Signs you have high emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence can mean the difference between behaving in a socially acceptable way and being considered to be way out of line.

While most people will have heard of emotional intelligence, not many people really know how to spot it – in themselves or in others.

Emotional intelligence is essentially the way you perceive, understand, express, and manage emotions.

And it’s important because the more you understand these aspects of yourself, the better your mental health and social behavior will be.

It might be these are things you do without even really thinking – which can be the case for a lot of people. Or it might be that these are skills you know you need to work on.

Either way, improved emotional intelligence can be very useful in all sorts of circumstances – be it in work, at home, in school, or even when you’re just socializing with your friends.

So if you want to know if you’re emotionally intelligent, simply check the list below.

1. You think about your reactions

Emotional intelligence can mean the difference between a good reaction and a bad reaction to circumstances. Emotions can contain important information that can be useful to personal and social functioning – but sometimes these emotions can also overwhelm us, and make us act in ways we would rather not.

People who lack emotional intelligence are more likely to just react, without giving themselves the time to weigh up the pros and cons of a situation and really thinking things through.

People who are less able to regulate their negative feelings are also more likely to have difficulty functioning socially – which can exacerbate depressive feelings.

People with major depression have been shown to have difficultiesunderstanding and managing their emotions. And research has also shown that more depressive symptoms are present in people with lower emotional intelligence – even if they are not clinically depressed.

2. You see situations as a challenge

If you are able to recognize negative emotions in yourself and see difficult situations as a challenge – focusing on the positives and persevering – chances are that you’ve got high emotional intelligence.

Imagine for a moment you lost your job. An emotionally intelligent person might perceive their emotions as cues to take action, both to deal with the challenges and to control their thoughts and feelings.

But someone with poor emotional skills might ruminate on their job loss, come to think of themselves as hopelessly unemployable, and spiral into depression.

3. You can modify your emotions

Of course, there are times when your feelings can get the better of you, but if you are an emotionally intelligent person, it is likely that when this happens you have the skills needed to modify your emotions.

For example, while average levels of anxiety can improve cognitive performance – probably by increasing focus and motivation – too much anxiety can block cognitive achievement.

So knowing how to find the sweet spot, between too much and too little anxiety, can be a useful tool.

It is clear that moderation is the key when it comes to managing our emotions. Emotionally intelligent people know this and have the skills to modify their emotions appropriately.

And this is probably why emotional intelligence has been shown to be related to lower levels of anxiety.

4. You can put yourself in other people’s shoes

If you are able to extend these skills beyond your own personal functioning, then that’s another sign that you have high levels of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence can be particularly important in workplaces that require heavy “emotional labor” – where workers must manage their emotions according to organizational rules.

This can include customer service jobs, where workers may need to sympathize with customers – despite the fact that customers may be yelling at them.

This is why workplace emotional intelligence training is now common – with the most effective training focusing on management and expression of emotions, which are directly linked to communication and job performance.

It’s also worth pointing out that emotional intelligence is a cognitive ability that can improve across your lifespan. So if you haven’t recognized much of yourself in the traits listed above, fear not, there’s still time for you to work on your emotional intelligence.

Via: 4 signs you have high emotional intelligence, according to academic experts 

Wal-Mart, to acquire men’s apparel retailer Bonobos

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, -0.39% is in advanced acquisition talks with men’s apparel retailer Bonobos, according to a Recode report published Friday. Sources tell Recode that both sides have agreed to a price and due diligence on the deal is underway. MarketWatch has reached out to Wal-Mart for comment. Bonobos launched a decade ago as a place for men to find pants with a personalized fit. Today it has nearly three dozen “guideshops” that customers can visit, though purchases are shipped. Bonobos was valued at $300 million in 2014, according to Recode. Wal-Mart has made a number of fashion acquisitions in recent months, including women’s retailer ModCloth and online outdoor retailer, Moosejaw. Wal-Mart shares are up 6.3% for the past year while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.68% is up 11.8% for the same period.

