People who think others are easily manipulated are rarely as good at it as they believe themselves to be, & often receive lots of help from the manipulee. That’s probably the basic weakness of the “emotional intelligence” concept. It’s less misplaced confidence, even, than a kind of premature triumphalism, to think that you can manage others. The basic failure of that assumption is to imagine that you set the context of any given manipulation; the underlying horror of your situation is that contexts are seen to recede, terrace upon terrace, the moment you really understand it. (Didn’t grifter movies exhaust all the possibilities of this years ago?) Interestingly, nobody seems to have done any work on the intuitive deployment of alexithymia as a sort of ECM of the emotions, at least in the sense of packing the arena with false signal. Are the emotionally unintelligent protected to a degree by their own deployed confusion as they struggle towards goals they don’t even know they have?