Think Or Feel?

It seems reasonable to suggest that vast numbers of people believe that emotions are irrational and are often seen as the exact opposite of logic.

We tend to blame our emotions for some of our troubles, but Professor Richard Lazarus of the University of California Berkely doesn’t buy that argument in a feature story on emotions and interpersonal relationships in the Journal of Personality.

Lazarus argues that’s it not correct to blame our emotions. In fact, emotions just reflect our view of how things are going – for or against us at a point in time, or a particular event or circumstances. This actually makes emotions very logical and very much connected to our reasoning or thought process. This, in spite of the fact that our reasoning may be wrong, or based on the wrong premise.

Just because someone has a strong emotion about an issue or event doesn’t make it the basis of their decision. Many emotions just come from an incorrect premise that will continue to be in place and acted upon until the factual information is changed. Lazarus uses the example of feeling threatened. It’s a perfectly logical emotional reaction when our best thinking leads us to believe that someone is out to harm us. But then, it takes further factual examination to see whether the premise is true in the first place.

That may be the place where we often start running into problems or simple conflicts between our Blue and Green. Reasoning and rationality do have a large role in our emotions. In the words of Professor Lazarus: Emotions are rule-based and do follow an actual sequence of logical steps

Daniel Goleman, Science writer for the New York Times probably describes it most accurately: “In a very real sense, we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels.” I would suggest the key is to know your Colors and to know when you need which one.