Our emotions evolved from the simple survival instincts of our evolutionary ancestors and use the same parts of the brain. But the trigger mechanisms and processing is very simple and operate under the principle: ‘better safe than sorry’. As a result, we are prone to jumping to conclusions and misinterpreting events, resulting in poor relationships, bad decisions, anxiety, reduced performance … Understanding your own personal triggers and patterns of behaviour allows you to consciously intervene and adopt more appropriate thinking, leading to improved relationships, better decisions, less stress and higher productivity. Emotional intelligence will also help you to understand and help others.
We finish this section by taking a broader view of intelligence and an alternative perspective on why you and those around you process information in different ways.