The emotional mind believes it is right in its judgments. In fact, emotions don’t hesitate to make their presence known and to act with a confidence that can take us by surprise. Tentative emotional judgments are virtually unheard of. We instantly feel our emotions are right in their judgments since the feeling dominates our thoughts. And whether the emotion is negative or positive, it is being presented to us very boldly. So what do you think? Do you believe emotions are right — always right?
Emotions Are Right in Their Boldness
This boldness is necessary. If confronted with danger, an emotional response that wavers and hesitates, presenting us with a suggestion rather than a command, would not motivate us fast enough to escape or withdraw. Since emotions race the analytical mind out of the blocks, their boldness goes unchallenged until we can give thought to the matter.
Emotions Are Often Wrong
Imagine the trouble children have when their emotions surge with such confidence and they consequently feel they are right. Are they not right? The child cannot conceive that he could be wrong. His emotions bear strong testimony. For the child, the harmonious functioning of both brains, emotional and rational, must be practiced. Children (also some adults) are still struggling on the learning curve. They must learn by experience that their emotions are often wrong and often right. So it is important for them to think about how they feel.
We Must Evaluate Whether Our Emotions Are Right
All emotions, even the emotion of falling in love, must be evaluated carefully. And we must consult both the emotional and rational brains or we may wake up too late, living with the consequences of a purely emotional decision. Teens have trouble with love, of course. And they should be learning when one of life’s most powerful emotions assails them that they must consult both brains. What happens when the young adult has not yet learned to fully use the brains given to them (both emotional and rational) and they make immature, uninformed choices? We often simply call it immaturity. Whatever we call it, it can be devastating.
It’s not that we should consider our emotions to be wrong simply because their conviction that they are right could be a false alert. We would err much of the time if we did that. Speed, emotion’s strong suit, is not necessarily negative simply because it is accompanied by a conviction that its fast judgment is right, when on further analysis, it could be wrong.
The strong conviction that an emotional judgment is right is not to be lightly dismissed as immature either. Thoughtful evaluation of our emotion’s convictions, coupled with the ability to do the right thing after we analyze them, is the path to intelligence. The wrong path is disparaging all emotional messages because their judgments are fast and bold.
After Emotions Strike
This biased attitude to emotions often tries to develop the ability to stop all feelings before they strike. Neither should we treat rational judgments as though they are right simply because they have slowly processed the facts. Think again of how the speedy judgments of our emotions are often right, flagging us of our immediate needs. The only time to reasonably do anything about our emotions is after they strike. Or in the case of conjuring up the emotions ourselves, before we give birth to them.
Intuitive judgments, which can be valuable information and undetectable to our five senses, make the point that reason cannot be considered as the final court of appeal. The world of intuition and feeling has its claim to wisdom too.
An emotion has a way of rationalizing its own judgments. It sometimes defends the rightness of its decisions by sheer force, overpowering our senses and leaving us baffled rather than allowing us the calm we need to reason our way to what is the best thing to do. Again, when facing danger or hurt, the wisdom of this sense of urgency and conviction should be obvious.
We can also notice another feature in emotion’s claims to be right. If the emotion is negative (like the fear of being hurt), then negative rationalization of the fear usually dominates. If a positive like love is present, then positive rationalization usually dominates. The nature of the emotion (positive or negative) determines how it presents its justifications to us for us to accept it. Simply asking whether this feeling is negative or positive can, in most circumstances, give us a clue as to whether we should believe it or not.
Emotional Intelligence Is…
These facts teach us that emotional intelligence is learning how to free ourselves from the grasp of our feelings long enough to objectively evaluate them together with the situation that gave rise to them. Emotionally gullible people who believe their emotions without examination are emotionally unintelligent.
My hope is that this book will lead you, as its content has led many others, to be intelligently emotional. If it helps you to develop the intelligent use of your emotions and a rewarding lifestyle, my labor will not have been in vain. You can access it HERE. If you are subscribed to our weekly updates, our next issue will provide a link to purchase it with a 15% discount and free shipping.
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