Which Comes First – Emotion Or Thought?
A recent comment here on the blog brought up a good topic…
“Which comes first? Emotion or thought?”
Can emotions cloud our judgement and actions during an emergency?
Do emotions adversely affect the actions of people during everyday life? Should they?
How many people ‘react’ first rather than ‘think’ first?
Is this more of a problem today than before? If yes, then why?
Are people not being taught to ‘think’ anymore?
From the standpoint of general social and societal development, reacting first to one’s emotions might not always be the best first thing to do… While the world would be pretty boring without emotions, a world of ‘untamed’ emotions would be a very dangerous place.
“Emotions are so very, very powerful.”
How many people today base their reactions solely or firstly upon their emotions?
Did you know that emotions are HIGHLY LEVERAGED in today’s modern world of marketing and politics?
Example: In certain political realms, the purposeful ‘tweaking’ of feelings and emotions is commonly used to trigger a desired reaction from the masses. Knowing that the majority of the public are ‘reactionary’ and knowing that most will not ‘think it through’, and knowing that most are poor ‘critical thinkers’ – tweaking the emotions of others can be a powerful tool. This is used by all sides of the political spectrum. And the use of this powerful tool goes beyond just the political realm…
Example: ALL of the advertisements that you see and hear are designed to capture your emotions in order to get a desired response. While marketing and advertising are necessary parts of the system, how many people are drawn in to ‘the sale’ without clearly thinking about it first? How many people recognize that their emotions have been purposely nudged or tugged in a certain direction to get you to buy that thing? Not saying that it’s wrong to buy it, just wondering how many will get into a situation where they shouldn’t be due to not having thought about it well enough first…
My general observations lead me to believe that a majority of people are very much emotion based – to the extent of easily being manipulated.
I believe that this is the case because fewer people today are being taught how to think critically. Kids are not being taught how to do this by their parents and evidently are not being taught enough critical thinking within the school systems (broad brush strokes).
I believe that parents today (compared to years gone by) very much coddle/shelter their kids too much (even into adulthood) such that many grow up unable to (or inadequately able to) deal with our understand, or accept failure, losing, difficulty, or constructive disagreement with another notion or what someone else may say. Emotions apparently come first, and subsequent actions are often strictly a result of the emotion.
Why is this happening?
Because there’s not enough constructive teaching time being spent with kids during their development.
Because there are lots of single parents.
Because both husband and wife are working full time.
Because some people just shouldn’t be having kids…but they do.
Because typical ‘Day Care’ for kids are not teaching these attributes.
Because each subsequent generation of parents coddle and ‘comply’ with their kids even more than before – magnifying the problem. It’s hard to teach kids and it takes time, patience, and commitment. Fewer and fewer parents want to devote the time necessary (for a variety of reasons).
School systems today are actually promoting ’emotional based thinking’. Not all schools, but certainly those of a particular political leaning.
Kids (and now adults) are used to getting what they want. When they don’t get what they want, their ‘screaming’ often enables them getting it.
There are lots of other reasons…but I digress.
Might it be ‘healthier’ for the individual, and for society in general, to delay or squelch the initial emotional reaction and ‘think’ before one acts or speaks? I do believe that this is something that needs to taught and emphasized through one’s upbringing and development. I don’t believe that it’s something that comes naturally.
When emotions rule actions, we devolve as human beings. And I believe that we are indeed devolving in this regard.
Has our very modern world and have our very modern lifestyles made it too easy for us? When many or most people are able to get pretty much whatever they want, does this help or harm the ability to think critically?
Another angle is that of survival during emergency situations. If we become overwhelmed by the emotional impact during an emergency, we might not be able to make good and quick decisions – particularly when seconds count…
This is why training is so important. It helps you to be better prepared for that ‘shock’ of adrenaline or emotional distress. Training will help condition your ‘muscle memory’ to perform under duress.
CONCLUSION: Emotion may naturally come first, however emotional response should probably best be delayed until you have ‘thought’.
Critical thinking is a survival skill. It is relevant for ‘modern’ day to day survival and societal development as well as emergency/disaster survival.
Practice, training, teaching. When we feel ourselves getting ’emotional’ (angry, upset, scared, etc..) we must first RECOGNIZE that we are feeling it. THEN and only then can we force ourselves to remain calm – let it die down a bit – and then THINK before we act or speak.
