There are two competing thought processes that drive decisions: logic and emotions. Although the two can occasionally be intertwined, deciphering whether your choices are made by logic or emotions can be an important part of ensuing that you’re making the best decisions for your long term satisfaction.
According to Psychology Today, most decisions are driven by emotions, even though most people think that they approach decision making through logic. Emotions are powerful. But logic – the ability to make decisions using sound and rational thought processes – is something that may be missing from your life.
The Flaws of Both Decision Making Tools
Both of these decision making tools have their strengths. Logic is, by default, a method of making decisions that uses sound and rational decision making to find the best conclusion. Emotions, on the other hand, are true feeling. If logic is the brain, emotion is the heart, and the heart is where happiness is.
But what about their flaws? Both decision making tools are flawed as well. Some of these flaws are explored below.
- Requires Emotion – Logic cannot always be completed without emotion, especially with regards to decisions that affect life satisfaction. After all, relationships, jobs, and other major decisions are not always just pen and paper decisions. For example, logically a partner may look great on paper but they do not create feelings of love and excitement. If so, they may not be the right partner.
- Requires Energy – Logic isn’t always a simple process. The amount of mental and physical energy that goes into a logical decision may be more than the time and attention allows. Making a logical conclusion quickly, for example, can be very difficult.
- Can Lie – How you feel may not actually be what is best for you or what your heart really wants. For example, many former partners – after they break up – feel like they miss their relationship. Some may even give in and get back together. But this can be a mistake, as missing someone (an emotion) is common after any relationship simply because a part of your life has changed.
- May Be Irrational – By default, emotions aren’t controlled by logic. Thus, you can have emotions that are completely irrational given the situation. Anxiety and depression are examples of extreme versions of this problem.
In addition, emotions can change the way you think and control behavior, which may mean that your “logic” may be affected by emotions. This happens often to those struggling with mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety, where their emotions make them think in illogical ways.
Which is Better?
In many ways, logic is better than emotion. The more you can think critically and objectively about a decision before you make it, the more likely the decision will be the best for you. The less you are drive only by emotion and instinct, the fewer impulsive or irrational decisions you should make.
But you also shouldn’t be without emotion. Emotion still plays a significant role in decision making, including logical decision making. Love and embrace your emotions, but have a strong sense of logic as well.