Emotional Intelligence Tactics Vs Self-Awareness Practices

Emotional Intelligence Tactics Or Self-Awareness Practices?

Emotional intelligence tactics are the new skill set of choice for corporate leadership.  But is this just the rebranding of something else less socially acceptable?  Is there a better choice?

Psychological Manipulation?

In our list of spiritual axioms, we have one that applies here, the duck principle.  If it walks like a duck, has webbed feet like a duck, and quacks like a duck — it’s a duck by any other name.

You rename or rebrand things to disguise them and make them marketable; changing the name of things doesn’t change what they are.  Rebranding and renaming make it possible to see something that would otherwise be inappropriate or harmful.  Nice trick.

Could the same thing be happening here?  What if Emotional Intelligence Tactics (EI) result from this rebranding effort?  Let’s look at EI’s origins; then, we’ll also provide a better alternative called self-awareness practices.

The Effects of Psychological Manipulation

Our society has laws that prohibit dishonest, disingenuous, deceitful practices.  Methods that manipulate others for personal gain violate the basic tenets of trust; they encourage other dishonest behavior undermining the fabric of society.  Even if these tactics are effective, they are harmful.

When you rationalize deception are on a slippery slope because this type of thinking is addictive.   It gives you an emotional high.  When you lie get and away with something, it makes you feel good; it produces joy and euphoria.  The more you learn to deceive, the more you will use them, which leads to other destructive behaviors.

Psychological manipulation (PM) or Cognitive Deception Tactics are social influencing skills based on deception and exploitation; these tactics fall into three areas.

  • First, learn to mask emotions and project a false emotional effect.
  • Second, enhance observational and perceptive abilities to take advantage of your mark.
  • Third, use deception and exploit emotions to persuade others.

We call people who use these kinds of psychological manipulation tactics con men.  A con man is short for confidence artist.  The con man trains to hone their craft by enhancing their self-observation skills; they practice concealing their emotional affect (1) while muting their moral compass.  To complete this technique, they learn to read the verbal and non-verbal communication of others.  These skills give them the ability to gain their confidence and manipulate them.

Emotional affect is a term in psychology for the outward display of emotions.  Our emotions show through facial gestures and other non-verbal communication, and most people exhibit unconscious reactions, gestures, and movements that reflect our emotions.  They are anti-social, narcissistic manipulation tactics.

People all over the globe share a common moral compass, which forbids deception; this is why most people need to be trained to use the tactics of EI.  The sociopath and narcissist come by these skills naturally and have no moral objections to these tactics.  These tactics enable someone to exploit human psychological, emotional, and financial needs.  It often results in decision-making based on greed.  Con artists work in teams to leverage their deception.

Another example of someone who uses these techniques is a card shark.  They practice concealing their real emotions while projecting false ones.  One accomplishes this kind of emotional smokescreen through various verbal and non-verbal tactics; you may notice these are the very tactics used in PM and EI.

Card sharks practice these skills using role-play exercises and a mirror, just like in EI.  People who practice these skills can fool lie detector tests (2) that measure EGK and other physiological measures because masking emotional affect hides physiological effects too.

A New Name for Psychological Manipulation

EI is marketed under several names.  Some call it Emotional leadership (EL).  Others brand it  Emotional Quotient (EQ) or Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ).  The grifters who developed PM needed a way to capitalize on it.  Companies would not buy anti-social, narcissistic manipulation tactics.   A better option is to rebrand them.

Here is what you do.  You make your product sound like another accepted process like Intelligence Quotient.  The rebranding process takes psychological manipulation and turns it into Emotional Intelligence.  It is how unacceptable social tactics become acceptable and marketable.  Good rebranding job.

Rebranding these tactics makes these tactics sound positive.  None of the tactics have changed.  They give the skills a new name to fit into corporate jargon rather than abnormal psychological traits.  It is what justifies psychological manipulation in relationships at work and home.

It is evident at this point the EI and PM are similar.  We’ll show they are the same tactics, with new descriptions.  Before we do that, let’s look at some other psychometric systems.


