To many people who know me, this might sound contradictory: I make my best decisions, when I am emotionally charged.
Say, what? You’re right, how can a person in an emotionally charged state make any decisions based on logic and consideration of consequences? Isn’t that what makes a decision good? Logic and consideration? So, with the light of reason shining on us now, how can the oh-so analytical Nicolite Великий condone decisions made in the heat of the moment?
There is a story behind this.
Last week, I told my roommate that I was planning on moving out. I couldn’t take it anymore. His depression was infecting me, I was getting caught in a swamp of regrets and suffering from a terrible loss of motivation. And that when Life was actually, from a statistical point of view, improving rapidly. What does that say about statistics? I digress.
Coincidentally, I had an on-line voluntary test appointment with Dan Mullin for his philosophical counseling. Let’s just say, it’s a real testament to his talent as a counselor and philosophical expertise that it still has this kind of impact on me. Yeah, right, I haven’t even told you what we talked about in the session. But you might have guessed it: The guilt I was carrying for abandoning my best friend, even though I thought (think) it was (is) the right thing to do, hoping that things might get better, but not quite unlikely turn out disastrous for our friendship. Having weighed the possible costs and benefits, knowing that I was choosing between two degrees of evil, of course I couldn’t feel good with the decision, but it had been made, and a decision is a decision is a decision.
Or so I thought.
Tonight, I returned home, emotionally charged, because that’s what I do now before I go home. My friend was still awake, so I asked him, how he had decided. The decision I had given him to make had similarly bad choices: Pay me out for the kitchen that we had bought together, or buy the account that I had put up as collateral for the apartment. I’m not going into specifics now, but he told me his decision was printed, on the table. Basically, it was about what he didn’t like about what was happening, and that he held back on so many occasions… So, I told him, that that was exactly the problem: He was holding back. I mean, he’s depressive, so what do I expect? Depressive people don’t/can’t talk about what is bothering them because they don’t believe anyone would seriously listen. I can’t cure that, I’m not a mental health professional, but damnit, who else could he express himself to than his best friend?
So, I told him that he needed only say a word, and I wouldn’t move out. It took me a while to make him say anything usable at all, but finally he said it: Don’t move out.
After I told him that I would call to tell the real estate agent I wasn’t going to rent the apartment after all, he asked me, if I didn’t want time to cool and consider. So I told him, that I made my best decisions when I was emotionally charged.
Back to Dan: We also talked about how humans were extremely bad at making forecasts. Thinking about how something might turn out helps, but it’s no use. Our emotions, however, are the key to understanding our motivations, and thus to our decision-making. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t think about our choices in a rational way, but without our emotions, ration will have no reason.