Are You Emotional or Rational or Both

Just watching people in a group setting recently, I noticed a large emotional response to a situation about which no one has facts. That started me thinking about three kinds of people–or rather three types of ways of relating to the world and to others.

As humans develop and grow, they begin as emotional beings. Responses to situations are driven by emotions. When our growth and development proceeds normally, we gradually develop the ability to reflect, think and apply reason.

Have you noticed that some people even as adults react with emotional responses untempered by using the thinking part of themselves? Many times these people quickly regret their response (eventually some sort of thinking/reflection sets in) and then they must apologize.

I’ve noticed that these people quite often exhibit a sort of narcissism–in their hearts, it’s all about them.

I work with engineers–a lot. Engineers are trained thinkers. Got me thinking of the opposite trait in people. They develop the thinking part while burying the emotional part (Jung, among others, had much to say about the effects of this). These people can be maddening to the emotional type of people. They can appear cold and aloof. They can also exhibit a sort of narcissism–it’s all about me and my thoughts.

What we really need to do to develop fully as humans is to recognize the emotional part of us, apply some controls over those to keep us stable through our thinking capability, and then seek to be filled by the Holy Spirit which will move us beyond both and let us experience others.

It’s important that we not just get carried away with a solely emotional response. That leads to instability, conflict, alienation from others. We need to be united with God and with others in order for us to be healthy and for our local organizations and societies to be healthy.

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