You are currently viewing When Ignorance Is Bliss

When Ignorance Is Bliss

  • Post author:


Do you ever sense that someone is thinking differently from what they’re saying? They smile. They say nice things. But you feel like they are not being sincere. You perceive they are either unhappy with you or trying to pull something over on you. 


Conflicts between what others say and what you perceive occur when you subconsciously analyze another’s vocal inflections, eye shifts, head movements, micro-expressions (brief, involuntary facial expressions) and body positioning. Some of us do it well, others not so well. 


The ability to interpret subtle, unspoken signals is emotional intelligence (EQ). High EQ gives you an advantage in business and social situations. Whether you are negotiating a contract or on a first date, imagine the power of knowing what “the other” is thinking opposed to what they’re saying. 


In a study of over a million people a research firm, TalentSmart, discovered that 90% of highly successful people have high EQ. Interestingly, there was no correlation between EQ and IQ. It’s been postulated that high IQ is why “A” students often end up working for “C” students. 


Emotional intelligence impacts the size of our bank accounts. Those with highly developed EQs are typically higher earners,  averaging $29,000 more in annual earnings compared to those with underdeveloped EQs. People with higher EQ also have a higher net worth, travel more, and retire earlier. 


High EQ means the rational and emotional parts of your brain work better together. The emotional part (limbic system) receives input first. It then flows to the rational part (cortex). People with high EQs process data to the rational part of their brain faster. Those with low EQs react before the rational part of their brain has the data. 


You can train your brain to enhance your EQ, speeding up the flow of data from limbic to cortex. Listen closely to what others are saying while carefully watching their eyes, body positioning, and facial expressions. Ask yourself what they might be thinking different from what you’re hearing. Being conscious that one’s words might not reflect their true thoughts improves your EQ. 


Another way to raise your EQ is to surround yourself with emotionally intelligent people. Observe how they interact in business and social scenarios. Ask them to let you know when they think someone’s words don’t reflect their real feelings or true intentions. Studies show that high EQ people tend to socialize with other high EQ people and improve their EQ because of it.  


Knowing what others think has obvious advantages. But do you really want to know the unvarnished truth, how others truly see you? Could be scary. Even worse, depressing. Maybe that’s when ignorance is bliss. 

“The range of what we think and do 
is limited by what we fail to notice.”

– Daniel Goleman

Enjoyed this post? Sign up for my blog and never miss one.

sign up today