it. Fredrickson promotes the idea that love is neither in the head nor in in the loins. It is in the heart. Quoting Fredrickson’s TED talk from Jan 2014, she says: “When you really connect with another person a beautifully choreographed biological dance is unfolding. As your smiles, gestures and postures come to mirror one another they come into sync but when you’re really connecting with somebody else your heart rhythms come into sync, your bio-chemistries come into sync, even your neural firings come into sync. It is as if in that single moment a single positive emotion is rolling across two brains and bodies at once creating a momentary resonance of good feeling and goodwill between you. As you have more of these micro moments of goodwill in your daily life, it changes you for the better not just socially and psychologically but also physically.” While it is interesting, it is not surprising to learn that there is a biological basis for the feel-good factor of loving interactions. Frederickson goes on to discuss how these micro moments of goodwill can contribute to better health and happiness. She encourages us to “exit our cocoon of self-absorption” and “look for opportunities to love”. So how do we “exit our cocoon of self-absorption”? When we are operating from a lack of love, we can find ourselves stuck in a cocoon of self-absorption. We become selfish and are focused only on feeding our ego or identities i.e. “who we think we are”. This is because we are not truly loving our inner self or inner child. We seek to feed a part of ourselves that has been built to protect the inner child who is craving and calling out for love, but we end up missing the mark. When we shift our focus to loving our inner child, we free ourselves of selfish tendencies and feel safe to exit the cocoon of self-absorption. That is a critical component of building one’s LQ. Being kind and loving to others can be quite effortless. Once we begin to love our inner child looking for opportunities to love others becomes much easier and more sustainable. Has it ever felt like a drain to you to be kind and loving toward others? That’s most likely because you haven’t loved yourself sufficiently or have not developed a loving relationship with your inner child. Our ability to love can come from a natural place. When we have so deeply loved ourselves, loving others becomes a natural expression of the love that we have expressed toward ourselves. In loving others it also fuels our love for ourselves and a loving momentum is created. It starts with loving ourselves, and then loving others, which in turn fills us up, it becomes cyclical. Furthermore, we could just love ourselves and still be loving when we interact with others but I think that when we set the intention to deeply love ourselves and to deeply love others, then that intention puts the love that we’ve been giving ourselves into action for others.
How Does LQ Empower EQ? My ObservationsLet’s begin with a quick recap of EQ. Emotional Intelligence or EQ is said to describe how well we handle ourselves and our relationships. Paraphrasing Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence – Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, the crucial skills that people with a high EQ exhibit may be described as follows:
- Self-awareness is knowing how you are feeling, why you feel the way you do making good decisions through self-awareness.
- Self-management pertains to handling your distressing emotions effectively. It means becoming attuned to your emotions so that you can manage yourself better.
- Motivation involves marshaling positive emotions and aligning your actions with your passions.
- Empathy is knowing what someone else is feeling or being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
- Social skill involves putting all that together in skilled relationships.