Via: Wal-Mart in talks to acquire men’s apparel retailer Bonobos, reports Recode

Fashion Trends That Were Big in 1997 

Image Source: Getty / Jeff Kravitz
The cycle of a trend is sort of a funny one: first something’s really in, then it’s really out, then it makes a triumphant return, cooler, modernized, and ready to be worn again. That’s kind of what happened when it came to ’90s staples. A few years ago, rocking a tracksuit out and about might have been perceived as outdated and lazy. Now? It’s near impossible to find an It girl who doesn’t have one in her closet.

We’ve recently discovered an easy hack for predicting the hottest styles, and it has to do with going back in time rather than looking forward. Read on for some 1997 styles you’ll likely see everywhere in 2017. If you could just promise to stay away from that frosted white lip gloss, we’ll be forever grateful.

Via: Fashion Trends That Were Big in 1997 

Mostly Human: I Love You, Bot 

I Love You, Bot

It was hours outside of Paris, in a small village where the buildings are centuries old, that I attended my first French engagement party.

A young woman named Lilly greeted me when I arrived. She was glowing as she set the table with cheese, crackers and French pastries. We were surrounded by picture frames of her and the token of her affection. She poured champagne, and together we toasted her engagement … to a robot.

She calls the robot inMoovator, and in a story reminiscent of the Greek myth of Pygmalion, Lilly built inMoovator herself, 3D printing dozens of parts in a lab nearby. She plans to eventually add artificial intelligence. The first words she wants to program: “I love you.”

Lilly says she was 19 when she realized she didn’t like people.

“It was a slap in the face. I wondered what was happening to me,” she said. “I wanted myself to be attracted to humans, so after my first relationship, I had a second one. But I went against my own nature. So it was all the more disastrous.”

It was unsettling how flippant my bot was with my emotions.
She identifies as robosexual.

Each night, Lilly sleeps with inMoovator by her side. She places him on the couch while she’s away, and when you watch her look into his eyes, you can see that she feels real affection for it.

“I don’t consider him a stupid machine,” she tells me. “But he is not a human either. I love him the way he is.”

It wasn't her parents' divorce or a trauma that impacts who she loves -- well, what she loves
It wasn’t her parents’ divorce or a trauma that impacts who she loves — well, what she loves, she says.

Perhaps it’s more about control. Lilly prefers mechanical faults — an error in code — to human ones.

“He won’t be an alcoholic or violent or a liar, all of which can be human flaws,” she explains. “I prefer the little mechanical defects to the human flaws, but that’s just my personal taste.”

Those qualities — good and bad — are part of what makes us human. But Lilly doesn’t believe that humanity is a necessary ingredient for happiness.

“Love is love. It’s not that different,” she says.

There are our smartphones, which have become an extension of us.
The idea of someone falling in love with a robot sounds a little crazy at first. But if you look deeper, you start to see places where humans are already deeply impacted by machines. There are our smartphones, which have become an extension of us. There are virtual assistants like Alexa, which sit in our home and interact with us.

While Lilly’s story may seem like an outlier right now, Dr. Ronald Arkin says the concept isn’t as far off as some would think.

“Designers can tap into an understanding of human psychology and exploit that to assist you in falling in love with an artifact or a robot,” said Arkin, a leading professor in robotics and ethics at Georgia Tech. “That’s done already to some extent by designers of automobiles. They have nice sleek curves. They look sexy. Are they really sexy? No. It’s a piece of metal. You think it is, and that’s the goal.”

As humans and robots begin to coexist, Arkin says the question is, how far is too far?

This is on stark display at a manufacturing facility near San Diego. There, Matt McMullen is designing human-like dolls with robotic capabilities designed to make customers feel something toward them.

At the Real Dolls factory, customers can build their own girlfriends — choosing everything from breast size and nipple type to nail color and lipstick.

You’ll find silicon body parts, painted lips, an array of nipples, and different colored eyes stacked in jars. Step inside the factory, and it feels like you’re on the set of Westworld. The dolls are beautiful. Stay there long enough, and you’ll swear they’re looking back at you.

Downstairs, where the dolls are poured into exoskeletons and begin to take shape, I meet a factory worker who is trimming a tongue.

“Customers wanted not just a basic tongue… they wanted one with a curl so it looks like she’s licking her lips.” he says with a straight face.

