4 out of 4 stars
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Many young people on the cusp of adulthood struggle with a lack of understanding of how the world works. They’ve been taught the basics, but there are many gray areas, and they may have specific questions about interacting with others; for instance, how to get past negative feelings towards a co-worker to reach a compromise, or where to turn when the stress of romantic relationships becomes all-encompassing. In Developing Emotional Intelligence - 30 Ways for Older Teens and Young Adults to Develop Their Caring Capabilities by Israelin Shockness, the author has provided a helpful guidebook to aid young people on this journey in honing a vital life skill—emotional intelligence.
My favorite aspect of the book is its simplicity. Many self-help books can be laborious to read, and individuals may find them difficult to plow through for specific information. But in this book, the author compiled the most relevant topics for young people, such as empathy, stress, bullying, crime, and communication, into short, concise chapters. While the writing is compact, the author did not skimp on the value of information. Some of my favorite examples included how to show empathy towards a co-worker who is at risk of being dismissed from the job due to taking time off to care for a sick relative and how one's mental/physical health can be impacted due to prolonged periods of stress. Another relevant example touched on the plight of children whose parents are divorcing and how to navigate those feelings of anger, hurt, or rejection. And as a bonus, the author has backed up every chapter with numerous references, so young people can further read pertinent topics. This is much more user-friendly than listing all the references at the end.
I loved the holistic approach. Developing emotional intelligence is not just about doing one thing, such as being able to pick up on social cues like noticing when a friend is upset or feeling conflict within a group. I love how the author emphasized evolving in other areas as well. For example, using meditative practices when stressed to diminish aggressive outbursts, help at-risk youth, and fuel one’s body with healthy foods. Mind, body, and soul are all connected, and we must nurture all three to reach our full potential of becoming emotionally intelligent.
The book is well-written and exceptionally edited, and there is certainly nothing negative to report. With that being said, I have chosen to give it a rating of four out of four stars for its holistic approach and real-life examples.
While this book is directed at young adults navigating the uncharted waters of growing up, I think anyone over eighteen would benefit greatly from reading the information. As a near-middle-aged mother of two, I found the reading valuable and straightforward to incorporate into my daily life and instill into my kids’ emotional toolkit.
Developing Emotional Intelligence - 30 Ways for Older Teens and Young Adults to Develop their Caring Capabilities
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