In our minds, we’re always logical – we go through the day with the ability to make sense of everything that is happening, and we make (or have made) sound, adult decisions. Realistically, emotion has the tendency to sneak in and overtake our thought process, eroding our decision-making credibility.
When you boil it down, it’s often difficult to react logically when emotions are involved. Why is it important to understand this small distinction?
Because emotions are clouding your logical mindset daily.
Don’t get me wrong, we all have emotional tendencies (read: situational triggers) and days that will knock us off guard, but there are situations in which we ALWAYS react emotionally versus logically, and these are the times that we are harming ourselves.
These situations happen in both personal and professional settings – and we end up choosing to feel hurt or victimized instead of learning from what occurred. (These are excellent opportunities to communicate or be introspective. Self-discovery is a beautiful tool.)
It’s Not Personal
While it always feels like a personal attack on you, sometimes, it’s just black and white – there is no gray in someone’s decision. They needed to speed along a process, they were trying to keep the team from falling behind, they needed to get a straight answer on something – it’s not your failure, and it was not done to intentionally hurt you. Whatever decision (or action) was made strictly because it needed to be done. Your performance was not called into question. While you may be internally agonizing, the other person involved has not even given it a second thought.
If you’re concerned, ask. Communication is key. Your collaborator will be more than happy to talk you through their process/mentality and help explain the logic behind how they got there to put your mind at ease.
It’s Just Business
Work is (and should be) logical. Our bosses ask us to make logical decisions daily – we allow emotion to creep in. Yes, we make friends on the job. But, our friends should not cloud our judgement when making decisions. Does it happen? Absolutely. Should it? No.
That being said, do your very best not to make or change a decision for an emotional reason – attempt to sit level headed, clear, and logical as much as possible. You should not need to justify your reasoning to anyone, and if you’ve been logical, you will not need to. Just food for thought.
I’m sorry for going straight generalization here, but as women, we have the tendency to be emotional – and in matters of the heart, we tend to let our heart lead the way, without thinking whatever we are experiencing all the way through. Leading with your heart is a good thing, but sometimes we need to be fair to ourselves and consider that logic can (or should) dictate the next step – whatever we’re feeling emotionally may not be the best course of action.
If you’re feeling emotional (especially in dealings of the heart) step back and evaluate the situation. If you feel you need to clear your head and consider the situation in a different way, you are most likely right. There is probably a friend you can call and talk through the situation with, who will help you look at it through a different lens. This will help save you time and heartache.
All is Fair
Strike the balance as much as possible – work to ensure that you do not have an emotional reaction to a logical decision; or, work to have a balanced reaction. Depending on what you say and/or do, you may not be able to recover from your words or actions. Always ask for more information if you’re interested in why something happened as it did, but do not come across as threatening (or having been threatened). When emotions run high, it’s important to remember what information you actually need to feel better – get to the core of what’s important. Beating around the bush will not solve problems. Make sure you ask the right questions.
Being hurt never feels good, as we’re all prideful creatures, but it’s not worth damaging relationships – personal, professional, or friendly. Make sure you always take a moment to evaluate where your anger and pain is coming from when you have an emotional reaction to decision – if you need to remove yourself from a situation for a moment (I’m a big fan of, “I need to take a few minutes to think this over, and I’ll call you back once I have”) do it. Think it through before you speak – it’s better to stay silent than say something you cannot take back.