Teach your kids to ‘think’. When they fail, use the opportunity to exemplify that failure is a part of life and use it learn and better one’s-self for success next time.
So, what are your thoughts?
Extreme Excellent Article.
Emotions are a secondary intellectual event, the first event is perception. What automatically triggers emotion? The values which a person possesses at the time of the perception, regardless of whether these values are realized consciously, or have been conditioned, or inserted into a person’s mind, without rational effort. In sane and rational person, whose value set is fully understood, their emotions become a sort of intellectual short cut, which speeds effective responses to any situation, and increases their chances of survival. If one sees a baby impaled on a bayonet, this perception evokes an emotional response, and this generated emotion may be rational, or not. One might feel anger and rage, or one might laugh with delight as another enemy child is prevented from reaching adulthood, and thus, prevented from becoming an adult enemy warrior.
If your values are irrational, your emotional reactions will be just as irrational. Most people are simply not that rational and possess values which have never been realized, examined, or understood. Emotions to most people are placed higher in their cognitive world, than is reason. If they feel a certain way, even if they cannot express WHY they feel as they do, that feeling will take priority over any contrary reason presented to them.
This is why you see all the screaming during any political conflict. Calm debate where people match their rational basis for their positions, and give sway to the side possessing the greater reason, is non-existent.
The biggest difference between political sides today is one of VALUES. Values held by tenacious indoctrination, which go unrealized. VS. Values held by reason, which exist in harmony with the primary value of all values…one’s own life.
Thanks for taking it a level or two deeper… Good comment.
You have all heard the old British saying – Chin up, stiff upper lip.
Here’s another old British saying – totally un-P.C. : Carrying on like a Latin.
The stiff upper lip created an empire.
The emotional drag destroyed them.
Ken. This is an excellent article.
I believe that the current western trend exemplifying emotion will ultimately bring down the Christian/Judaeo civilization.
That is …. if there is not a major reset first.
Great analysis Ision.
Situational awareness also comes into play. When one sees an upcoming disaster or prepared something could happen, thought prepares us for our reaction. I have observed it is the ones that come out of nowhere that leaves us to emotion first in most cases because it is unseen and unprepared for.
I recently had this reaction when I was teetered on the edge of my icy roof trying to reach the ladder getting down 2 weeks ago when I almost slid off. It was a piece of cake getting up to shovel my roof and remove the tree and never had a problem before getting down. I didn’t see it coming. I felt an emotional panic at first because the more I tried to back away from the edge, the more I headed beyond the edge away from my ladder. It wouldn’t have been so bad if there was snow beneath me, but the hard stairs and railing was there and would have surely broke or killed me. My thought processes kicked in and I heard “be Still” in my head and I quit struggling.
In the couple seconds I stop struggling, my rear melted the ice on the edge of the roof and my butt stuck to the ice. I know it is funny, but it worked like a charm and I was able to move back finding some ice chunks to pull away and maneuver to get to the ladder. My situational awareness has increased since this happened.
The mystery of the voice that told me “Be Still” puzzles me because I wasn’t thinking about melting the ice with my rear end, causing fabric friction holding me in place. Either it was a subconscious thought or a guardian angel was speaking to me. Since I told the story to my friends, I got a lot of ribbing for having a “hot” part of my anatomy… ;-)
It was your guardian angel.
My mother has been in a couple of situations with potentially bad outcomes. Each time she heard my grand fathers voice telling her what to do. Was it him or just that he had always stressed thinking in any situation. He constantly went over scenarios with us all. I always told the kids panic gets people killed or injured, one listened one didn’t care to guess which one has had more problems.
Americans have been conditioned to “feel” instead of think. This conditioning has happened over time through the school system, media, and popular culture. The fact that most people feel instead of think is a root cause of most of our significant problems.
A few years ago I met a cousin & her husband. He could not believe we had eleven grandchildren because no one he knew had more than 2. He had one. When families were larger emotional response were not tolerated by parents or siblings so a lot of emotional temper tantrums were short circuited at an early age. Today it is easier to give in to one little darling than to 4-10 screaming brats in years past.
Interesting subject. One element of leadership training I have received is Emotional Intelligence (EI). If you can get past the latest “business trendy” leadership training buzzwords, which EI is one, and look at the chained elements of EI, EI becomes a mental process to functioning effectivly. Depending on the training group or company there can be many elements of EI. The basic elements I received training in are-
Self-Regulation (or Self-Management)
Social Skills (my weak element).
