Are you acting in your best interest?

We often act without thinking, driven by our feelings and only rationalizing our actions and our emotions. And although it might appear “logical” and “human”, it is not by any means “wise”.

Let’s take an example — a person in a fit of “righteous” anger gives out a condemning message. For example, giving out to a colleague that they are “inattentive” and “screwing up everyone’s work”. Surely, sometimes it might produce some useful effect but most of the time it will just make condemned side feel bitter. What happens next? A relationship takes damage, both sides think badly of each other, the goal is not reached. Was this in the best interest of both sides?

Certainly, falling into an emotional fit is “human” or I should rather say “animal” because most of the mammals are capable of doing this. Should we then encourage and support it? Should we do more of that? Is the fact that we can justify it and animals don’t need justification makes this display more “human”? Really?

For a very long time, I believe that to be human is to be able to act with your long term goal in your mind. To be proactive and be able to put your surface emotions aside. Too often we are unable to do that.

One of the reasons for this is that we are mostly aware only of our surface emotions. These emotions create “a solution for the problem”, for a deeper emotional problem that a situation at hand presents us. But due to their simplicity, these solutions in most cases don’t create a result we are looking for. In order to move to a better solution, you need to look at least one level deeper — into your real desires. And only then, being in the calm state of mind, think about a way to move closer to satisfying them.

So in the case of your irresponsible colleague, you might want to make sure that the goal you are working towards is as important to them as it important to you. And more often than not, you won’t have to bring up the question of “screwing up” ever again.

The most common mistake — people start to deny and disregard their feelings. This wouldn’t work, because you are not only damaging yourself by doing so but also lose valuable cues to what is it you really want. The trick is that you have to embrace and recognize your emotions, but act in the way different from the one they suggest.

This way you will be able to move closer to learning and achieving your real goals.

P.S. This article was born as a blob of thoughts after seeing a bunch of “condemnation” articles, which remind me of attempts to get a good service from a waiter in a restaurant by cursing and shouting at them. So far I haven’t seen any of these to succeed.

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