Apparently, we’re emotional creatures…

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion… – Dale Carnegie[/mks_pullquote]

We are generally emotional first and logical second. When was the last time you lost your temper, said something or did something you later regretted? This usually happens because of our strong emotions. Just this morning I was browsing facebook and I saw a post on my cousins wall from her ex-boyfriends brother. He was upset at my cousin for breaking up with his brother and “breaking his heart”. He went on to belittle her and resorted to calling names and making himself look like a fool. This is an obvious case of emotion first and logic second. (The post has since been removed) While I’m sure he probably had some valid points and reasons to feel so upset, the mistake was to immediately vent and post it all to a public forum like facebook. Had he paused and taken a moment to think through it all, he may have opted to send a private message, a text, or something other than a public post. The moral of the story? Don’t react while your emotions are still high!

This is especially true with business. I’ve had my share of moments with customers/clients/employees where you just have to hold your tongue. The idea of counting to 10 allows you to try to reframe the incident that is causing your emotions to run high and see if you can approach it from a more logical perspective. The end result after a pause will almost always be better than the immediate reaction. Counting to 10 alone is not enough…it’s easy to be angry and feel the anger intensify as you count to 10. What you’re really doing is giving yourself some time to think things through and see the scenario through as many perspectives as you can and then try to add some logic to the mix.

So next time you feel like acting on your emotions (ie someone cuts you off on the road, someone says something mean, you feel like losing your temper, etc…) take 10 seconds to try to see it from another perspective and become a better person in the process. What do you do fight the urge to act emotionally? Share your tips in the comments below!


  • Sam Fickel

    If you can’t remember to use logical thinking, how are you going to remember to use this logical technique?

    • Good point! For me it’s been a matter of repetition and trying to make it habit. I would say that by pausing and thinking things through in other areas of life, you begin to make it a habit and it starts to carry over into the moments where you wouldn’t normally pause. For example, when I get a text message, I’ve made it a habit to wait at least a few minutes before responding. This has trained my friends and family to not expect an immediate response because I may be busy doing something else like driving or talking to someone in person (and a text message is never a life or death priority). This habit has also helped me to not feel the stress and anxiety of “having to respond immediately” when a text comes in. Since I started that habit, I noticed that it’s easier to have the patience to pause and think when something abrupt happens, like being cut off by another driver. I developed a habit to not feel the need to act immediately when an abrupt text arrives so it also carried over into not feeling the need to act immediately when an abrupt interruption happens while driving. Does that make sense? Anyway, that’s what I’ve noticed in my own experience. It’s certainly not a perfect technique but it’s helped me and that’s why I decided to share. Thanks for commenting on the post! Do you have any techniques that help you “keep your calm” under stressful circumstances?

  • Sam Fickel

    Do I have any techniques myself? Not that I specify. I’m just a very collected person, and I always think logically before I act. I don’t count to 10 seconds, because in some situations that’s a very long time, but there’s definitely some rationale going down before action