“Well, emotions are important”
“That’s as far as I’ve gotten”
Having once been mistaken as autistic, I am not the authority on emotions. But I am still going to write about them. I grew up as a long distance runner and I read a saying by George Malley that went like this, “Yes you will get tired. But what you need to understand is that it is just a feeling and it will pass”. With that as my guiding light to feelings growing up, it’s no small surprise that I was mistaken as autistic later in life. There is an important caveat. I also learned to listen to my feelings. If I was tired that didn’t necessarily mean I should or must stop, but it was feedback from my body. That is my perspective on emotions is as follows:
All emotions are feedback.
That is emotions and feelings carry important information. Emotions and feeling are how your body communicates with itself. If you are hungry: it is you body letting your conscious know “Hey you need to eat”. If you are tired your body is telling you, “How about some rest, do you really need to be exercising so strenuously?”. When my muscles are sore, they are telling me something isn’t perfect with them (sometimes it’s because they are rebuilding sometimes they are tied in knots and need to be stretched). If you dread seeing your boss, your mind is communicating with you. If you are anger, it is because you believe something is wrong in the world.
Just because your emotions are telling you something doesn’t mean it is true. You could be angry with your friend because he/she isn’t treating you like the god-king of the world. Even though you think you ought to be treated like the god-king of the world, they shouldn’t be treating you like the god-king, they should be treating you like their friend. You start feeling tired long before you actually run out of energy. You get hungry after three hours, but your body is capable of going weeks without food. But in all cases your body is telling you what it thinks to be true. It is sharing it’s conclusions with you.
Emotions are an information super highway.
They compact a ton of information into that wee little feeling. That cliff is scary don’t go too close. Emotions are the conclusions of your data and life experiences about your current situation. I am angry at you because you cheated on me and you promised me you wouldn’t. Because emotions are conclusions from data, they tend to be weighted heavily. That is are snippets that contain lots of information. Emotions are then powerful communication tools either internally (between the body and the mind) or externally (between two or more people). Because they are so powerful, they are the most effective communication and sales tools (why everyone tells you to sell with emotion).
So pay attention to emotions they are important data, but realize they will on occasion lead you wrong.
The most important thing though is not to conflate emotions with irrationality. As that is the biggest mistake most people (and especially men) make. Emotions are important. That’s as far as I have gotten.