Being emotional versus being logical …

I’ve wondered about this a lot lately …
Human beings are logical creatures (when they are in the right frame of mind) …
Very, very logical creatures …
And I feel (out of a lot of personal experiences), that any problem can be solved and worked out by being completely logical about it, thinking in a clear and concise manner.
Keeping emotions out of the equation …
Emotions – always get in the way of things …
But that cannot really be helped, can it? Human beings are also very emotional creatures …
Sometimes, you take drastic steps – by just being emotional about the whole episode – without thinking things through – and later are happy about the fact that you did.
On some contemplation, you will realize, that you would have not taken those steps if you had sat and thought about the situation in a logical manner.
Which brings us to an interesting juncture – what is the right mix of logic and emotion that needs to go in making an important decision …
This can actually be a dumb point, because when you’re highly charged about and emotional about something – you’re probably not thinking straight about it – no logic.
Whereas in many situations, if you actually sit and think about something through, the charged up feeling and emotions have probably drained off …
I can probably enunciate with a couple of situations where this dilemma may arise …

Say you’re at work – and have probably been wronged in someway.
Maybe you got passed off for the promotion you were expecting, or probably someone (your boss) insulted you etc. etc. – and you’re in a rage.
Very charged up, very emotional – you probably want to quit right then and there – throw your resignation on the guy’s face and walk out of there …
Maybe its a stupid thing to do – and maybe you’ll regret it later. But you want to do it.
You’ll probably regret NOT doing it at all …
Thats the defining moment …
If you take the plunge, you will probably be happy at the fact that you served just desserts.
You’re ego will definitely have jumped a couple of notches …
However, once you start thinking about it, you probably will NOT do it.
Maybe you will feel guilty of being tame and afraid of a confrontation. Things will probably go on as they were – without much change.
So, what would probably be a correct alternative to take?
I know I am generalizing this thing to a great deal and it depends from person to person … But still, what according to a third party watching the proceedings, would be the right thing to do?
Listening to your heart or to your mind?

Another completely different situation can be as such …

Say you like somebody a lot and want to ask him / her out.
You are pretty much at a point in which you cannot help but think about this person a lot.
Pure logic would suggest that you talk to the person concerned and find out whether he / she feels the same.
If they do, awesome. Otherwise, you will know for sure and you can move on.
When emotion kicks into the scene, things get pretty messed up.
You don’t know whether you should ask, whether its the right thing to do, whether you will mess up his / her life, whether you will mess up your life, whether you will still be able to be friends, (and lots of such whether questions).

As Dennis Hopper would say (from Speed): What do you do Jack? What – do – you – do?

It is a very interesting situation actually – and probably millions of people find themselves in it every day of the year.
Basically, I feel – the underlying principal in all such scenarios is “change” – and how much people are afraid of it.
Or maybe, I am just generalizing again and may be completely off the topic.
If you read the book “Who Moved My Cheese” – there is an interesting question:

“What would you do if you were not afraid?”

I think the answer to this probably would help a bit in such situations …

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Comments (9)

  • Aswin Anand T.H. 13 years ago Reply

    As far as I have experienced, the best way to get hold of a situation is to accept it whole-heartedly and be very clear about the position you are in, given the particular situation. Once you accept it, question of logic or emotion becomes clear.

  • Rishi Agarwal 13 years ago Reply

    Hey, Nice blog after a long time 😛 . No seriously, it was a gud blog.

    Will comment more later 🙂

  • abbas 13 years ago Reply

    Hey a Psychology theory says your reactions to situation have depend three concentric over one another.
    The outer circle is the physical aspect . for e.g if you are in a fight you loose your senses.
    The second circle is emotion . for e.g in love your brain goes out of place .
    And the last circle is you logical thinking or the brain what we call.
    And whenever there is a conflict the between the circles the outer circle takes control over us .
    So may be though things are logically correct we do the other thing as we have no control over it.
    But that is what makes humans unpredictable and interesting may be.
    If only logical decisions are made then may be we would be like robot in the IROBOT movie which would takes us to doom.
    May be it is just learning how to control all your circles
    To get the best out of you .
    But how do you do that is also a big question 

  • Saurabh 13 years ago Reply

    Hey Abbas,

    Very interesting insight. The circle theory makes a lot of sense actually :).

    By whole heartedly, you mean – coming to terms with reality right? As in fully understanding the the facts.

  • darkcloud84 13 years ago Reply

    wow ! nice comment abbas…. A very interesting point and gud example of I-Robot !! Would like to hear more on it…

  • Id it is 13 years ago Reply

    ‘Fear of the unknown’is what makes us afraid. If the consequences to a particular action are known then logic rules. However, when that is not the case and we’re treading unknown grounds, fear steps in and logic flies out.
    I would almost venture to say that being emotional is tantamount to being afraid; afraid of the unknown!

    A provocative post Saurabh.
    Happy New Year to you.

  • Saurabh 13 years ago Reply

    I sincerely believe that decisions made out of cold calculated (brutal) logic will have a very high probability of being successful.

    Some emotional decisions may reap very high rewards – which won’t be possible using the logical approach – but then the probability of this happening is quite low.

    An analogy can be made between getting a job to earn money and betting your money on lottery tickets hoping to strike rich.

    However, if you turn into a cold, calculating logical being (something like the robot from IRobot) – well not completely like him but anyways, you will have to contend with a much much smaller circle of friends …

    But hey, you’ll be richer 🙂

  • eshuneutics 13 years ago Reply

    I am puzzled that we see emotion and reason as so opposed. For a long time, the Arts have spoken of intelligent emotion, that is to say: emotion informed by reason. The work done on multiple intelligence theory and emotional literacy/rationality, being able to reason our emotional responses, goes in a similar direction. Good moves don’t depend on one or the other or some shift between circles of thought.

  • Idetrorce 12 years ago Reply

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

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