Self-Awareness is basically recognizing your emotions and emotions of others around you. Self-Awareness means you know your strengths and weaknesses, know that you can impact people, you are able to self-manage your emotions by recognition and thinking before emotionally reacting (in a non-emergency situation, it was business training after all).
Self-Regulation is the ability to not allow an emotional reaction (your amygdala going into hyper drive)hijacking, or preventing, your logical thought process from being used. The amygdala is a faster brain response than the logic brain (cerebrum)and the hijack takes a bit to fade off and function logically again. In other words, you stay in control.
Empathy, you can put yourself in others shoes to truly understand a differing view.
Social Skills, in business you can hear good and bad news, praise, resolve conflicts, good communication skills, step up and do the work, accept consequences/responsibility for your actions.
So, what does it all mean Dean? I needed this skill set a long time ago, life would have been much easier to deal with. Now I have the tools, by no means am I an expert practitioner, but life is a lot more enjoyable, calmer and I seem to accomplish much more with more enjoyment.
Until this or similar Leadership training elements are taught in all school levels and at universities, it’s up to business to provide leadership training of which EI is an element. Very rarely have I seen a graduate have any sort of leadership or EI training prior. I have designed leadership training approaches, every new hire receives Situational Awareness, Leadership Styles, Emotional Intelligence, Conflict Resolution and Team Dynamics at a bare minimum. It’s one thing to be intelligent and skilled, to be effective and achieve results you have to be provided knowledge on how to function in a business environment (business politics aside).
To me, what we are observing that Ken wrote so well about, is the total lack of knowledge and expected exercising of leadership elements, specifically emotional intelligence. We are, in my view, seeing amygdala hijacks everywhere with minimal to zero self-awareness, self-management and any shred of empathy, so achieving effective results in a team or group environment is out the window.
Buckle up, be aware and think/do accordingly.
Great response. It really gets me thinking (along with Ken’s post and all responses) about what kind of skills I need to start teaching my 6 year old. I am currently dealing with the emotional response to everything (sometimes wonder if she’s doing the terrible 2’s that I thought she skipped!). I think my parents did really well with teaching EI skills, but I really honed my critical thinking skills on the college debate team, as we had to be able to advocate both sides of every issue. I find this is the single most useful skill I acquired in college. I cringe at political correctness these days…it was just nascent I was in college and it was shoved down my throat in debates.
Wonder where we’ll be in 25 years?
EI is a powerful component of exemplary leadership. The human brain is an open loop system, meaning that our emotions feed off of our surroundings and other people’s emotions. Recognizing our own and other’s emotions allow us to rationally process them and respond in a controlled, appropriate manner.
Having a plan for when things become chaotic or beyond my control hopefully will help me lessen the impact. Also, even though I’m not living the homesteading lifestyle full time, I’ve stayed in decent physical shape and have practiced using outdoor skills of survival, hunting and accumulating spit fire wood, the old way.
For too many of todays young adults, both parents work leaving them unsupervised. Still many see one of their peers go making decisions and think being a copycat is ok for themselves without thinking through those actions and the possible life changing consequences. The lack of communication and not recongnizing the warning signs of todays youth has contributed to a lack values and direction.
I think most who write at this site share these thoughts, however we are a very small minority compared to most intercity and suburban areas.
I find myself closer to 70 than 60 now so things have a little different perspective than they once were when I was much younger, I tend to pray a lot more and walk with a little less spring in my step, but can still climb into a three stand for hunting deer. Also trying my best to pass on a little wisedom to my Grandsons. Recently became a Great Grandpa of twin boys!!
Merry Christmas to All!!!
This is the true basis of ancient Ninjutsu. People are controlled through emotions. Fear, anger, lust,self worth or lack of, etc are all emotions used today for advantage over others. Ision explained emotions as well as any I have read. A fun exercise is to observe any advertisement and see which emotion or emotions they are trying to trigger. Always remember their true motive is to separate your money from your wallet. If one can master their emotions they will be able to master others. This is much harder than one thinks but an important exercise to understand.
