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Emotional Decision Making

Emotional Decision Making
By Elizabeth Filips • Issue #31 • View online
Have you ever been called overly emotional? If you’re like me, you might have heard it so often it’s a bit of a trigger word. For the longest time I tried to lean into reason and rationality for decision making and tried to switch off the emotional side of my brain (and I still most often do).
But what happens when you can’t reason yourself into an answer? Where both decisions are equally as valid and tempting and there’s nothing to sway you either way? I think that’s when emotions come in. 
There’s many choices I need to make in my day to day life, some bigger and more important than others. From what job to take or apply for to who to ask out for dinner, sometimes simply weighing pros and cons is tiresome, guilt-inducing and impossible. I don’t like comparing my friends’ company and I don’t like to imagine what my life could look like in 3 years. It’s impossible either way. 
A few days ago I got reminded of a medical case I read in a book: after a brain injury a man lost the ability to feel any emotion. (This isn’t psychopathy, psychopaths can still feel anger, jealously etc, this man could feel literally nothing). Although he had all his higher levels of functioning, intellect and reason in place, he became incapacitated. He couldn’t leave the house in the morning, because he’d spend 4 hours staring at his blue and yellow tie, without being able to make a decision on which to wear. There’s no good reason to wear either. The point was, we never realise the little decisions we make every day based on emotion. 
Our feelings tip us ever so slightly in one direction: Chinese food instead of burgers, bus instead of tube and sleeping in 5 more minutes instead of getting up. So many choices we think are reasonable are actually the function of little (or big) feelings. And I’ve decided to take this a step further. 
Having trained myself to be a child of rational thinking as much as I can, I’m now giving these lists a break. I’m focusing on what I feel like saying, doing, answering, experiencing. I’m doing (or not doing things) for no better reason than that’s what feels right. And it’s so liberating.
I know this isn’t groundbreaking stuff, and perhaps most of you will be rolling your eyes at the ceiling if you even made it so far. But if you’re like me, if you’ve been guilted out of emotion in favour of “reason”, maybe try out giving yourself a little break too. It really is a new type of fun. 
Wishing all the overly-emotional ones out there an amazing week,
Elizabeth xx

🪄 Quote of the week
“The courage to be happy also includes the courage to be disliked. When you have gained that courage, your interpersonal relationships will all at once change into things of lightness.”
— The courage to be disliked, Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi with Readwise
🖤 My Favourite Things This Week
Book: I just finished The Attachment Parenting Book by William Sears, and I loved it. Although it had a bit more on breastfeeding and paternal leave than is relevant to my life, the views on supportive and close parenting really opened my eyes to the intellectual and emotional benefits of having a safe and caring space both as an adult and a child. I’ll try and summarise it in a way that’s applicable to non-parents for my other newsletter!
New camera: I just ordered a new camera and lens 👀 which are due to arrive at the end of the month. They’ve already set the record for the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought, so I expect I’ll start looking like Angelina Jolie for this price.
Vlogmas (?): Ok, I’m thinking of potentially doing vlogmas. This wouldn’t be with vlogs (make it make sense, Elizabeth), but with videos. After going through a little burnout in my life, I think I’d like to challenge myself with maybe 12 videos (one every other day) during December? This might be a good chance to put a little less pressure on myself when filming and planning out content, potentially talk a bit more about books and potentially not completely kill off my channel, thoughts are very much appreciated!
Silver play button: This beauty has finally arrived! I still haven’t found it a proper space, so it’s just sitting on my desk, but it’s looking unreal, shiny and very imposter-syndrome-inducing.
This tweet:
i don’t ask for much. just a level of comfort and ease in my life unknown to the vast majority of humanity across all history
🎥 YouTube Videos this week
I got to 100k and I'm completely burnt out
I got to 100k and I'm completely burnt out
Did you enjoy this issue?
Elizabeth Filips

Heya, I'm Elizabeth, a medical student and painter in London. Some Sundays I write about exploring meaning, productivity, little pleasures and just navigating life. And some of my favourite things that week.

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