I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

271. Emotional Morons and Impaired Abstract Thinking - 1

Emotional Morons and Impaired Abstract Thinking - 1

In entry 161, I distinguished between the jerk and the emotional moron in the amount of damage done to a mature woman due to the absence or presence of a conscience.  
In entry 264, I compared the emotional effects of an emotional moron with those of Procrustes.

But my description of an emotional moron was only describing one subtype.    The problem is more complex.  

The damage done by an emotional moron depends on two main factors.

1.   He does not know, how to treat the woman according to her wishes and needs.  
2.   He cannot be influenced by her to treat her the way she needs to be treated.

In scenario 2 of entry 161, I described the emotional moron as an immature man with enough insight, empathy and perception to allow to be influenced to improve.    He is someone, who has developed at least normal intelligence and abstraction abilities, but his development of emotional intelligence is delayed and lagging behind, maybe as a result of not having had the occasion to learn.   

There is a different type of emotional moron, who appears even more like a jerk without being one.    He has a general problem with impaired abstract thinking.   

1.  The emotional moron with impaired abstract thinking is oblivious of how to treat a woman the way she needs to be treated, but he does not know it. 

The development of the human mind goes from egocentric and concrete thinking during childhood to the ability of abstract thinking of adults.    Abstract thinking also is a development from the simple knowledge, that for example what someone says can be either true or false to the more complex understanding of the manipulative purpose of lies and intrigue.  

When someone's development gets stuck somewhere between concrete and simple abstract thinking, this causes an impairment in his coping with many aspects of life.    This can remain unnoticed by superficial contact.   It has the most detrimental impact on very close persons like a partner or family members.  

An excellent memory enables a person with impaired abstract thinking to compensate so well, that he can bluff others to appear intelligent.  He does not bluff consciously, he bluffs himself too, because he is not aware, that he has a deficit.  He lives with the belief, that all others are like him, having an excellent memory and concrete thinking.  He even can get a university degree by memorizing abstract ideas so well, that he can pass tests by reproducing, what he had read without comprehension.    He can impress people by talking about what he has not really understood, as long as he can avoid situations, where appropriate behavior is impossible unless guided by the full comprehension of complex abstractions.     He may fail at a job without this being attributed to a lack of abstract thinking neither by him nor by others. 

Emotional intelligence is more than the innate ability to feel empathy for someone visibly experiencing something familiar due to own experience.   It requires also the simple abstract thinking to perceive, that the other can visibly experience things, that oneself does not experience the same way, and comprehend, that this is nevertheless the other's valid reality.   But that is not enough, there is also the requirement to accept, that the other has a subjective reality, that is not visible and different from the own.    This reality is only accessible by inquiry about the other's feelings and needs, and by taking the answer for serious and at face value.   A caring mature partner uses this information as his guidance how to treat the partner.
The emotional moron, who is stuck in concrete thinking, is unable to take this perspective.   Depending on when his development got stuck, caring is limited.   He can emphasize with tooth ache and project his own physical needs upon the partner.    But the abstract understanding of the hidden different but genuine needs, emotions and perception of another person is beyond his ability.  
Just as he can bluff to appear intelligent, he can also use his good memory to bluff himself and his partner to appear having emotional intelligence.   As with general intelligence, as soon as he needs to behave in accordance with his bluff, of which he is unaware, he fails.  

1.1.   The emotional moron cannot experience abstract emotions.

Example.   An emotional moron has derived theoretical knowledge about relationship matters from books and he believes to know how to treat a woman.   As a result, he promises her to never embarrass her.    She is pleased and misinterprets this as an indication of his emotional intelligence.    But the word embarrassing just does not mean the same to him as to her.   
For him, it has only the very simple concrete meaning of not showing any really gross behavior in public.    For her, the word means a lot more, it is an abstract concept of never doing anything, that would cause her to feel bad due to strangers being witnesses of what he does.    For her, conduct like letting strangers hear private conversations, bad table manners, public inappropriate behavior of any subtle kind and much more are embarrassing, while for him, it is not, because he is oblivious, that such behavior can be perceived as embarrassing by anybody.
As a consequence, in spite of his good intentions and his promise, he is unable to avoid to embarrass her once in a while.   This has detrimental consequences on two levels.    Not only does she feel embarrassed by his behavior, while he has no clue of what he is doing to her.   Even worse, on a more abstract and complex level, she feels betrayed by the fact, that he has broken his promise.  This is painful to her and he is unable to comprehend it.    

In his concrete reality, only emotions and sensations like hunger, fear and anger are real.    In her abstract reality, there are complex and abstract emotions, like respected or hurt dignity, appreciation or depreciation, equality or humiliation and much more, that he has never felt.    He has some fuzzy and vague idea of the meaning of words like dignity, and believes to know, what they mean.   But he has no clue, that he is personally void of something.   He believes that such abstract emotions are rare and experiencing them is restricted to the realm of special people like philosophers.      Therefore he is unable to comprehend or even imagine to ever cause her such feelings, and  even less that those feelings can be strong enough to have an devastating effect upon her.  

1.2.  The emotional moron cannot experience the emotions derived from abstract concepts and life philosophies:

Example:  Concepts like intrinsic commitment as a safe haven based upon the trust that the partner is reliably bound by accepted obligations is far beyond the impaired abstract abilities of an emotional moron.   
His concrete world is simple:   Marriage means to accept all the obligation, that the law has defined for a married man.  Any other obligations are unknown to him and beyond his imagination.   For him a monogamous relationship without being married is exactly the same as being friends with benefits with exclusivity added.  He is oblivious of any implicit obligations beyond not cheating.  He sincerely considers himself as a single man, free to do, what he wants to do.    What he in this concrete thinking believes to be correct behavior, in her reality of abstract emotions can be a transgression and a painful, even traumatic experience.    
When a woman gets involved with a man based upon his declaration that he means it to last for the rest of his life, she takes this as an implicit promise to be a committed partner sharing decisions.    When he then decides something important by himself, excluding and not even consulting her, in his concrete thinking he has acted appropriately as a single man.   To her, it is a very serious pain on two levels of abstraction.   First, she feels very disrespected as not important enough to be consulted, but on a more abstract level, she feels this as a betrayal in her understanding of commitment.   

To be continued