Emotions and Decision Making

Having emotions is a major part of being human and to be honest I think it’s fair to say anyone that has no emotion is pretty close to inhuman as you can get. Emotions are a huge part of who we are as people and are often the main driver when we make our decisions but is that necessarily a good thing?

It’s often the decisions we make under overwhelming emotion that we regret and is that a coincidence, no. Think back to some of the decisions that you regret the most. I bet you £10 that you were very emotional at the time and therefore your judgement was clouded (if it wasn’t don’t come for your money, I am poor).

So imagine having perfect vision and you put on one of your friend’s prescription glasses, we’ve all done it, your eyes start hurting a little, everything is blurry and it’s hard to see but once you remove the glasses everything is back to normal, you can see clearly and as your eyes adjust, everything is put back into perspective. So when making decisions your emotions act as those glasses. Things that were once so clear aren’t so clear but once these emotions have gone we realise that we may have made a mistake… things have been put back into perspective.

What makes emotions dangerous is unlike just simply putting on glasses it’s rare that are we consciously aware that our vision (decision making) is become blurred and less reliable.

More harm is done in a state of emotion and many would assume that this is only relevant with negative emotion – you are so wrong. Happiness can be just as detrimental to your decision making. Realise all emotions can have an adverse impact on your decision making and behaviours. Emotions remove the fact from a situation and instead implements a false reality created by your mind.

In a state of emotion we are more likely going to make bad decisions, decisions we will regret. Although, the reality is not all of these decisions may be significant, some can be detrimental to your progress within a whole list of areas in your life that may be important to you.

See it like this, when your emotions are at their peak, you are pretty much running on autopilot, your conscious mind no longer has control (this is where you make decisions and create logic) and instead your subconscious has more of an impact (the source of emotions) and now I have a question. Why would you want to be running on autopilot when big boy decisions need to be made? You wouldn’t. Ideally you want a clear mind, you want to be calm and collected so you can analyse the situation properly. Emotions prevent exactly that.

Now I’m not saying to try your hardest to remove emotion out of your life – that would be dramatic and impossible but what I ask is when it’s time to make decisions (especially important ones) try take a step back and remove the emotion. Analyse, strategize and apply logic to the situation… not (you guessed it) emotion.

I just know you’re screaming in desperation: “how do I remove emotion from my decision making?” and “please teach me!” The reality is, you can’t… well not fully anyways, but something you can do is prevent yourself from making decisions when you’re obviously not in the mind frame to do it. The key to doing this is being self-aware. Being able to know when your emotions are heightened is a skill in itself so it will take some practice but once you can acknowledge when you’re not in a space to be making decisions then that’s basically 90% of the race done.

My best advice would be to study your behaviours. Know what makes you tick and be aware of the sensation of heightened emotion. Write down a checklist of things you feel when you’re emotional – these can be both mental and physical characteristics and when these characteristics start to manifest you know you’re in no space to be making decisions.

Implement this and your decision making process will be a lot more seamless and factual, and that’s what we want from the decisions we make.

Also for those who have important relationships that they would like to maintain, this can be friendly or romantic – apply this logic and I promise you will have less issues. If both parties can enter solve problems with minimal emotion and apply logic – you’ll be surprised how fast things can get resolved. I know it’s easier said than done but it’s not impossible.

As always, stay blessed!

The RTB Team

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