I was invited to share two of my book titles [Engineering Your Mood and The Money Formula] as on Babyboomer.org by one of the founders. The experience raised an interesting question on the subject of Baby Boomers and emotional intelligence.
I think back to my client base. I don't really work with baby boomers. Most of my clients were born in the 70s and 80s, so Gen X and Gen Y. Those adults that I work with that would be considered baby boomers are those who were born at the tail end of the baby boom (1961-1963).
My late Baby Boomer clients, when they first came to see me, had no emotional intelligence AT ALL. They struggled to articulate their feelings and mostly struggled with financial fears. They realized that hard work and waiting for the "pay off" wasn't the secret to financial success and security. Rather, they had to learn how to go into their own feelings to resolve their financial and professional crises.
The question remains: Are Baby Boomers emotionally intelligent?
From my professional experience and from a very small sampling of those clients who are Baby Boomers, I would respond with a resounding no. Young Baby Boomers tell stories of their parents shoving their feelings down into themselves until the feelings manifested as rage, disease, or addiction. Not wanting to solve their problems like their parents, my young Baby Boomer clients reached out to me to deal with their feelings. They didn't want to neglect their feelings. Rather, they wanted to resolve their traumas and insecurities in order to be better parents, providers, and people.
So, with an amended response, I say... Baby Boomers may not be emotionally intelligent, but many are trying to be.
It is arguable that Baby Boomers simply want to achieve a standard of living that their parents never had during the world wars. They wanted to, in the classic expression American kids have heard from their Greatest Generation parents, "put a roof over your head and food in your belly." When these things were not guaranteed to war time parents, anything else is a luxury.
We see with the digital age that society is moving on from mere survival that was the hallmark of the industrial age. Now that we are in a society of free or cheap access to education and information, young people want to move from an almost guaranteed standard of living to a quality of life. Emotional intelligence, young people are showing, is a part of intelligently creating a quality of life.
What do you think? Are baby boomers emotionally intelligent? Would you say that baby boomers possess emotional intelligence? Let me know in the comments.