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David | Linda

Chris (About Daniel Goleman)

Letters on other pages

-- Kathleen (About invalidation)

-- Thank you letter about invalidation from Cindy

--- Telling errors in the 1995 Goleman book

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From Pam

Hi Steve,

I just discovered your web site.  I am so excited to have found it.  My beliefs and your own are very similar.  I work with at risk people and relationships utilizing equine assisted growth and development programs.  To learn more about this modality visit www.eagala.org.

Funny, I too avoided going to college for a degree in Psychology and am thankful for that decision.  Always good to trust your vibes...even if you can't make sense of it at the time! Thank you for so generously sharing your insights and philosophies.  I intend to share your site with the therapist that I work in conjunction with.  It will give her a better understanding of the approach I would like to take in guiding folks.  

Much appreciation, Pam

From Cathy

Hi Steve,

I came across your site tonight as I was surfing the net for information on narcissism.  I read your invalidation page and was relieved that someonecould put into words what I have been feeling for a long time with a dear friend of mine.  In short, I finally felt validated!  Thank you!

I have been confused and distrustful of my own feelings in this friendship, yet could never quite figure out why.  When I read your piece on "I Honestly Don't Judge You as Much as You Think," the bells started going off.  I too have held back, and still do, from sharing things with my friend.  For me the trust has been damaged, and I do not feel safe anymore to confide in her.  After so many responses about how I'm being illogical, emotional, hyper-sensitive, delusional, etc., not to mention the numerous times my confidences have been used against me at later dates to further invalidate any position I may take in a debate, I've learned to not expose any tenderareas of myself with her.

I too have been told, "Get over it already.  Move on."  But interestingly enough, when the shoe is on the other foot, it's a case of do as I say, and not as I do.

I'm coming to realize that I've been in the grips of a person who has some severe personality dsyfunction, and I'm grieving about that.  I'm also grieving for myself, for beating myself down for so many years, having allowed her to instill such distrust in myself.  I'm also coming to realize that she is a person that I will never be able to fully trust again.  It's not that I don't want to, since I miss that trust we had in the beginning years, and I was holding out hope it could be rekindled, but I now know that her personality disorders make it very difficult to re-establish that trust.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.  Thank you for helping me to regain my self-trust.  Thank you for validating what I've been feeling!



From Kimberley

Dear Steve

Thank you so much for the feeling words list and thank you for your website. We are a not for profit school located in Negombo, Sr Lanka. Most of the teachers are here voluntarily as well as myself. We are trying to educate the teachers, children about EI. Your site has provided a tremendous amount of information. Thank you for that.

I have given the address to dozens of teachers, parents and more importantly students. I am so very grateful that this site is available to anyone and provides such a wealth of information.

All the Best

Dr. K.


From David

Hi, Steve

You asked about my site ----- so here is the URL:  http://ahlec.net

That will give you an idea of what I am "up to these days".

Should you ever have the time and/or inclination to do a bit of exploring,
this website introduces a little "treasure chest" of -- alternative --
"teaching/learning tools" that (in theory) can be used by children -- and
adults -- to enhance the quality of their personal existence.



From Chris - On Goleman's book

Your critique of Daniel Goleman’s work confirmed my suspicions when I
read the book.

I found the language confusing. Dressing things up in psychological
terms helped me very little. I see no benefit in having to understand
another language to learn how to do something. For example, I do not
consider it sensible to have to learn Swedish to be able to read the
assembly instructions for a coffee table.

I felt that the works of people like Edward DeBono to be much more
useful and efficient. They were also a much more enjoyable way of
exploring my feelings around an idea or course of action.

So, I thank you for saving me a lot of trouble.




I find eqi.org's articles really interesting, considering I'm a very logical person and I struggle with emotions. I was wondering if you had any thoughts about logic vs. emotion. It's something I've been thinking about a lot. For example, I might know logically by certain actions that someone cares about me, but emotionally I might not feel like they do, and I usually just end up with a struggle when I get really emotional.

Thanks for your time!

Hi Linda

I suppose i write about this in different places, but in general I can say that I believe we will all be better off if we pay more attention to our feelings. Like if a teen says she knows she is loved but she doesn't feel loved, then it is worth really looking into the feelings and the unmet emotional needs.




Telling errors in the 1995 Goleman book?

Here is a letter I received from a reader. Note that I use the term "telling" a bit sarcastically because it is one of Dan Goleman's favorite words.

