Social intelligence: Ten Fun Facts

As Daniel Goleman, the author of a book called Social Intelligence, has said: we are wired to connect. But, what does it mean to be socially intelligent? It means taking a healthy position in interaction with others, taking an active part in relationships, and knowing how to deal with people. It means being wise. The science about emotional and social intelligence is developing, and it is quite interesting. We've prepared ten fun facts about social intelligence, so keep reading!

Emotions are contagious thanks to social intelligence 

When you meet up with a friend who is in a good mood, chances are that you’ll feel much better yourself afterward. You can catch emotions just as you can catch a cold! It happens completely unconsciously, and it can depend on various factors.

For example, the way someone’s voice sounds can tell us a lot about what that person is feeling, but the conscious part of our brain will rationalize that. However, the lower bridge in the brain is responsible for registering emotions and feeling the same. That is how empathy works.

Social intelligence
To smile or not to?

Your intuition is a real thing

Although how it works has not yet been fully explained, there is something that’s called the amygdala, a set of neurons located deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobe.

Amygdala registers everything: movements, gestures and tones, and it does so extremely fast, without us even realizing it. It scans through every person we meet and plays an important role in making judgments. Next time you say there’s something fishy about him or that you don’t really like her, but don’t really know why – it’s thanks to your amygdala, and your hunch is probably right.

Social intelligence

Seeing someone do a good deed will motivate others to do the same

You can feel a certain warmth when you see someone do a good deed. Psychologists call it a feeling of elevation. In most of cases, when people notice someone’s selflessness, they feel a need to do something good themselves. Even listening to inspiring stories of this type can help you to become a better person.

Good deeds
Good deeds

Socially awkward people: it’s honestly not their fault

Some people don’t have strong and healthy connections in their orbitofrontal cortex, which directs people to control themselves in public or adapt to their surroundings. This causes them act inappropriately with others, without understanding that they’ve done anything wrong.

They can tell awkward jokes, kiss or hug people they’ve just met, or be too loud. These people simply don’t have any brakes to stop them from making fools of themselves around others.

Social intelligence
Social intelligence

Being rejected is real pain

Studies have recorded the same brain activity when people experience rejection that occurs when they experience actual, physical pain. So, if you’ve suffered a bad break up, feel free to eat a whole container of ice cream, your pain is real. In addition to that, research done at Colombia University has shown that our brains after a break up will experience something very similar to a drug addict’s abstention crisis.

Psychopaths don’t feel anticipatory fear

Psychopaths have a real physiological flaw in their prefrontal area, as well as in their amygdala, which prohibits them from knowing right from wrong or perceiving other people as humans. Also, they are not aware of the consequences of their actions, and they tend to see people as objects. They are simply not capable of empathy.

Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence

There are differences between the male and the female brain

…but a woman can have a male brain, and vice versa. The female brain is typically better when it comes to understanding other people’s emotions and thoughts, plus they are better at dealing with social conflicts. The male brain, on the other hand, is better at systematic thinking and is typically better at space orientation. The best brain to have is a balanced one, with features of both types.

People get used to everything, both sadness and happiness

Studies have shown that it takes around one year for a person to get back to a normal mood after an uncommon event. For example, if you break up with someone and it really hurts, it will take a maximum of one year for you to accept that and return to your normal life. If you start living an exciting life somewhere abroad, again – it will take around a maximum of one year for your euphoria to wear off.

The corniest flirting move actually works

If you flip through any women’s magazine, you will see a flirting tip that seems so outdated: a woman who is flirting should smile mysteriously, then look straight into her potential partner’s eyes and then quickly look away. This move is actually scientifically proven. There is a special nerve in a man’s brain that reacts to this move. If he finds the woman attractive, his brain will release large amounts of dopamin, which will make him feel energized and excited by her.

Emotional partners aren’t always equal, and there is a scientific reason for that

People who spend a lot of time together will synchronize in a strange way or they may even start to show similar facial expressions. That is called mirroring, and it happens completely unconsciously. The dominant partner will lead the way in this. It can be problematic if there isn’t a strong bond between two partners or if this situation is being misused.

How emotional intelligence can help you to build your successful career you can read it here.

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