Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thoughts on Feeling

How do you make decisions? There are a lot of ways it could go down: a tiny voice in your head pointing you in the best path, a tug on the heartstrings, a series of logical thoughts getting processed together, maybe a telltale shift in your gut.

My personal belief is we all fall on a spectrum somewhere between Thinking and Feeling. I say spectrum because I it's incredibly rare to find someone who will always do one or the other. Of course I've met the extremes: my friend (let's call her Victoria) who can't make a quick decision to save her life because there will always be lists and diagrams and thoughts on each option which need to be individually assessed. Opposite Victoria there's Cori, who's first impulse is also her last. No thoughts, just a gut reaction. As in most areas of life, the extreme is not where you want to be. One side or another is fine, just as long as you're not cemented in to a single process.

Me personally, I make most decisions on a Feelings basis. My gut and my heart are my two main ladies; they let me know what I want and need. Excitement and curiosity always lead me to the right books. When I'm feeling overwhelmed I stop all the nonsense in my head and go for a walk. If I get a chocolate craving then I'm having some chocolate.

That being said my brain still plays a major, if secondary, role in the process. The best example I have right now is when I realized I wanted to date my boyfriend. The feelings were there, mainly a deep happiness whenever he was around and the want for that to continue, but before the actual decision was made I had to let my brain step in. That's my process; I go to the Feelings side of the spectrum for the big picture, Thinking for the details. That helped me answer the important questions, questions that needed answering if I didn't want to regret it down the road: am I ready to be in a committed relationship? Has he moved on from his ex? Is it worth risking the friendship if he isn't in to me? That's some serious shit to process, and thinking it through was the right path to take. Because even though my instinct usually takes me in the right direction, it can only take me so far. Since I know my emotions are the dominant force I stop and focus on what my brain is telling me too. It's a deliberate process.

What I'm trying to say is there's no right way to think as long as you make the effort to know what type of thinker you are. We have to know what our box is if we can hope to look outside it.