Proverbs 28:26 He that followeth his own heart is a fool; but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. Stephen Covey “Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny”. Values are derived from truth, which has been under attack for a very long time. The less truth, the less values. The less values, the less reason. The less reason, the less order. The less order, the less peace.
I finished college later in life – as a working adult. Although challenging to return to school at that point, I retained a lot more info because I could immediately relate what I was learning to what I was doing professionally. One class that really surprised me was “Critical Thinking”. I laughed out loud when reading the syllabus that included a description of “Thinking about the way you think about thinking”. Okaaaay…
But, I learned a LOT in that class. Business-wise, I gained a clearer understanding of the differences between strategic, tactical and operational thinking and planning (applies to prepping as well). From a personal perspective, I also learned a lot about reasoning vs emotional response and how to recognize when emotions are overwhelming common sense or logic.
I agree completely with Ken’s vital point about training – mental and physical. As a person’s brain attempts to process in a crisis it can be very difficult (and cost valuable time) to make good decisions. Panic (lack of training) can lead a person to do exactly the opposite of what they should do in an emergency: freeze when they should move, gulp for air when they should be holding their breath or scream when they should be silent.
In day-to-day life, think about every commercial you’ve ever watched – they all try to elicit an emotional response, such as:
Fear – You won’t have money to retire without our investment services
Pride – People will envy you when you are driving this cool new car
Guilt – You do want your kids to have the best “whatever” – don’t you?
Love – Hallmark cards, diamond jewelry, etc… if you REALLY love someone
It goes on and on – constant attempts to manipulate us into making emotion-based purchases. Many people don’t recognize the sometimes subtle way advertisers are looking to reach them on an emotional level.
Great article, Ken!!!
So Cal Gal,
There are two specific fast food commercials that evoke a response from me that I’m certain the marketing folks didn’t plan on. All the conversation today makes me wonder why I even care about the two commercials, they found one of my hot buttons and I am surprised it was still wired up and active. Just another lesson to avoid the “one-eyed monster” and go do something that’s productive.
When I look back on my years of schooling, the lesson that made the most lasting effect on my life was an eighth grade health lesson. The teacher taught us about advertising and how it works. Once I had that information, I was never as susceptible. This expanded into an awareness of propaganda and mob madness which served me well at university during the sixties.
Emotions are not something that runs very high in my family. As a previous poster mentioned, larger families may have something to do with that. I only have 2 brothers and a sister, but my dad came from a litter of 12 and my mom from a litter of 10. They both grew up during the depression with very little tolerance for emotional outbursts (tantrums?) and I guess they just naturally passed it on to the next generation. When I was growing up and something I disliked came up, for a split second I may have had the itch to throw a tantrum but then my logical mind would kick in and remind me that a tantrum would result in a paddling, a belt, or even just a swift smack up side the head depending on who you were near or where you were when throwing said tantrum. One a side note, not sure if it’s related, but did you know there are 21 states that still practice corporal punishment in school?
I guess we just learned at an early age to think before we act. If you’re in a store with your mom and you want that candy bar, you don’t whine or throw a tantrum for it, you think of some other way of ingratiating yourself with her in order to get it. Whining won’t work, but offering to carry a bag or two to the car might help. Sometimes even just plain old flattery might work. We found out early on that whining always had the opposite effect you were looking for. So many parents today reward bad behavior. Just lazy I guess. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen kids whine for something at the store and their parents just cave in and give it to them just to shut them up. My brother tried that once with my mom at a supermarket and she pulled down his pants and spanked him right there in front of everyone. The times, they are a changin. No one ever said they always changed for the better.
I was raised in a family that did not have a lot of emotional outbursts, but my DH’s family is just the opposite. His mom comes from a big family and they are highly emotional – and have gotten worse with age. I am the analytical one in the group – my MIL knows she can count on me to be the steady one in an emergency.
I used to spend part of every summer with my grandmother.
When ever we had to go to the store, grocery or whatever, she stood me by the front door and said, “This trip is for __________. This trip is not for you. Your turn will come another time”
So from the get go I learned to wait. Loved it when she said, “Today the trip is also for you.”
Those trips were the best! And so was grandma!
There are times in life when all emotion is gone/dies and all there is thinking/thoughts.
Good article for thought.
Sometimes our lives are so difficult that our emotions become exhausted. Turning them off is for self preservation. We are human and can only take “so much”. With guidance from our thoughts and acting on those thoughts we can restore our emotions and become whole again. This is a timeless process.
