The danger of emotional reasoning is that our feelings overrule the facts. This can be overwhelming and unhealthy.
I call it analytical behavior, and yet, it’s actually emotional reasoning. Maybe the two are connected when toxic thinking rules our brains. I must admit, I can sit for hours and reason, wonder, and analyze a situation according to my feelings. Then later, I can think back and realize how much time I’ve wasted in a sort of…atmosphere of anxiety.
Understanding emotional reasoning
I’ll try to keep it simple, although I am plagued by this issue and simplicity is not a part of how it operates. Anyways, emotional reasoning is a cognitive process where you basically let your emotions decide the truth of things. Instead of logic and careful thought, we utilize our anger, joy, or jealousy to determine what’s going on in our lives.
Emotional reasoning can get out of control fast destroying many aspects of our lives. I guess it’s okay to reason in emotion a bit, but too much is a nasty recipe.
Are you relying too much on emotional reasoning? Here are a few indicators.
1. Being unfoundedly upset
It’s okay to be angry, we all know this. We also know that it’s what we do with our anger that counts. However, emotional reasoning takes anger, frustration, and rage to a whole new level. Those who suffer from emotional reasoning will lose control over something they feel, and not necessarily something they know.
Say, for instance, if you assume someone is talking bad about you behind your back, you may become emotionally disturbed to the point of getting extremely angry. When it’s a reasoning of this nature, it means you don’t have the facts, just an assumption. While it’s possible that you may be right, it’s not always the truth.
2. Low self-worth
Many times, our temporary emotions drive us to make unreal conclusions about how we appear. If you suffer from low self-worth, you will more than likely be emotional much of the time, and question yourself over and over. You may suffer from depression, anxiety, or anger because you don’t feel good enough.
The point is, we are all “good enough” and these thoughts are lies created by our emotions, and yes, sometimes fueled by insults. The fact remains, self-worth is confidence, and should never be shaken by momentary feelings.
3. Having a jealousy issue
Being a bit jealous is okay, I suppose, but letting this get out of control can quickly ruin relationships. This sign kind of ties in with low self-worth because it’s closely connected. Your partner, truth be told, may not have given you any indication that he is unfaithful, and yet, your emotional ponderings push you to remain jealous and fearful.
Yes, it can be low self-worth in the form of insecurities, but it can also stem from a whole range of anxious feelings shared from other issues in your life. Either way, it’s a huge sign of emotional reasoning.
4. Feeling unintelligent
If you feel unintelligent, it may be because of bullying from the past. Maybe someone insulted you before, or maybe several people’s insults have left negative imprints on your mind. Well, if so, you could be constantly reasoning and concluding that you are dumb. Does this sound familiar?
Emotional reasoning comes in the form of convincing oneself of intelligence levels. Your emotions from a past comment or treatment will guide how you feel about your ability to be smart. If you call yourself dumb or notice someone else putting themselves down in this manner, I’m pretty sure it’s the product of intense and negative emotional reasoning.
Most everyone has done a few bad things in life, but that doesn’t mean we should beat ourselves up. With those who emotionally pick through things and reason about guilt, there is a pattern which keeps them trapped. Whether you know what you’ve done wrong, or if you’re simply holding onto the guilty feeling, you are losing yourself to emotional reasoning,
Often, it’s hardest to forgive yourself than to forgive others, and if you reason it out constantly, it may even feel like an impossible task. It’s good to recognize what’s happening and let go of self-condemnation. This allows you to live again.
The regret of lost time
If you think that all the problems you imagine are hard to handle with your emotions, just imagine how you can never get back the time you’ve spent worrying.
Just think about it. All those times you’ve investigated things driven by your emotions, and all the time you’ve spent being angry instead of happy, yes, that time is gone. You can never get it back. This may sound harsh, but maybe it’s a wake-up call to someone who’s lost in emotional reasoning.
If this is not you and you know someone who suffers from this issue, I urge you to be patient with them. I also urge you to continue sharing the positive things in life with your friends or loved ones in order to build up their morale against these negative feelings. Eventually, with enough care and love, we can break free or help others find their emotional freedom. Let’s do this!
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This Post Has 4 Comments
This is a very well written and eye opening piece. It resonates with me as I find myself often lost in my own head and stuck in the hurt from my past. I hope that I can be more self aware and live in the moment so that I don’t lose anymore time that I cannot get back🙂 Thank you!
It takes time to learn everything about yourself, your standards and your boundaries. IT takes time to understand your emotions and where certain feelings come from. Over time, you will become stronger. That’s the hope we must keep.
I concur with everything you discussed and examples used. It took me many years to now know and identify my trigger points but education is key. Thank you for sharing.
The worst thing about triggers is that we sometimes still don’t know them all. I have encountered a trigger point before and never knew it was there. My family had no idea why I was so upset until I told them how it made me feel. I was able to calm down then and reason with myself.