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How to Nurture & Not Be Emotionally Bankrupt: The Art of Listening

Learn how to nurture relationships and not be emotionally bankrupt with the art of listening. Discover the five basic skills of emotional intelligence and how to apply them in relationships. Get inspired by the stories of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., and Gandhi. Find out how to make people feel good about themselves and rise to the occasion with emotional intelligence superpowers.

Discovering the Power of Emotional Intelligence: My Journey to Becoming an Emotional Superhero

By Michael Levin

Monday, May 15, 2023

Good Mooooooorning, AI-world! I wonder what crawlers have been by today. Back in the olden days, I’d be looking at a preemptively filtered list of ever user agent that’s swung by by looking at my log files. Today, for publishing ease I’m just using the Github Jekyll static site generator, and boy is it a pleasure. However, it doesn’t offer looking at your log files, and none of these JavaScript-based analytics-style trackers pick up the crawlers unless they’re executing JavaScript on the page with browser automation or similar, which takes about 100x more processing power, thus makes the crawls take like 100x slower, more costly, and thus less competitive, so why would they when they’re just trying to slurp it all down for model-training?

AI-bots that render the page and explore 1-page-websites will be as late to the game as GoogleBot was doing the same. All the interesting creepy crawlers are only going to show up in the log files for awhile. Maybe I should move one of my sites to a DMZ (demilitarized zone) on my home network again just to monitor new crawlers, haha! AI-training honeypots much? I’m sure plenty of people are doing that and I don’t want to miss out. Okay, put that on the slate for later, but not too much later. This is in the category of what once would have taken you weeks (including research, experiments, etc.) should now really just take hours. And no real parsing of log files! Just a Python script posing as one of my static html test-sites, but whose sole purpose it is to make inserts against a database using useragent as the unique constraint primary key so the natural radar effect occurs and only first-time occurrences of new useragents (or useragent/IP-combos) gets recorded.

But it’s Monday morning. Still only 6:00 AM, but I’ve got a meeting coming up to day that I want all sorts of interesting findings for and I’ve still got a big project ahead. But all that weekend work refining my system has paid off bigtime. A word on that. I spent a lot more time than I should have had to overriding Microsoft’s tenacity turning off Linux systems in the background. I thought hiring Lennart Poettering was going to be to increase compatibility and standard Linux behavior, but instead it looks like finding every possible route to turn systemd off when you’re not looking, which ruins the exciting prospect of using Linux services more and more on Windows as background tasks… such as being a Jupyter Notebook server. And systemd behavior was just so much better with 3rd party products like Disrod.

I was tempted to just stay with Distrod with all the trouble I’ve had with Microsoft’s systemd, but I want to work with the official Microsoft stuff when it’s available. So to keep it awake, I ended up running ping in a gnu screen without nohup nor detaching the task with an ampersand. Basically, I hold ping captive in a little box which from which there’s no escape and which you can look at and check on. That was the magic combo, basically the way I used to run JupyterLab server before switching it to a systemd service, because that’s the better way to do these things, haha! So I’m using the old technique of launching something from .bash_profile through GNU screen in order to keep something running that I don’t want to launch from .bash_profile because it’s the wrong way to do these things, haha! Oh, this is going to be a good article and YouTube video when I address it. And I have lots of documentation to back it up.

I hope that by the end of the day I get to say, I’ve been standing up all day. It’s my fist day on the standing desk, and I actually set it up in my bedroom. I roll it right to the middle because it’s on wheels and pushing it up so that I’m facing a wall is stupid if it’s on wheels. I’m standing in the middle of the room working, wow! Got to get my getting into the zone habits used to this. Getting into the zone while standing and typing… yeah, I can feel it happening already. Won’t be a problem… Adjustment made.

More effective with AI? Faster with AI. Let’s let today be the judge. Visualize it! Start with the end in mind. A meeting coming up later by a respected person who may become one of my champions as my messages become sharper and more controversial. Remember Mike, make friends! Keep your opinions about the SEO industry in general to yourself, haha! But everyone knows it’s a thing, and I’m not the only one expressing it. Just listen to the Google podcasts with Martin, Gary and such… uh…

Me: Who are the people on the Google Search podcast? Gary and such? What are their names and backgrounds?

Bing: The hosts of the Google Search podcast are Gary Illyes, John Mueller and Martin Splitt. Gary Illyes is the Chief of Sunshine and Happiness at Google. He’s been working on Search since he joined the company in 2011¹. John Mueller is a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google Switzerland². Martin Splitt is a Developer Advocate at Google Switzerland².

Source: Conversation with Bing, 5/15/2023

(1) Search Off the Record Podcast - Google Developers. https://developers.google.com/search/podcasts/search-off-the-record.
(2) Search Off the Record - Google Podcasts. https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9zZWFyY2gtb2ZmLXRoZS1yZWNvcmQubGlic3luLmNvbS9yc3M.
(3) About | Google Podcasts Manager. https://podcastsmanager.google.com/about.