However, there is the turning off when we just don’t want to face up to what is happening. As a. Christian growing up in a Jewish community, I always wondered how the guards in the camps managed to accept the horror.
My neighbours did not harbour hate or any of the other emotions they could have felt. Because of this they continued on with their lives and prospered. Yes, their memories were disturbing but they accepted what had happened.
Perhaps it is “accept and continue”.
Thank you all for your very enlightening comments.
I agree with Pieface, in an emotionally overwhelming situation the brain can kick in to create numbness, a form of mental self-preservation. You can’t turn off the thoughts, you can’t escape them… but for a while at least you function physically, just not emotionally. Well-meaning friends can mistake physical functioning for overall well-being, when sometimes nothing could be further from the truth.
The thing with emotions, though, is that they have a way of creeping back in over time… and sometimes a trigger event can create an emotional landslide. Out of the blue – unexpected and unwanted. Potentially debilitating. It is difficult to describe to someone who has not endured it.
Sometimes we need to support others, sometimes we need support ourselves, and sometimes both.
So Cal Gal,
I believe what you’re talking about with “emotional landslide” could be referred to in the astrological society as a Taurean! We bottle things up for years especially when it comes to anger. And then some knuckle head comes along and just happens to be the last straw. I really do feel sorry for those unfortunate enough to have brought out the 20 years or more of anger in a Taurus. Hehe
I was actually thinking about grief and loss more than anger and frustration – but my late step-dad was a Taurus and I can relate to exactly what you are talking about. No fun to be on the receiving end of one of those avalanches!
“…a world of ‘untamed’ emotions would be a very dangerous
Precisely, and it is already and has been forever, because of
uncontrolled emotions. We build our character and our world
through our thoughts. Aldous Huxley said it best in The Perennial
Philosophy when he said:
Desire is the first datum of our consciousness; we are born into
sympathy and antipathy, wishing and willing. Unconsciously at
first, them consciously, we evaluate; “This is good, that is
bad.” And a little later we discover obligation. “This being
good, ought to be done; that being bad ought not to be done.”
And of course, it all begins with perception, as Ision states. Those
choices we make determine our values. When our values are challenged
we react with emotion. And when you look around you today, what do
you see? A world ‘untamed’ with emotions. I’ve often pondered the
statement “Have that mind, which was in Christ Jesus.” And here
I think it appropriate to capitalize the word Mind. How is that
Mind different than our minds? It expresses the highest self control,
the highest values and the greatest concern for others. Self control
is powerful and can be used for ill-intent as well as good, so choose
your values carefully.
“If you believe that character can be changed, then follow the
promise.” Start by making better choices and make doing this a
lifetime practice. This is all a learning process and you can start
wherever you are no matter your social, political or financial
Do not try to change others. That I not our responsibility. Change
comes always from within, and only from ourselves. What seems like
a movement is only the collective sum of individuals changing them-
selves. This is not a Christian concept alone, it is a truth em-
bodied in all the major religions.
Control your emotions and you will be building a safer world for
those near and far.
Good thoughtful (pun intended) article. As I have been in the ‘used car shopping’ mode it’s been interesting what they will say to get a person to buy something. Certainly playing on all sorts of emotions. So far haven’t got me to plunk down any money. : /
To sum up some situations “revenge is best served cold”
IMHO logical thinking beats emotional rationalizing . Most of our decisions do not have to be made in a split second . I do try and take a split second and STOP-THINK & GET CONTROL, of my thought process before making my decision .
Over all these years it has paid good dividends . It is a habit that does take some time and self control to develope . Logical thinking has saved me $$$$$ over the years .
Those folks who choose to look at television are constantly bombarded with highly emotional sales pitches and that certainly doesn’t make things any easier. Good reason to dump the idiot box !
Good article to massage the brain cells with .
Greetings to all and just remember:
If somebody really goes off the rails, sideways harming self or others, if they live, they end up in my facility. a locked mental hospital. They may not stay forever but they may end up there for a very long time. Their fate is decided by a panel of psychologists and psychiatrists.
Most people are not happy with the results of the decisions handed down by the panel.
Mental Health: it is a growth industry at present time.
