Reason over Emotion - everytime
When I think of reason over emotion, I think of mind over matter, wise decisions over rash ones, being in control of a situation instead of being controlled by it.
From the perspective of a male, this is typically easier to do. From a female perspective, it's easier said than done. Women tend to be much more in touch with emotions, whereas men can almost be devoid of emotions.
It's partly our natural makeup, it's partly our culture, and it's partly personal approach.
My suggestion is to use reason over emotion every time you make a decision. I know that isn't possible, but I suggest you at least give it a try.
My Preferred Approach
Way back when I created a guiding principle that helped me be successful in dealing with various situations. It's still valid today, so I'll share it with you.
When making a decision, first use your head, then use your heart, and then go back and use your head again.
It's real simple and it works very well.
Using this approach, you make a logical assessment of things, and then you look at the "human side" of the situation. It allows you to be aware and sensitive to feelings and emotional reactions that people have. And, before you make the decision, you go back and use your rational thought.
The reason this approach works so well is that it starts with logic and reason, and it ends that way as well. In between, you consider the emotional aspects, but in the end you're employing reason over emotion.
This approach works well with decisions you have to make during emergencies, opportunities to buy things, people asking for donations, personal relationships, and whatever else you face in your life that requires a serious decision.
Let's say there is someone asking for your help. Do you help them? How will you help them. How do you decide?
If we think with our head first, we recognize the "pickle" that the person is in - no money, house on fire, car accident, out of work, children need food and shelter, etc. We also might recognize the cause of their trouble and see that it's of their own doing, or perhaps no fault of their own.
Next, using our heart, we can assess the consequences that they and others might face if the situation isn't effectively addressed. It's important to recognize that one person's emergency doesn't only affect just that person.
Going back to use our head again, we can combine the knowledge that we gained to make a good decision about what we're going to do in response to the request. This is using reason over emotion, once we have a better understanding of the situation.
So, we might decide to:
- pitch in immediately because lives are at stake
- take time to analyze the situation more closely because it "feels" like a scam someone is running
- direct the person to handle it on their own as a "direct lesson" in failure to plan
- ignore the request altogether, knowing that if you "feed this dog" it will always come back
- offer advice for resolution of the matter so the individual can do it themselves instead of imposing on others
- get them to help you with the activities that they propose be interrupted, and when your work is done you can help them
These all represent reason over emotion for better decision making. I know its hard to do sometimes, but with lots of life experience in the rear view mirror, I can tell you that it's a great approach to making decisions, and it keeps you focused on what's most important - you and yours.
Done with Reason over Emotion, back to Are You Frugal