Jan 22, 2007


I apologize beforehand for intruding on your privacy, and respect the fact that you help those who are suicidal, in particular. They are in fact more important than anything else that anyone might do. I will be as brief as possible.

I took Emotional Intelligence as a course in college recently, and I was never able to make it beyond the first paragraph before finding inherent flaws in the so-called "facts" Daniel Goleman professed to be true, yet were proved so blatantly false. Call me anal retentive, but my difficulty goes to the heart of Mr. Goleman's integrity as a former journalist and present day author/psychologist.

I must quote the entire first paragraph verbatim in the hope that someone, somewhere, can see the oxymoron or hypocritical content as proof of a "lack of emotional intelligence," under the very convoluted yet verbose definition of the phrase espoused by Mr. Goleman himself.

Under Chapter 1 - What Are Emotions For?

"Ponder the last moments of Gary and Mary Jane Chauncey, a couple completely devoted to their eleven-year-old daughter Andrea, who was confined to a wheelchair by cerebral palsy. The Chauncey family were passengers on an Amtrack train that crashed into a river after a barge hit and weakened a railroad bridge in Louisiana's bayou country. Thinking first of their daughter, the couple tried their best to save Andrea as water rushed into the sinking train; somehow they managed to push Andrea through a window to rescuers. Then, as the car sank beneath the water, they perished."

This is drama at best, and unadulterated nonsense at worst. It sounds good, looks good on paper, but is as fictional as Sasquatch or Loch Ness.

The first error was as obvious as the nose on my face, which was conceived and born in Mobile, Alabama [I love irony and sarcasm]. The train accident did not occur in the Louisiana bayou as claimed in the paragraph; it occurred on the Mobile River in Alabama. If I check a map carefully, I likewise notice that he missed the entire state of Mississippi as well, before pronouncing the area of the accident. He was two states off, and it left me to wondering about the entire book's authenticity. If that had been the only error, I might have ignored it altogether as a "human emotional intelligence error." It was not.

So as any good student might do when writing a paper on this chapter, I researched his reference. It's rather vague, yet likewise in error. It simply states, "Associated Press, September 15, 1993." I used the university library, and searched for the article. It did not exist.

The accident in fact happened on Wednesday September 22, 1993, and was reported Thursday and Friday of the same week. It appears that Daniel Goleman was either too lazy to research his former employer's archives, or just wrote from memory solely; or was in fact Nostradamus reincarnate. Okay, you might say, that's "two errors in remedial journalism." Nope.

The parents of the aforementioned child were in fact Gary and Mary Jane Chancey, not "Chauncey." Another minor error, but it shows a pattern. Andrea Chancey was later interviewed, and although she did believe it to be a miracle, she had no idea how she was removed from the train. It was certainly not "into the arms of rescuers" as noted above. The wreck occurred in the dark, and divers/rescuers were not on the site until the next morning--as many as 6 hours after the crash. The car sank beneath the water, and 43 people perished long before rescuers arrived, and no one is certain how Andrea was able to make it out of the wreckage, or when. However, it sank beneath the waters at least 6 hours before rescuers arrived. It was unadulterated "fiction."

Sure, it tugs at the heartstrings, and it may have been in fact a miracle. However, it did not occur as claimed, at the time purported, the names were incorrect, and no one "pushed Andrea through the window to rescuers." It simply did not occur as Mr. Goleman claimed. It would have been better served if it had been a Lifetime Movie of the Week, but at least it would have been noted that it was in fact fictional. Emotional Intelligence? Your call. Fiction? Without a doubt.

I have watched as this book has been flourishing in today's academia, and I have always been puzzled as to how no one has ever noticed, mentioned, or confronted Daniel Goleman with his account. However, if the man cannot research his own newspaper, get the facts accurate, then how is anyone to believe anything beyond the very first paragraph, on page three?

I am still astounded. Pop-Psychology may make for good TV ratings, or best-selling books, but integrity and good journalism is supposed to have a foundation of facts, not speculation. If you speculate about a factual event, then you can most certainly expect to speculate on the deeper topic of Emotional Intelligence itself.

I withdrew from the course after submitting this information in a thesis. I was given an F/W. I can live with that. I told the truth. Mr. Goleman blatantly lied. Emotional Intelligence? Bah humbug.

Thank you for your time.

Warmest personal regards,

Samuel D. Fondren

Birmingham, AL