Emotional Literacy – Claude Steiner

Emotional literacy—intelligence with a heart—can be learned through the practice of specific transactional exercises that target the awareness of emotion in ourselves and others, the capacities to love others and ourselves while developing honesty and the ability to take  responsibility for our actions. This is what this book will teach you, no more and no less.

The point of this book goes beyond workplace maturity or schoolyard aggression. Emotional literacy is a source of personal power indispensable for success in today’s world. The following five essential, thoroughly time-tested assertions must be understood to appreciate this work’s scope:

1.      Emotional literacy is love-centered emotional intelligence.

2.      Loving (oneself and others) and being loved (by oneself and others) are the essential conditions of emotional literacy.

3.      The capacities of loving and accepting love, lost to most people, can be recovered and taught with five precise, simple, transactional exercises.

4.      In addition to improving loving skills, emotional literacy training involves three further skills of increasing difficulty; each one is supported by a further set of transactional exercises.

5.      These skills are:

a. Speaking about our emotions and what causes them,

b. Developing our empathic intuition capacity, and

c. Apologizing for the damage caused by our emotional mistakes.

Practice of these specific transactional exercises in personal relationships at home with friends and at work with others, will, over time, produce increased emotional literacy.

With  these exercises you can become a more loving person, a person who feels love toward people and is able to love passionately in a sustained way—a person who is able to be affectionate with friends and friendly with others. You will be better able to recognize, express, and control your emotions; you will realize when you are angry or joyful, ashamed or hopeful, and you will understand how to make your feelings known in a productive manner. You will become more empathic and will recognize the emotional states of others and respond to them compassionately. You will be able to take responsibility for the emotional damage caused by your mistakes and apologize for them effectively. Instead of undermining and defeating you, your emotions will empower you and enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

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