Do not confuse Emotional Intelligence Tactics with the natural ability of an Empath, a person with a sensitivity to the emotions of others.  This sensitivity to energy is a function of expanded awareness.  It is not a psychological anti-social manipulation technique.

Measuring Intelligence and Psychopathology

Intelligent Quotient (IQ)

The intelligence Quotient (IQ) (3) is very different from EI or Emotional Quotient.  Although they sound similar, they assess two completely separate things.  The psychologist William Stern (4) is the first to use the term IQ.

The IQ test measures learning capacity, which involves short-term and long-term memory, analytical, math, and spatial recognition skills.  Your IQ can change over time, but not substantially.  The older you are, the more stable your test score.  The most volatility in IQ scores is in childhood and adolescence.

Intelligent Quotient or IQ differs from Emotional Intelligence Tactics.  IQ measures the capacity to learn.  EI is about regulating your emotional affect while deciphering the non-verbal cue and emotions of others.

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

The standard for measuring mental health is The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) (5), a psychometric test of adult personality and psychopathology.  Psychopathology (6) is the identification and study of mental disorders.

Some commercial versions of the MMPI can be a valuable tool to identify those who use unhealthy PM tactics.  As we’ll see in a moment, EI tactics are the same tactics associated with PM.  There are ways to measure EI.  For example, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT.)  Tests like this measure the ability to perceive, use, understand, and regulate emotions.

People with narcissistic and anti-social disorders can master these psychological manipulation tactics very quickly.  Some have been using them already because they are they already know how to manipulate people.  If you don’t come by these tactics naturally, it’s actually a good sign.  It means you have a strong moral compass that resists deceit.

Today, the skill sets of the con man and grifter are incorporated into the training of corporate executives.  Corporate America likes these skills because they produce bottom-line results.

EI and Psychological Manipulation in Relationships

psychological manipulation in relationships

Corporate training for EI involves tactics in five major categories.  These include:

  • Managing Self-Perception
  • Managing Self-Expression
  • Advanced Interpersonal Skills
  • Decision Making
  • Stress Management

All five are non-threatening and business-sounding terms, but what do they mean?  What kind of skills do they teach?

These tactics correspond directly with psychological manipulation (PM) behaviors, which are the trademark signs of narcissistic and anti-social behaviors.  Now, let’s look at how the specific tactics and the new name make them more socially acceptable.  We’ll describe the PM tactic and the new rebranded name for EI.

Managing Self-perception

The first PM tactic is learning to project confidence and dominate.  They use this when This is a tactic, even when the facts don’t support your position.  It requires the ability to ignore others’ facts and reactions, mute empathy, and decisions’ social impact becomes Bolstering Self-Confidence in EI.

The next PM tactic is compartmentalizing feelings and ignoring individual and social concerns.  This one becomes Prioritizing Shareholder Value in EI.

A fundamental PM goal is to value profit above individual or social concerns.  This tactic becomes Prioritizing Bottom Line Results in EI.

Managing Self-Expression

The core skill set is learning to ignore your emotions; they relabel it as Controlling Outward Emotional Affect in EI.

PM learns how to disengage from emotions.  That way, they don’t have empathy for individual or social concerns.  The new name for this Tactics to Increase Assertiveness and Independence in EI.

Advanced Interpersonal skills

PM’s core skill set is monitoring and masking verbal and non-verbal communication.  This tactic becomes Controlling Outward Emotional Affect in EI.

Con artists and card sharks enhance their observational skills to recognize the non-verbal cues of others.  This way, they can identify hot buttons, fears, tells, and the concerns of others.  They use this information to gain the upper hand and decide the mark.  This vital skill set becomes Learning to Observe and Identify the Emotional State and Needs Of Others becomes in EI.

PM’s common grifter technique is manipulating with bartering or collateral, which becomes Cultivating Effective Work Relationships in EI.

Decision Making

PM commonly uses coercion and deception to manipulate others.  Deceptive manipulation tactics become Effective Problem Solving Tactics EI.

They discount and reject empathy for others and the environment.  Its new name is  Impulse Control in EI.

Stress Management

Disengaging from personal and social and the impact of your actions is a PM requirement.  It becomes Flexibility — adapting to change effectively in EI.

