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Where Are High EI Guys?

by Sharon Lynn Bear

January 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

Dating is not brain surgery, but for some men it is more difficult. I think I've discovered why. The current thinking on intelligence is that people have several types of intelligence, which may not be equally developed.

Psychologist Daniel Goleman coined the phrase "emotional intelligence" or EI. He defined EI as "knowing one's emotions, managing emotions, motivating oneself, recognizing emotions in others and handling relationships." Goleman and others have found that EI has little correlation with IQ. They are on to something.

Arnie, a Jewish doctor, and not an "ordinary" one -- rather a professor of neurosurgery, tumor specialist and brain surgeon (I am not making this up) -- contacted me through Advanced Degrees Singles. Oh, he also is a pilot and owns a plane. My grandmother would be kvelling. But after speaking with him, I do not share her enthusiasm.

Among all the men I have spoken to on the telephone or dated, Arnie has the lowest EI. Like all Internet daters, we exchanged the perfunctory pleasantries by e-mail and then exchanged telephone numbers. After a round of telephone tag, he found me at home. Immediately following the "How are you's?" he suggested that we meet for dinner.

Gosh, doesn't he believe in foretalk?

I explained nicely that I would feel more comfortable if we spent a little time getting to know each other. He then told me that he is not a "telephone person" and that, having recently arrived from London, where he held a number of prestigious positions, he had only a cell phone and it would cost him 65 cents a minute to talk to me. Last I checked, neurosurgeons were fairly well paid.

There's more: Besides my wanting some foretalk, I also was up against a project deadline, which I explained to Dr. Doctor.

In response, he said, "I am sure that you can spare a half hour to meet me at the marketplace for coffee."

I thought, well maybe I can; the marketplace is only a mile from me. But then it occurred to me that he was talking about the marketplace close to him, which is nearly a half-hour from me.

Math was one of my best subjects, so I figured this out: 30 minutes to drive there + 30 minutes for coffee + 30 minutes to drive home. That equals an hour and a half. Of course, he couldn't know this. He didn't bother to even ask where I live.

So, I said to him nicely (I'm not sure why I was so nice), "I would rather meet you when I can give you my full attention and not have my mind on my work or my eye on the clock."

There's even more, but I think we have enough here to score Arnie's EI. Here's how it works. EI is scored similarly to IQ, with 100 as the norm. Every 15 points represents a standard deviation above or below the mean. Two standard deviations above the mean (130) is "emotionally gifted" or "socially sensitive" and two standard deviations below the mean (70) is "severely socially challenged." For EI, everyone starts with 100. You can earn 7.5 points for each socially sensitive statement and lose 7.5 points for each faux pas or socially insensitive statement.

Let's do the math: 100 -- (4 x 7.5) = 70 or "severely socially challenged."

The next day, I opened my e-mail to find Dr. Doctor's CV. He wrote, "Hi, here is a little overkill on meeting me. Maybe it will save some time."

Well, I'm no physicist, but I do know that Einstein believed that time is relative. Relatively speaking, I've wasted enough time but, in the process, I have done research on Goleman's concept of EI. My findings indicate that, among some highly intelligent men, IQ and EI have an inverse correlation: as IQ goes up, EI goes down. It's another form of "Women Are From Venus" and "(Some) Men Are From the Dark Side of the Moon."



Sharon Lynn Bear is a researcher, writer and editor living in Irvine. She can be contacted at BearWrite@AOL.com.

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