Emotional Decisions

Friday, February 16th, 2018

I’m in the sandwich generation, which means that in addition to helping my children, I’m also working to help my parents with some of their needs. In reality, my kids are all young adults so they don’t need as much from me as they once did, but I’m still there for them should an issue or situation arise.

Anyway, one of the things I was recently helping my parents with involved working with their landlord on their lease that was about to expire. It wasn’t anything really major, just a difference in personalities that was making the renewal process a bit more difficult.

In talking with my mom about where she wanted to live, she said that she did want to live there, but felt that landlord was being mean to her. So even though she was perfectly happy with the house itself, her emotions were making her feel like she had no other option than to move.

My suggestion was to take the emotion out of the situation. This way, she wasn’t tempted to move from a home she loved just to spite someone who she’d likely have little to do with once the new lease was actually signed.

Because I didn’t have that same type of negative response to the landlord, he didn’t trigger me the way he had triggered my mother. Consequently, I was able to help my parents enter into their new lease without any further bad feelings. My mother got to stay where she is happy and the landlord had a tenant locked in for another term.

Have you ever noticed this? The fact that sometimes we let our emotions get in our way of the bigger picture? This can lead us to give up what we really want just because we want to teach someone else a lesson or because we feel like we have no other choice.

In business especially, this is not healthy. When we let our emotions impact our perceptions professionally, we make decisions based on our feelings versus hard and cold facts. This can lead us down the wrong path, and it can happen very quickly.

One good example of this is if you get a negative review of your company online. Even if you have 50 positive reviews to that negative one, if you respond to it out of anger, you can easily dissuade others from wanting to do business with you in the future. On the flip side, if you take the emotion out of the situation and respond with professionalism and respect, you’ll likely get much further ahead.

The last thing most of us want to do is bite off our nose to spite our face, and one way to keep from doing this is by setting our emotions aside and looking at things more objectively. Ask yourself: if someone you know was in the very same situation and came to you for advice, what would you tell him or her?

Reacting emotionally can lead to decisions that you regret once you’ve had the time to cool down. Instead, take a moment to pause and understand that your feelings affect how you see the rest of the world. Strive to make sound decisions that you’ll be happy with, not just in the moment but for the long haul.

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