Numbing the conscience is necessary to take advantage of people and the environment.  But ignoring our conscience means we live in a state of cognitive dissonance.   They must learn to communicate misleading information to manipulate others without feeling guilty.  The tactics to achieve this become Managing Work-life Balance in EI.

Disengaging from the emotional impact on the individual, society, and environment becomes Stress tolerance — successfully coping with stressful situations in EI.

Finally, masking emotional affect becomes Maintaining Optimistic — having a positive outlook in EI.

Summary of Emotional Intelligence Tactics

What is essential is to look at the skill set, not the fancy rebranding name.  Rebranding unhealthy behaviors and tactics do not make them healthy or socially acceptable.  Learning these tactics is a slippery slope because they are harmful manipulation skills.  If you acquire them, they will shape your paradigm and personality traits.  These tactics become a part of your normal behavior.  Once learned, they become a part of how you interact with everyone.

Unintended Consequences of teaching EI tactics

Learning inherently disingenuous tactics will lead to other unhealthy thinking and behaviors.  They divert us from positive values.   Once learned, they tend to become a part of your learned behavior.  These harmful tactics become a part of your psychic structure.  You will practice them in all social settings, personal and business, without thinking about it.  It’s the slippery slope leading to narcissistic and anti-social thinking and actions.  It has a detrimental impact on health and well-being and all relationships.

Why has something so inherently destructive been rebranded for corporate consumption?  That is simply because these techniques work in the short term.  People who manipulate others achieve the goals they set out to accomplish.  Profit becomes the bottom line over the cost to the individual and humanity.

As a result, companies must also emphasize ethics training because when you teach people to manipulate others to meet company objectives, they will also use these same skills to lie about other things.  For instance, EI training makes sexual predators more skillful at hiding their actions.  It helps those who coerce or threaten others be more proficient at covering their tracks.

How Self-Awareness Practices Differ from EI

self-awareness practices

Many people think there is a better way.  Instead of learning tactics to mask our feelings and manipulate others, we use the same effort to practice things that positively affect ourselves and others.  Practicing EI tactics makes us less aware of our impact on ourselves, others, and the planet.  EI gives a short-term gain at everyone’s expense, so enhancing our awareness is a much better choice.

Self-Awareness Practices, a Better Way

It’s the capacity to see the big picture and recognize oneself as part of a larger whole; awareness and consciousness link us all together.  It helps us comprehend our humanity and need to care for others and the planet.  Furthermore, awareness is the gateway to the virtues of the spirit.  It gives us empathy and motivation to act from an internal sense of right action.  Some say this is where the concept of Oneness originates.

Increasing awareness gives us a perspective to understand our decisions’ long-term implications.  So, rather than enhancing and encouraging narcissistic, anti-social tactics, you can learn to get in touch with the higher virtues of the spirit.  This way, you become more self-aware.   There are many healthy self-awareness practices that you can tailor to fit everyone.

Instead of learning to mask your emotions and conceal the impact of your behavior, you learn to embrace them.  You can learn to enhance awareness.  It helps you see the implications of decisions that affect people and the planet.

Instead of learning to ignore your feelings and mask your Emotional Affect to influence others, you become more genuine.  You find out how to express empathy and emotions positively.  You learn to accept and work with others with different points of view.

Learning and integrating self-awareness practices into your daily routine is easy; they are suitable for you and everyone in your circle of influence.  Mindfulness Meditation is an excellent way to move toward this healthier mindset.  Another way is walking mindfulness, which is called Forest Bathing.  Additionally, there are better alternatives to cope with stress and increase your overall health and wellness.  Moving toward a greater awareness of ourselves enables us to make decisions based on individual and social concerns rather than sacrificing them for corporate profit.

In Conclusion

What do you think?  Are self-awareness practices a better choice than EI tactics?  It is the opposite of EI.  Rather than using our minds to manipulate others, it teaches us to make decisions that consider the wellness and fairness of other people and the environment.  The choice is yours.


(1) Emotional Affect
(2) Lie Detector Test
(3) Intelligence Quotient (IQ). 
(4) William Stern
(5) Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
(6) Psychopathology

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