Emotional Intelligence

Are we, as artists, likely to be more emotionally intelligent than our peers?

I’m reading Marc Brackett’s book Permission to Feel, which argues for better systems to teach us how to identify, express, and regulate our emotions. People really suck at confronting and unpacking what they’re feeling, which leads to many problems.

I think as a kid putting on plays I learned how to identify the nuances of emotions not only in myself but in other people. This came through character work and the thoughtful guidance of excellent directors, but also through learning from cast mates. Practice working in teams and building communities has made me more comfortable handling the emotional highs and lows of my life. It’s still a process and always will be, of course, but the comfort with the muck is a great place to start.

How can our art offer people the space to learn about their own emotions? How can it encourage them to face the challenging truths their feelings are pointing them towards?

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