Emotion-Based Decisions: Good or Bad?
Emotion-Based Decisions: Good or Bad? And how we make the decisions.
Emotions. Two in particular- FEAR and LOVE. It is these that drive and influence every thought and direct every response. These are what make us run- towards certain things, and away from others. It is these emotions that stop us from living our lives or force us to live our lives!
It is these emotions that make us feel so strongly: that pull us so strongly towards something or someone or that drive us away from the same scenario quicker than we can even control.
How many times do you think back on a situation or a decision, that now leaves you with regret, and ask yourself why you acted a certain way, or why you said what you said? Nine times out of ten, the answer will be because you acted in the moment- letting your emotions take the lead. You did something or said something because you felt scared, or simply because you felt love. Emotion-based decision making can be positive and lead to good things, but it can also be very toxic and lead to feelings of regret, anger, guilt and unhappiness. Like everything in life, it is important that our decisions are based on both emotion and logic; we need to have balanced decision-making skills.
Whether it’s dating someone who treats you horribly, or wasting money on something you can’t actually afford, your feelings can lead you astray if you’re not careful. Sometimes we let someone get away with too much in a relationship and when asked why, the answer is ‘because I love them’ or, ‘I’m scared I will lose them if I say something’… We can see how these comments prove that whatever the behaviour was, the person chose to ‘ignore it’ as they were acting out of emotion (love and fear) rather than logic and reason. Maybe it means turning down a job opportunity out of fear that you think you will not be good enough. Whatever the scenario, if we simply act on emotion alone- it is not going to be good for our emotional well-being and self-development.
Heightened emotions, hazy decisions!
There is so much anxiety, uncertainty, and fear amongst us now. The fear of this Covid-19 disease itself; and the fear of what it means for us, our families and our world; thinking of the fear of loss in all of its financial, emotional and physical forms. The world over has never needed to make such BIG and DRASTIC decisions, let alone in such a short period with very little knowledge. Let us try to make these decisions with mindfulness and balance- balancing our emotions with logic. It is important we react to people’s choices, decisions and take on this pandemic with LOVE. Everyone is doing their best to make sound and logic decisions in a very dark, scary and unknown time. When we are experiencing these emotions, it is easy for our judgement to become clouded and for our logic to disappear. Now more than ever, people will be making emotion-based decisions purely due to the weight of the situation and the time in which to respond. There is no time to be wasted. The root, no doubt, of each of these decisions and choices will be FEAR and LOVE.
There have also been so many decisions and choices that are made purely from a place of love during this time; the generosity and kindness has been awe-inspiring to say the least. You don’t have to look far to see this.
Looking at our own emotions
This period has also taught us so much about our emotions. We all know what emotions are, and we feel them all day, every day- but how often do we THINK about them? This time has been perfect for people to spend time on themselves, becoming self-aware and navigating through emotions they have previously ignored. People have had time to identify their fears and hone in on their loves. It has allowed people to focus on those closest to them and to spend time doing the simple things in life- falling in love with the basics all over again.
Empathy is Everything!
So, as parts of the world start moving out of lockdown- let us remember this… Each family, community, town, district, province and country is going to need to make big decisions. You won’t understand them all but let us try to respect them all. Everyone is trying to work through this pandemic and this looks different for everyone. ‘We are in the same storm, but not the same boat.’ I saw this circulating on Facebook and loved it:
“You do You, I’ll do me. That is what we should be about. None of us have the same circumstances (medically high-risk child/family member or a business about to go under, etc.). Let us all stay in our own lanes and keep the judgment down as we begin to reopen. No one should feel pressured either way.
Some people don’t agree with opening… that’s okay. Be Kind.
Some people are still planning to stay home… that’s okay. Be Kind.
Some are still scared of getting the virus and a second wave happening… that’s okay. Be Kind.
Some are sighing with relief to go back to work knowing they may not lose their business or their homes… that’s okay. Be Kind.
Some people already lost their jobs and businesses. Be Kind.
Some are thankful they can finally have a surgery they have put off… that’s okay. Be Kind.
Some will be able to attend interviews after weeks without a job… that’s okay. Be Kind.
Some will wear masks for weeks… that’s okay. Be Kind.
Some people will rush out to get their hair or nails done… that’s okay. Be Kind.
The point is, everyone has different viewpoints/feelings and that’s okay. Be Kind.
We each have a different story. If you need to stay home, stay home… But Be Kind .
If you need to go out, just respect others when in public and Be Kind!
Don’t judge fellow humans because you’re not in their story. We all are in different mental states than we were months ago.”
How do we go about making decisions that are balanced?
Ideally, when making a decision, one should follow the following steps:
- Identify the decision.
- Gather relevant information.
- Identify the alternatives.
- Weigh the evidence.
- Choose among alternatives.
- Take action.
- Review your decision.
Obviously, the time taken will depend on the magnitude of the choice and/or decision. This is obviously also a logical route to exploring your choices. All our decisions will come from an emotional state, we cannot turn this off- but balancing our emotions with reason and logic will help us to make GOOD emotional decisions rather than BAD emotional decisions. The difference? Taking time to properly identify your emotion, processing why you feel that way and choosing your better option.
We are not always afforded the option and time to go through each of these steps, which is what leads to emotion-based decisions. A great example of this would be being put on the spot and impulse buying something- we have all fallen victim to this one, and, these are the things we regret buying and never use again. When we take the time to research a product and alternatives, weighing the evidence- we are happy with our purchase. The same ‘model’ can be applied to most decisions we make in life. With life’s bigger decisions, this is what we should be making a conscious effort to do.
Our big decision?
So, these two emotions- FEAR AND LOVE… the ones that influence our every thought and direct our every move… of course, it is these that were overwhelmingly present when we were starting to discuss the possibility of Connectable Life, weighing up the evidence before we took action.
Our love for people, for helping people, for trying in our small way-hoping it will become big- to make a difference. Our love for all things mind, body and wellness. Both of our love for media and technology and the fact that it’s making the world a smaller place, a connectable place. Our love for life. We knew we had to do something!
And then, inevitably, the fear…
Is it going to work? Are people going to buy into the idea? What if it doesn’t work? Where do we even begin? How will we pay for it? The list goes on… But the answer always remained the same: it has to. It just has to work.
And so, here we are, driving out the fear and making it work. Because at the end of the day, love trumps! And of course, we are doing our absolute best to balance our decisions with just the right amounts of emotion and logic ?