With 6 Powerful Words, Mark Cuban Just Shared a Brilliant Example

of Emotional IntelligenceGratitude, restraint, praise, expertise, restraint (again), and reframing.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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  • This is a story about Mark Cuban and the most important rule of emotional intelligence.

Let's set the stage as quickly as we can. A TikToker named Julia Mazur recorded a video explaining how she spent her Friday evening and Saturday morning, given that she's "29 and single, and I don't have kids yet ..." 

Highlights involved going to a Beyonce concert, waking up at 10:15 a.m., buying ingredients to make shakshuka, and hanging out at home and watching Netflix and Hulu.

The tone of the video is kind of self-affirming, or maybe even self-congratulatory, but it includes some lines like this at the end:

I say all this to say whenever I'm hard on myself about why I'm not married and I don't have kids and I should be further along at 29 almost 30. I wouldn't want to do anything else this Saturday.

You can watch the whole thing here if you'd like. But, her video was shared by some people on X, and some of the takes got pretty harsh. The toughest probably came from Matt Walsh, a right-wing activist and political commentator, who told his 2.4 million followers:

Her life doesn't revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she's too stupid to realize how depressing this is.

Cuban, who is active on social media and who has 8.8 million followers, fired a shot, replying to Walsh: "Says the guy who's life revolves around Twitter/X." That prompted President Trump's former speechwriter and aide Stephen Miller to challenge Cuban: 

You have a large following. People listen to your advice. What would you say is a more fulfilling path for adults: starting a family, or sleeping late and watching TV? What advice would you give to someone who suggests they wish to be childless so they can stream more shows?

And then, Cuban had his moment. Let's break it down.

It has six key parts:

  1. Gratitude. (To Miller for asking.) It's disarming.
  2. Restraint. He says he wouldn't give advice if he wasn't asked to.
  3. Praise. He holds up Mazur for replying to people in the comments and "offering a place for people who can relate to her."
  4. Expertise. Cuban shifts the conversation to business -- the wellness space, and opportunities Mazur might pursue.
  5. Restraint (again). Cuban addresses Miller's question straight on, saying: "I would tell her to do whatever she thinks is best for her. It's none of my [effing] business." Frankly these last six words are the most powerful part of the whole thing.
  6. Reframing. Cuban does some emotional jiujitsu here, framing the whole debate as one between "joy" (Mazur) and "hate" (those who are cutting up her video and criticizing her).

Remember, I'm not here to try to convince you of anything regarding Mazur's video, or even Walsh or Miller's response. I have my own opinions, but like Cuban, I recognize that literally nobody is going to change their thinking based on a social media argument.

But that's also why I was so struck by the way Cuban handled it. I don't know that he'd use the phrase "emotional intelligence" to describe what he did, but he really did exhibit world-class understanding.

As I write in my free e-book, 9 Smart Habits of People With Very High Emotional Intelligence, one of the most important attributes of emotional intelligence is restraint. 

It's about recognizing that you don't have to have an opinion. And even if you do have something you'd like to say, you almost always have the power to do so on your timeline, and to reject other peope's framing and replace it with something you'd prefer.

Life is simply easier when you learn some of the basic tenets of emotional intelligence. So, no matter where you are in your life's journey, or for that matter how you spend your Saturdays, I think you'll find it's worth the effort. 

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