Emotion has such a bad reputation. The general belief is still that emotions should be ignored or repressed. Worse still, is the belief that emotions are signs of immaturity and should not come into play in decision making. Some emotions seem more acceptable, like happiness or surprise, whereas fear and sadness frequently leave us uncomfortable or are regarded as a weakness, particularly in men.
These are outdated and unscientific beliefs. We now know that most decisions flow from emotions to the rational brain where the emotional decision is then rationalised rather than critically observed. We simply cannot separate our thoughts from our emotions.
According to Herbert Simon, American Nobel Laureate scientist, “In order to have anything like a complete theory of human rationality, we have to understand what role emotion plays in it.”
This concept of human rationality is worth remembering when we consider how we make decisions about our money. Money is one of the most emotive things. In our money decisions, emotions are often particularly powerful.
Would it not be better if we acknowledged our emotions, if we welcomed them to the table so that they could be observed and discussed, rather than hide them? It is the hidden emotions which play havoc with our decisions. It is when we don’t recognise that we are fearful about our future, or angry about the implications of our money decisions, that we deny ourselves the opportunity to review the actions which follow.
During this pandemic, we have all gone through a range of emotions – fear, sadness, regret or anger. Many of us have had to make more money decisions than is normally the case – our money situations have changed, in some cases drastically and suddenly. To make good decisions, we must recognise the role our emotions play.
It is time we all become emotionally aware, in tune with an integral and undeniable part of ourselves. Ps. I love to hear your comments. You can comment by hitting reply. Or you can comment in the section below on social media. If you are not on our mailing list, you can subscribe to receive this blog every week on our website www.foundationsa.com.