Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide at the age of 34, and it has left most of us saddened and confused.
– Saddened because a young life was cut short by his own hands, because he experienced a darkness that was so complete that he didn’t see a way out of it.
– Confused and wondering because most of us, who’ve never reached the brink of the abyss, can’t understand why.
We know that he was a good student, a good cricketer, and a mostly successful actor.
He was an emotional person, as evidenced in his effort to help people, his Instagram posts, and his choice of career. He was also an exceptionally intelligent man who had stood 7th in the DCE entrance. That kind of success cannot be bought nor be had by a stroke of luck.
Perhaps because he was high on both EI and CI.
Through my interactions with my course-participants and my friends, I know that the lockdown had a severely detrimental effect on those high on both cognitive and emotional intelligence.
Because emotional intelligence makes them feel everything more strongly. The high degree of cognitive intelligence makes them analyze the impact of the environment on not just their loved ones, but on everyone around them again and again – they change the parameters and re-run the algorithm in their heads to come up with alternate scenarios – and unfortunately, their ability to project beyond the obvious, leads them to more pessimistic future outcomes.
Their pessimistic views of the future often turn out to be right, but if they voiced them, people around them would try to shut them off – so they learn to tone stuff down. What people see is a marinated-in-the-environment much softer, less direct lite version of these men and women.
Unfortunately, the families and friends of such emotintelligent individuals seldom realize that they could be dealing with a different kind of person altogether. It’s understandable. Most of us are (thankfully) not very high on both EI and CI, and so when we see someone reacting to things very strongly or getting to analytical, we ask:
- Why does it bother you so much?
- Bosses are like that, you need to keep your head down and slog on.
- Why do you react to everything so viscerally?
- He left you, why do you cry your eyes out?
- She left you. Good riddance! Now move on! Why do you keep pining for her?
- Why do the stories of Covid deaths disturb you so much? Accept Covid’s presence and move on!
- Why do you take everything so seriously?
- Life is not fair!
- Shit happens!
I know that many of my course participants are high on both EI and CI. I don’t speak to them regularly, but I find myself thinking about them often. I know that they take upon themselves more than they should, they feel the little aches of others whom they care about, but seldom speak of their own tearing agonies – and to make it all a lot worse, they are smart enough to realize that they are feeding pieces of their own happiness to others.
If you are one of these, stop now. If you are one of my course participants and you feel this way, call me up. We’ll talk, because I’m just like you, and I understand.