The Unreasonableness of Emotional Reasoning Bias
Emotional reasoning is a powerful influence in your life, you cannot see it but feel its presence everyday in your life. All of us are ‘guilty’ of playing host to emotional reasoning sometime or the other. But trouble starts when emotional reasoning becomes a permanent tenant in our life. So what is emotional reasoning Bias?
Emotional reasoning is automatic thought. Emotional reasoning is built on the foundation of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”.
Lets exemplify Emotional Reasoning Bias…
Say you are preparing for a job interview, the one you had wanted and aimed for from your college days. You joined personality improvement classes, attitude improvement classes, English improvement classes and all the ‘improvement’ classes that you could enrol into. You are PREPARED to slay the interview When that smidgeon of doubt enters – You begin to think , You have not prepared enough and that you will fail tomorrow.
The uncertainty grows into full blown certainty. Never mind the evidence of you acing the mock tests, forget the fact that your tutors have bestowed their solid approval on you- The only thing you are sure of is that you are going to fail in your tests because YOU THINK SO! That where the evidence and reasoning are like north and south pole is emotional reasoning. Emotional reasoning is based on your emotions, it does not or will not take the solid evidence or logic as its partner.
Emotional reasoning bias during external event
Suppose you are walking on your way to Café Coffee day and you spot a friend across the street. You bellow a loud hello, but the dude just continues on his way. You are hurt and angry at what you consider to be the ‘rudeness’ of your friend. You fail to reason that perhaps your friend did not see you or may be he had his headphone on which made him oblivious to any shouts. This is Emotional reasoning due to a external event.
Emotional reasoning bias due to Internal event
Emotional reasoner’s are very good at creating drama where none existed previously. The live in the cocooned world of their emotions oblivious of reality. The fundamental assumption is – I am feeling this way and there probably is a reason for it. There may be a reason for your current feeling but it may not be based on reality rather the current feeling could be out of insecurities, fear and hurt.
Is Emotional reasoning Bad?
No, Emotional reasoning cannot be tarred as completely black. It can be quite helpful sometimes. Empathy, compassion, consideration, sensitivity are as important as critical thinking.
Emotional reasoning is a seductive mistress, coyly ensnaring you in its trap. Its ok to succumb to the lures of emotional reasoning now and then but getting trapped is strict No! No!.
The best approach to tackle emotional reasoning is to balance your emotions with evidence. Evidence that is based on reality.
Turn to Cognition Behavior Therapy to address the issue
Writing, honestly writing about your emotions regularly in a book and cross checking them for negative thoughts leads to the identification of emotional reasoning. Substitute these damaging thoughts with thoughts you wish to identify with.
Its a struggle BUT it can happen!