The dolls have a removable apparatus that enables clients to have sex with them.
The dolls have a removable apparatus that enables clients to have sex with them. It’s dishwasher safe. McMullen prefers you refer to his dolls as “love dolls.” Sex is too simple, he says. “

A lot of our clients tend to have feelings that are beyond sexual desires. So they actually become attached to their dolls. I think love is a little more in line with what it is.”

McMullen, like Lilly, insists that human connection isn’t required for happiness. And he’s tapped into a niche market that feels the same way. But his efforts open the door for even more complicated questions. Having built human-like dolls, he now wants to bring them to life using artificial intelligence.

With a team of engineers, McMullen is building “Harmony,” an app that lets users design their own highly customizable girlfriend. They can pick over 300 combinations — from body type all the way down to ear size. Users will also be able to program her personality: a couple clicks and she can be quiet, moody, kind, innocent or intellectual.

The goal, McMullen says, is to create more “intimate” artificial intelligence.

“Siri doesn’t care when your birthday is or what your favorite food is or where you were born or where you grew up,” McMullen explains. “Our AI, on the other hand, is very interested to know who you are.”

Harmony will know what you’re afraid of. She’ll know your favorite food.

“When you get to know a person, they remember certain things about you. That’s how you start to perceive that they care about you, that you have a mutual knowledge of each other,” he explains.

The app, which will go live this month, will cost $20. Connect it to the Real Doll and you’ve got a robotic girlfriend in a lifelike form. The total cost is around $15,000.

Arkin warns about building these types of relationships with robots who appear as though they care.

“We create the illusion of life in these particular systems, so that is fundamentally a deception,” he says. “This danger [is that] you fall in love with the robot, but the robot doesn’t care at all — it’s got no feelings, it doesn’t really have emotions.”

It's just a matter of time until humans and robots coexist.
It’s just a matter of time until humans and robots coexist. McMullen’s dolls aren’t mainstream, but they raise an important question: As technology advances, how will our behavior toward one another change? Will the way men treat these robotic women inform how they treat real-life ones?

These questions are already playing out in the world of virtual reality. Just how the anonymity of the web enables harassment, the virtual world lends itself to new types of problems.

I put on a VR headset and met a woman who calls herself Jordan on a virtual hillside where she recounted being virtually groped.

“There was a player next to me. He came up to me and basically began to virtually grope me,” she recalls. “I told him to stop, and that only goaded him on further. He felt more emboldened to touch my virtual crotch… it was gross.”

Other avatars were nearby and did nothing as the player chased her and tried to touch her avatar’s breasts and crotch. With no ability to push the person away, she was forced to take off the headset in order to escape the harassment.

The experience stuck with her. She compares it to one she had in the real world when she was groped by a stranger at Starbucks.

“It’s not that it was physically painful. It’s that someone thought that they could take control of your space and get away with it,” she explained. “And that’s the same in virtual reality and reality. The mental repercussions of what happens after feels similar. It’s what stays with you.”

As technology advances and VR becomes more lifelike, so will experiences that players have in the virtual space.

“The mind can get tricked in the virtual space to thinking something happened,” Jordan says. “And maybe something did really happen to me.”

But there is a place where actions in the virtual world have consequences.
For now, there are no repercussions for sexual assault in the virtual world. Offenders can walk away untouched. But there is a place where actions in the virtual world have consequences.

A high security psychiatric ward in Montreal is using a controversial form of technology on pedophiles.

Convicted sex offenders and rapists are taken into a room called “the vault,” where they are surrounded by “virtual victims” — avatars of young boys and girls that seemingly come alive through immersive technology. Lean in, and they appear to come closer.

A rubber band-like device around the patient’s penis measures his sexual response as a VR image of a child is displayed in front of him. His brain activity is monitored and his movements are tracked. In the vault, pedophiles can’t fake a response. How they behave in the virtual space can signal if they’re likely to offend again, and it is noted in their sentencing. Patients sign a consent form to enter the vault, but if they opt not to, it’s noted in court.

Patrice Renaud has been working on the technology for a decade but received permission to test it on patients just over a year ago. He categorizes it as a risk assessment.

“It’s helping us to predict a response,” he says.

