||[Jun. 24th, 2006|05:49 pm]
Emotional reasoning can be defined as allowing your emotional reaction to an event determine what you believe about the event. For example you might feel anxious whilst talking to someone you have just met and you then believe that the conversation must be going badly.
Other examples include:
~”I feel guilty so I must have done something wrong.”
~”I feel overwhelmed and hopeless, therefore my problems must be impossible to solve.”
~”I feel angry at you so you must have done something very wrong towards me.”
This kind of reasoning can be misleading because our emotional reactions to events are a result of out thoughts and beliefs about these events. If our beliefs aren’t 100% reasonable, if we have used any kind of distorted thinking, then our resulting emotions are unlikely to give us totally accurate information.
So does this mean we should ignore our emotions? No! It just means we sometimes need to question the thoughts behind our emotions before making decisions.
Emotions are not right, wrong. Good or bad, but they can be comfortable or uncomfortable. Emotions are information. You can use them to help you figure out what you are thinking about an event so you can check out if these thoughts are reasonable, but don’t assume that your emotions always reflect the truth about an event.