I have been noticing the use of key emotion-evoking phrases uttered by MSM teleprompter readers like David Muir and Lester Holt. Like “eyebrows are being raised…” or “has caused a firestorm of controversy…”. Usually without identifying just who is supposed to be questioning the issue at hand. These are exactly the types of editorial embelishments that I consider to be “fake news”- with emotions manipulated, and pertinent facts artfully avoided. It’s psy-ops stagecraft, with the implication that to “have a heart” is more valued than critical thinking. Your responsibility is to feel- leave the thinking to us.
ain’t it the truth!
Exactly correct. EVERY word that comes out of the mouth of the mainstream ‘talking heads” is very much calculated and conformed precisely to the narrative of their agenda. Every word. Often these exact (exact) words and phrases are repeated across the mainstream alphabet channels during the same time… Hello? Anyone getting this?
You are referring to brain imprinting(indoctrination) where they masses are slowly programmed.
Same method they used at drive in theaters so the movie goer would head for the refreshment stand for that soda & popcorn that all of sudden were craving.
Yet we all know that subliminal brain washing is not allowed…or is it?
In the context of Survivalists and Prepping, I think nearly all those who look beyond today’s happenings already have the mindset to foresee the consequences of their actions, otherwise they wouldn’t be reading this and similar sites.
I’ve always liked the saying “he who panics first panics best”. When you consider the real meaning – that the word panic is synonymous to the word acts, and hopefully taking action with a purpose, be it getting out of dodge first or seeing smoke and running for the water buckets.
One thing that separates preppers from the majority is the common trait of independent thought. People who are innately dependent on groups of others are seldom capable of independent action. They often combine two of the common reactions to danger – fright & freeze. If they’re in a group they’ll go with the consensus of flight or fight.
In my opinion people who have reached maturity are unlikely to change their responses to abrupt occurrences, or planning for reasonable possibilities. For many the question “what if?” just wasn’t part of their experience growing up.
I used to be a very emotional person,99.99% anger. I would react instantly and in very bad form. I was an alcoholic and did everything in bad form. I sobered up 19 years ago and joined a 12 step program which I am still very active in. The RAGE is gone. I can still get angry but this anger does not cause me nearly as much trouble. I am able to act appropriately for the situation. I do not react with emotion. What I feel or think does not matter, what I do is all that counts and I try my best to do the right thing in all matters. I was taught old fashioned values by my parents and I live by those today. Emotions and thoughts come and go but right is always right.
I completely agree, and have seen it first hand. When I was in school, some people were okay, but if you started making a valid point about how Canada’s idiotic liberal policies are awful, you wouldn’t get a logical answer, you would get someone yelling in your face calling you an idiot for questioning it.
Through much of my life (so far), I am generally a logically geared person–I think, work, and speak using logic and reason to almost too high of a degree. This becomes a problem when you don’t show any emotion, ask the wrong question or say the wrong thing and hurt someone you care about. As much as critical thinking is important, if you live your life with as little emotion as possible, you come across as cold, uncaring, or even inhuman. As well, if a person shoves their emotions down inside of them; sometimes they don’t have a good control over them and they may be slightly unstable internally. What I’m trying to say is that you cannot just be logical, but have a healthy combination of both reason and emotions.
With all that said, people are acting on emotions alone for the reasons you have stated–and that is incredibly unhealthy. The world is a hard place to live in, and eventually people will be slapped in the face when they realize that their safe spaces cannot hold up to reality.
On a side note, I have rarely been persuaded to buy something from somewhere because of an ad. I once wanted to eat cheese bread cause it looked tasty and I also was persuaded to buy a firesteel cause of you. :P
It seems to me that there has been quite a bit of comparison between poor emotional reactions and positive intellectual reactions, yet very little in regards to positive emotions and poor thoughts. Yes, I would rather see critical thinking than a temper tantrum. However, I would also rather see a positive and powerful emotional response than a negative and idiotic intellectual one.
There needs to be a balance between the two kinds of responses. Both need to come from strength with wisdom.
I do not believe that the binary division of emotion and thought is valid. In an impending crisis, I might have a bad feeling that leads me to analyze the situation. Faced with a confrontation, empathy might de-escalate the situation, but there should be a plan in place in case it doesn’t. Thought and emotion are inter-dependant. Each has its time and place. Being a critical thinker isn’t very good when my husband suggests a romantic weekend. Having an emotional response isn’t very good when discussing finances.