Is it possible to choose logic over emotion?
We feel hurt and anger, most often, in a place beneath logic. So it would seem that if you managed to focus on the logic of a situation – on the fact, on the circumstance, on the actual bare bones of the reality – you could avoid some of the more unpleasant feelings in life.
I have tried this. I am an innately logical person, I analyse and I try to understand other people. I am not without empathy, I am not unreasonable. But inevitably, the emotional aftertaste starts to colour the logic, and eventually all I am left with is the churning of feelings that an event brings about. The histrionics burst forth.
But it must be possible. Because there are things in life that make no sense to me otherwise.
This must be how people choose to hurt those they care about. The logical step – the logical conclusion. A decision made for the greater good, to be cruel to be kind. I wouldn’t know, because I have never made a conscious decision that I knew would hurt someone I really cared about unless I was retaliating in some way, licking a wound.
That will sound ridiculous. Of course I have hurt people, I have made hurtful choices, I have said hurtful things, I have repeated things that should not have been repeated. But there is this phenomenon that I have seen in a few people on a few occasions – something like a reverse martyrdom. The clear decision to be harsh, to be cold, to pull away. The email unanswered, the phone not picked up. The clear break.
The only way I can understand it is that they have somehow managed to choose logic over emotion. They have decided that this logical course of action will save them some hurt at a later date – or, worse, they have the presumption to assume that they are saving me some later hurt. There is some logic, there must be.
Because I do not want to think that they are acting on their emotions.