Dear Two Views,

I used to think I was pretty smart until I took a quiz on emotional intelligence. My score was less than impressive, but I come by it honestly. I was isolated when I was young and had parents with some real problems. Now I'm friendly enough -- sometimes. Other times I feel very shy and awkward. My worst problem is with indirect communication. Sometimes you hear two people speaking and it's obvious they want whatever they're saying to be within earshot. But once you hear what's being said and you find the information sort of personal -- what can you say? After all nobody was speaking to you. There are other examples of my social awkwardness. I don't know how to read other people's feelings. I'm someone who likes to stay to themselves and I'd like to be more outgoing. This is causing a real problem in my relationship. My other half is very gregarious and my fear of people keeps folks at a distance from me. But it makes distance for him too and he's the kind of guy who comes from a big family and needs people around him. Help! This book I read on emotional intelligence says those who have it succeed in life more often than those who, like me, are simply book smart.

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