I love Mr. Mobster on AskMen. “Look, college boy,” he writes, “there are certain lessons that all the books in the world couldn’t teach you.”
It strikes a chord with me. I came out of college as a college girl. It was a university in rural Minnesota, very academic, very intellectual. How academic? How intellectual? More students passed this school’s MedCATS than any other in the nation, or did so at the last count. It produces doctors and lawyers, but not necessarily rich; more typically labor lawyers and doctors from inner-city clinics, or professors of medicine and law.
I think it attracts more NF: idealists (only between 8% and 10% of the population). Whatever job the idealist has, it is a means to an end: saving the world. This is the college boy Mr. M. talks about, and the college girl who has to learn to put on her big girl panties, because you can never save the world, but you can lose your job.
When I left that ivory tower and got my first job, they saw me coming. Determined to be honest, brave and true (and believing that others were), I got all the extra work, my “job description” expanded to match the infinite limits of my naivety; I got the worst team; I interviewed students in a closet; And of course I was ostracized just in case. Eating alone, I read a copy of “How to survive in the real world.” JK
What I did was get smart on the street. You know someone in the office is doing better than they should be considering their education, and you can’t figure out why. Then you realize: he has street intelligence … he always lands on his feet, he knows the score, he reads between the lines, he comes out when things are good, he can smell a rat, he knows something good when he sees it?
It is emotional intelligence; what Mr. Mafioso talks about in “Street Lessons”.
It begins with the litany that all idealistic intellectuals cannot accept: “The world is not fair. It is not pleasant. Nobody cares if you stiffen, if your feelings get hurt, or if you are hungry.” We are all in the same boat, he warns us, and it is a difficult journey. “Everyone is trying to get a piece of the action, trying to survive. And the street is just as cruel to everyone.”
I had to experience this many times before I was willing to let go of how I thought the world should be, or wished it to be. Eventually I stopped telling my co-workers that I really didn’t know what I was doing, etc. after receiving enough shots from a weapon that he had loaded and handed over to someone.
Mr. Mobster then tells us the thing we least want to hear, that he’s out of control: One day you may be on top, wondering what the problem is, and then get bagged. “For various things: family, work, health, divorce, contaminated spinach …”
1. Keep your guard up. Does this fit with EQ’s “radius of confidence”? One component of emotional intelligence is “confidence until proven otherwise.” It is not seeing “the opposite” that gets us in trouble.
2. Stay away from arguments. Wait, he says, until they’ve worn each other down and you can see who the winner will be. As I put it in my How to Handle Difficult People course, only “fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” That quote was from a book I read in college. Once I aligned it with reality, it was fine. Before that, I usually rushed in because I thought I couldn’t BE a fool; He had a college degree.
3. Meet only when necessary. Mr. Mafioso believes that only girls enjoy getting together just to talk; that real men meet just to make a decision. Everyone knows … except your boss, right? The one with the Harvard MBA.
4. Get to know the people. But, he adds, that doesn’t mean they need to meet you. Having friends means connections, opportunities, and information, all good things; but do not reveal anything superfluous.
5. Don’t be too proud to retire. The next sentence is one that hangs over idealists and is often hard to dispel. Sometimes the only goal of my training is to get them to stop fighting in principle. If you can’t win, he says, give up, back off, go to witness protection (ha ha); having a strategy is better than courage. I think it means “bravado.” And “discretion is the best part of the value.” Sometimes a college education IS an advantage.
Mr. Mobster ends by saying he’s back on the bricks for him, “learning everything the hard way and hoping my son doesn’t have to do the same. There is no cure for this thing called life, so it’s better to learn certain things. things from the beginning. ” . Nothing can really prepare you for it, but if you keep your head in a spin, you will suffer fewer ‘unfair’ surprises. “
KEY POINTS here about the child. When teaching your child emotional intelligence:
1. You are teaching him whether you want to or not, so become aware and teach him GOOD Emotional.
Intelligence, not BAD Emotional Intelligence.
2. You have never finished learning Emotional Intelligence. Get coaching.
3. Let them learn their lessons, don’t rescue them unless the house is on fire.
4. Better yet, set up the lessons so they can learn them while they’re still under your
5. Connect the dots for them about what you are teaching.
Don’t forget to do this; it’s the part that most parents skip. Like most of us ask our children, “How would you feel if Bobby did that to you?” and “How do you think Bobby feels now that you spit on him?” But we do not tell them that we are teaching empathy, understanding that you have feelings and everyone else does. Labeling helps demystify the things that baffle us the most in life: emotional things.
Tell them you are going to teach them stewardship, give them 3 months of allowance at a time, tell them it has to last, and then you will be there when they spend it all at once and have nothing left. Connect the dots for them, giving it language. It is easier to learn this when you have a network.
Now, going back to my NF client that I am training in Emotional Intelligence.
“I can’t do that,” he says, “it’s against my principles.” She is preparing for self-sabotage … again.
“Look, college girl,” I tell her. “Put on your big girl panties,” also known as stress tolerance, creativity, flexibility, resilience, interpersonal skills, and the other components of emotional intelligence.
It keeps your head spinning.