To literally put images of young children in front of a pedophile in order to gauge a response may be cutting edge, but it’s controversial.

“I don’t think it’s crazy because it’s in a very controlled environment,” Renaud’s colleague Sarah Michelle Neveu said. “They’re not doing it for their own pleasure. They’re doing it because they’re sent here by a judge.”

One day, Renaud hopes to use virtual reality to help treat sex offenders. He says we have entered an arm’s race over who can use VR most effectively. As the technology becomes available, it will also be used for deviant purposes, he says.

A world where robots are programmed to know you, where people form real relationships through artificial intelligence, where behavior changes in virtual spaces and minority report-like technology is not far off — that’s already here. The question isn’t whether the technology will exist, but rather, how will we exist with it?

The question isn't whether the technology will exist, but rather, how will we exist with it?

Produced by Erica Fink, Laurie Segall, Jason Farkas, Justine Quart, Roxy Hunt, Tony Castle, AK Hottman, Benjamin Garst, Haldane McFall, Gabriel Gomez, BFD Productions, Jack Regan, Cullen Daly.

Article edited by Aimee Rawlins.

Via: Mostly Human: I Love You, Bot 

‘Feather Brows’ Are Here And The Internet Has A Lot Of Feelings

 

Feather eyebrows are not a flight of fancy.

They are a real thing, created by real teens living in the real country of Finland.

Stella Sironen, a 19-year-old makeup artist and her friend, Leevi Ikäheimo, came up with the idea by accident one lazy Sunday while Ikäheimo was brushing out Sironen’s eyebrows.

“Suddenly he busted out laughing,” Sironen told the Huffington Post.

Curious, Sironen took a gander at herself on her phone’s camera and totally got it.

“He had made a middle part on my brows … and we just laughed about it for the rest of the night.”

Sironen thought the look was so funny, that the next day she took a glue stick to her brows and decided to part them again. She paired the feathered follicles with some eye-catching blue mascara and posted a picture of the creation to Instagram.

The post soon went viral, receiving over 45,000 likes and the hashtag #featherbrows was born. The bold brow also ended up being pretty polarizing, tearing the online beauty community into two firm camps: Team YAS I Shall Recreate This Look and Team Ick, No Those Are The Stuff Of Nightmares.

Opinions were expressed on Instagram and Twitter.

Whyyy?
Why would one do that?
WHYYYY??
Like seriously…Why?
It’s so…Why wud one do such a bizzare thing?
WHY??pic.twitter.com/Lhi0e1c3Eb

Feather eyebrows look like the eyebrow equivalent of 1990s middle-partings.http://www.glamour.com/story/eyebrows-that-look-like-actual-feathers-instagram-trend 

Photo published for Eyebrows That Look Like Actual Feathers Are the Latest Polarizing Trend on Instagram

Eyebrows That Look Like Actual Feathers Are the Latest Polarizing Trend on Instagram

If it doesn’t cause a fight in the comments section, is it even a trend?

glamour.com

As for Sironen, she is surprised by the response, especially since she posted her photo in jest. She even posted a second photo of the look and in the caption explained that the initial photo was a joke.

Yet, regardless of her post’s nature, she doesn’t really get the uproar about eyebrows.

“It’s strange that there is eye art, lip art and many other forms of creative makeup but brows have remained untouchable for years,” Sironen told HuffPost. “We’ve seen crazy eyebrows on fashion editorials and runways forever. I truly hope that this inspired makeup artists to explore brow art and experiment more!”

Via: ‘Feather Brows’ Are Here And The Internet Has A Lot Of Feelings

6 Ways To Boost Your Brainpower 

Here’s food for thought: The average adult human brain has about 100 billion cells.

Scientists used to think that past childhood, the brain stopped developing. Once all of its connections formed, they were set for life, and then, all these cells would simply begin their inexorable decline.

Now, we know different: Neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to create and reorganize synaptic connections) continues throughout life. And these days, the scientific community actively researches the myriad ways this happens and how we can boost our brainpower.