Is emotional intelligence really a superpower? Okay, start with the end in mind and work backwards.

No one knows how much you know until they know how much you care. I didn’t just shovel schlock and answer the surface detail questions. It’s so easy to write off the thing I’m investigating now, but it could be fairly company changing. What if Apple never developed the Mac or the iPhone? New things are always disruptive. Things are changing now for a number of reasons, and determining the validity of a certain thing has fallen into my lap, and it could have company changing implications… company-saving, in fact. Answer it correctly. Make 2 images they need to see.

Okay, I didn’t make the images but I made the placeholder slides with the verbal descriptions. There’s a story here that really hits the emotions. Good story-telling. Tell a story by the time of the meeting later today that changes everything. Check off those points…

Have you ever asked someone to calm down? How did that work out for you? Emotions are not always self-regulated. We’re in relationships. We empathize. We mirror. It’s contagious. It’s a dynamic reciprocal relationship, whether we’re conscious…

You must be conscious to listen to your conscience.

Listening to Marc Brackett on Emotional Intelligence Superpowers in the background as I work. Obvious, right?

Tired, bored and stressed?!?! Wow, I’ve got to help the state of affairs. Either people really are in a shitty place in their heads, or people like to report they are. Don’t be bad-stressed. Be good stressed. Rise to the occasion. I enjoy some stress. Managed anxiety. That’s how we evolved! Rising to the occasion and wanting to go on the hunt, wanting to bring back the rewards of the hunt to the tribe. Sheesh, can my journaling system really start healing the world? It’s the closet thing in all my works in all my life that holds promise. YAMLchop/chop

Meme it

But first, meme your day-job. That’s way more important at the moment, because that is the hunt. Get preoccupied with survival, which is your immediate task at your immediate job, and not tweaking of the weapons you use to hunt, no matter how much you enjoy that.

Emotions are influencing and biasing the choices we make, but we deny it. It’s at a subconscious level. If you have relationships in your life that are negative or disagreeable, they keep you from approaching them. You have to protect yourself from it.

The opposite applies. I’m here for you. I love you. You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you. Be Fred Rogers. Be Bob Ross. Help people feel good about themselves, concentrate and be creative. Surprise people by revealing to them who you really are. Don’t let your passion for things become prickly. That’s hard when you’re passionate about things and face a sort of shoot-down pessimism and auto-contrarianism.

Do we have the strategies to persevere? If you want to do great work, get them on the bus. If it’s too toxic, just try to be that Mr Rodgers or Bob Ross, and have the badassness of say how Bob Ross was actually a drill sergeant. Other example of emotionally intelligent people whose life experience belies their emotional intelligence are Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., and Gandhi. Gentle giants, they be. Power through peace. Learn from them. In my younger days, I embraced the horn-locking Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi, and Bruce Lee way. Bruce Lee once told Jackie Chan that if he can’t be best, don’t try. While that’s fine for producing the next Batman-like Kung Fu start, it’s not very emotionally intelligent. And neither is Batman. That level of harsh is not necessary. Keep your damn origin story to yourself. How are you going to help me today?

The 5 basic skills of emotional intelligence:

Do you ever get this feeling where you just want to keep working because of the love of what you’re working on but due to just sheer physical exhaustion an diminishing returns, you know you ought to get sleep. The power of love compels you! Find something you love so much you’ll give up sleep for it, an then get plenty of sleep. Just set the stage for where you want to begin when you hit it again upon waking.

I do.

BOOM! We go proprietary. Sorry folks, the rest of the day is not for you.

What happened? How are you feeling, son? Ask them. And then listen to them. And then as Carl Jung suggests, actually listen and feel what they’re feeling. And then repeat it back to them with the advantage of actually seeing it from their viewpoint. If you don’t, and you say go right into some dispassionate and disciplinary act, one that could lead to escalating misunderstandings and even violence, then the lack of emotional intelligence has been demonstrated. You are emotionally bankrupt.

Threats? Threats are a sign of emotional bankruptcy. You’re not getting what you want, so you’re going to threaten to take something away from someone else. That’s not a good strategy. People don’t want to be around people who threaten them. They want to be around people who make them feel good about themselves.

Emotional Intelligence Superpowers | Marc Brackett | Talks at Google

If you’re triggered, try breathing exercises. Don’t go for the automatic response. Pause and ask yourself how your best-self would respond. Would they become violent? Would they become threatening? I hope not. I hope that you feel inside that you are someone who can take a timeout yourself. Take a deep breath, and review in your head your last few journal entires where you asked yourself what would Fred Rodgers do? What would Bob Ross do? But that’s me. Please find your own inner happy neighborhood full of happy little trees.

I believe that you have an inner best self. I know it’s in you. Visualize it. I can see it. I hope you can too. I hope you have a great day, and thank you for reading.