Developing emotional intelligence with Korean nunchi - The360 Healthy

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  • Thursday, November 28, 2019

    Developing emotional intelligence with Korean nunchi

    Developing emotional intelligence with Korean nunchi

    Journalist Euny Hong has democratized the concept of Korean wellbeing nunchi, dating back more than 5,000 years. Based on a system of listening and observation, it would help to better position oneself in front of his interlocutors, to understand their emotions, and to live his social relations more serenely.


    If you follow trends in well-being, you may be familiar with the concepts of hygge, which comes from Denmark, lagom, Sweden, and còsagach, from Scotland. But a new book written by Korean-American journalist and author Euny Hong has made it possible for the general public to discover the Korean wellness plan called nunchi. This principle, which dates back more than 5,000 years, promises to build trust, harmony and connection. His secret? Speak less and listen more.

    The author explains that nunchi is the art of using all of one's senses to understand what others think and feel. The word nunchi means "eye measurement", and so would measure something with the eyes, through observation and listening. Its main principles can be summarized as:
    • be silent when entering new or unknown situations;
    • trust your eyes and ears to guide you;
    • listen twice as much as you speak;
    • trust intuition;
    • do not confuse anxiety and intuition. Anxiety is often felt in the chest, while intuition is felt in the stomach;
    • if some integrate the nunchi since birth, others can learn it.


    Practice daily

    Euny Hong notes that technology can make nunchi more difficult to practice, but not impossible. She suggests limiting the number of virtual exchanges, and favor face to face.

    In social situations, nunchi can be useful for interacting and identifying sensitive topics. Give space to others to express themselves and speak more than you. But avoid emotional topics at first, as they can often deviate. By listening, you will be able to notice frowning, or a false smile, and change the subject if you feel the other person is embarrassed.

    Nunchi also applies to the workplace, fertile ground for aggressive behavior. Pay attention to details. If you want to request an increase, check the mood of your interlocutor. Do you perceive stress? If so, you may be able to postpone the appointment.

    When you start negotiating, let the other person speak more than you. His way of communicating will give you clues as to how you can position yourself and ask your questions. Same thing for a job interview: let the person recruiting you lead the conversation. Good negotiators are above all people who are ready to listen.

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