By Faith Bethelard, Psy.D. D.S.S., Clinical Psychologist

(From Faith’s article on


The time is more than right, right now, for us to define, examine and put into play a new type of intelligence that I call a Tenderness IQ—TQ for short.  TQ, for me, is a combination of emotional intelligence and moral character. Specifically, TQ is about caring and being cared for, tending and being tended, and moving with ease and fluidity between the two roles. We learn this emotional capacity in our earliest life from our kindly caregivers when we, as infants, were too “tender” to do much of anything other than absorb, receive, and bask in the care provided to us.

Once our model for TQ has been established, laid down, and we are older—and  stronger— through imitation we learn that caring and tending to others feels good. This usually starts with our teddy, bunny or blankie.  From there our ability to care expands outward, and if we are lucky we never lose the capacity to receive. This, even in the face of society telling us  to “toughen up,” “do it yourself,” and that “it’s better to give than to receive.” …

Read the full article on