By Jane LeClair
Women have long been noted for their ability to perceive things beyond what is said in a verbal conversation. Writing for Psychology Today, Riggio (2014) writes that “Research on nonverbal communication skill has clearly shown that women are, as a group, better at reading facial expressions of emotions than are men. As a result, women are more likely to pick up on the subtle emotional messages being sent by others”.
The ability to understand emotions and to harness that power has been termed Emotional Intelligence (EI). There are several models of EI, the first of which is the ‘ability model’. In this model there is a belief that some people have the innate ability to note even the smallest of emotion changes. As advanced by Salovey and Mayer, part of EI is “…the ability to detect and decipher emotions in faces, pictures, voices, and cultural artifacts—including the ability to identify one’s own emotions. Perceiving emotions represents a basic aspect of emotional intelligence, as it makes all other processing of emotional information possible”.
‘Some’ people are more gifted or in tune with EI and when harnessed properly can greatly benefit from a clearer understanding of what is being said (or not said) in a conversation. One of the greatest problems in communication is a clear understanding of what is being said, how it is received, and how people feel about an issue. Harnessing emotional intelligence is a good method to channeling emotions towards a path that will benefit all.
Riggio, R. (2014). Women’s Intuition: Myth or Reality?