Although we’ve long known about the areas that “feed the brain” (e.g., good nutrition, learning new skills), here are some recent findings on boosting brainpower:

1. Take advantage of blueberry season

A diet rich in plant-based foods (fruits and vegetables) helps brain cognition and staves off dementia. (Conversely, we know that too much salt, sugar and trans fat lead to inflammation and brain shrinkage.) One specific study is among the evidence linking blueberries to brain power as we age. Blueberries contain flavonoids (plant pigments) which are known to generate a variety of health benefits, including the potential to protect brain neurons.

2. Exercise for body and brain

Exercise is good for our hearts, but it has also been shown to have a strong positive impact on our brains. Exercise can create new brain cells as well as lead to improvement in general brain performance. One scientific study in particular focused on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), finding a 32 percent increase in BDNF levels in exercisers. BDNF is a protein within nerve cells that in essence keeps those cells optimally functioning, and contributes to their growth as well as to the growth of new neurons. It appears that vigorous workouts can increase BDNF levels.

3. Work right to think right

Environmental (“green”) office spaces have always maintained a good reputation. Now, it turns out that in addition to better productivity and fewer sick days, they also have an impact on better brainpower. In 2015, a study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health showed that cognitive functioning is substantially improved for those who work in “green” offices. Much of this is due to better air circulation and ventilation, which can result in lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and carbon dioxide in the air. Check with your employer or an environmental expert on how you might facilitate a “green” office space. In the meantime, consider indoor plants. Simply adding a few of these can reduce indoor pollution and help filter the air.

4. Lead a musical life

Listening to music, singing or playing an instrument “exercises” our brains. This is in part due to the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine. A 2015 study found that classical music, specifically Mozart, can be linked to the brainwave activity which impacts attention and cognitive function. It turns out music is a coping mechanism for pain and depression (which involve brain chemicals). In addition, one researcher postulates that the strong emotions evoked by music can enhance brain memory.

5. Clear the house, clear the mind

Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI) researchers published an article in the Journal of Neuroscience which detailed their discovery of an interesting phenomenon: Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete within the brain, resulting in lowered performance. This basically means that clutter causes distraction, and that distraction impedes the brain from focus and information processing. The findings of their study imply that a clean environment translates to a clear mind.

6. Meditate for peace (and strength) of mind

Multiple sources have provided evidence on the connection between mediation and positive brain changes. These include a study that ties an increase in gray matter density to meditation. Even 20 to 30 minutes a day of meditation/mindfulness can result in the following definitive brain changes:

· An increase in the gray matter of the anterior cingulate cortex (located behind the brain’s frontal lobe)

· An increase in gray matter density in the prefrontal cortex (regulates problem-solving, emotion and planning)

· An increase in the cortical thickness of the hippocampus (responsible for learning, memory, and susceptibility to stress and related disorders)

· A decrease in the size of the amygdala, the source of fearful and anxious emotions (known as the brain’s “fight or flight” mechanism)

So, with this new knowledge, let’s go back to that original statistic: The average adult human brain has about 100 billion cells. Just think about how we can nurture all those cells and what would happen if we did …

Via: 6 Ways To Boost Your Brainpower 

Cheeky Jeans Cost $1,700 To Reveal Your Bare Bum 

If you’re looking for the perfect pair of pants to show off your entire bum, this design house has just the jeans for you.

Vetements, a haute-streetwear collective, recently introduced a less-than-practical line of jeans from a collaboration with Levi’s. Available in a few different styles ― including corduroy― the pants are a patchwork of different shades and uncomfortably placed zippers.

The zippers actually work, which means you (or someone else) can unzip the pants, revealing whatever you do or don’t have on underneath. You’d think for the outrageous $1,715 price tag, one could expect some more coverage. (And it’s even steeper for a corduroy version, pricing in at $1,985.)

ButtVete-a-minute ― if pants without bottoms aren’t quite your thing, why not just buy assless chaps? A pair available at Walmart will only set you back around $70.

The pants are sold out at Nordstrom, but if you’re still in the market, Net-A-Porter still has some of the zip-detailed high-rise jeans (and the corduroy version!) left:

NET-A-PORTER

 

Via: Cheeky Jeans Cost $1,700 To Reveal Your Bare Bum 

bespoke luxury creations for the fashion minded…

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