One possible cause of your unhappiness
I’ve been thinking a lot about our society and society’s relationship with logic and feeling, the tendency to prioritize logic over feelings, and then the consequence of finding ourselves in a position where we need to suppress those feelings in order to endure a life built by logic.
I was recently researching the Meyer’s Brigg’s personality test, specifically my own personality traits and what this tool had to say about my personality type. I came to discover that I fall into the category of people who prioritize feeling over logic, who follow their intuition, and “go with their gut”. This couldn’t me more true for me, but it also made me acutely aware that there’s another category of people who prioritize their logic over their feelings, and how one person’s decision-making process might not work for another because of this fact.
I got to thinking about what my life might look like if I let logic rule my life. I thought back to the decisions I’ve made when logic and feeling were in battle with one another and I chose logic. Some of these decisions ended with me feeling very unhappy despite the fact that the situation should have been positive when viewing it through the lens of logic. And I’m reminded of Gandhi’s belief that the means must meet the end, meaning that you can’t reach a happy end by unhappy means. You can’t reach peace with war or violence. The means by which you use must be aligned with the end you want to obtain.
In my past life situations where I let logic win over feeling, when I chose something that didn’t make me happy because I thought it would be a good idea, I ended up unhappy. When I chose internships doing work I didn’t feel excited by because I thought it would be a good learning experience, I ended up unhappy, unfulfilled, and out of my element.
I believe that logic and emotion are equally important. Both provide information for us. I’ve always looked at my emotions, feelings, and bodily sensations as information. I’ve tried to learn how to listen to the signs they give me and make decisions according to the information provided.
So this leads to my conclusion on the subject matter. Can we expect to be happy when we make choices based solely on logic and not feeling since happy is a feeling? If we create a life based on logic while ignoring the information provided from our feelings, then are we less likely to create a life that makes us happy? I know too many people that seem to be trudging through life, ruled by logic, unhappy, and thus suppressing their emotions with drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication and I can’t help but wonder if they were able to make more life changes using their feelings as information, they might be happier.
If you are someone who over-relies on logic I recommend bringing awareness to the feeling aspects of your life. Try to tune into your body. Notice tension in the body, any pain or discomfort sensations as they change in intensity and move around in location. Observe mood changes and emotions that arise when you visualize the different options of a decision. Take this information into account when making decisions while incorporating logic. Finally, observe whether this connection with feeling and decision making based on feeling promotes improved mood. Lastly, practice self-compassion when attempting anything new.