In last week’s blog, I discussed the results of a recent study we conducted at Queendom in which we compared two groups:
- Emotional “reflectors” are feelers. They are tuned in to their emotions and allow themselves to experience both positive and negative feelings. When making decisions, they may conduct research and use a pro/con list, but once they have all the information available, they will opt for what feels right. If their gut instinct signals to them that something is wrong, they will heed the warning.
- Emotional “deflectors” are thinkers. They suppress and distance themselves from their emotions, especially negative ones. When making decisions, solving a problem, or assessing a situation/person, they rely strictly on logical reasoning. They tend to believe that feelings are irrational, and that relying on gut instinct or intuition is absurd.
If you think following your logic – and suppressing your emotions – is the only sensible way to live, I beg to differ. Here are six additional factors where reflectors and deflectors differ:
- Score for Emotional Reflectors: 72
- Score for Emotional Deflectors: 45
Being in touch with their emotions – what makes them happy, what inspires them, what irks them – allows Emotional Reflectors greater insight into what they need to stay motivated. Do you want to know what will make you smile, what will make life more exciting and worthwhile, what will get you out of bed in the morning, what will push you to your limits, what your raison d’être is? Your heart has the answer, not your head.
- Score for Emotional Reflectors: 86
- Score for Emotional Deflectors: 65
Emotional Reflectors are constantly striving for self-improvement. They seem to have an innate desire to learn, to grow, and to push themselves. They wholeheartedly take on challenges, pursue the proverbial pipe dream, try to achieve the impossible. Why? Because they are following their heart’s desire. Your logic will dictate that you get a good education and find a sensible, well-paying, secure job. Your heart will tell you to find an occupation that you will truly love, that offers you a sense of deep fulfillment, and that won’t feel like work.
- Score for Emotional Reflectors: 80
- Score for Emotional Deflectors: 54
Hardiness is not something people are born with – it can only be developed through hardship. As the old saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” By allowing themselves to feel their way through intense emotional experiences, Emotional Reflectors are able to more fully develop their resilience. Again, the only way to dissipate an emotion, the only way for it lose its emotional charge, is to allow yourself to feel it. You can think your way through a stressful situation – find a solution, seek information and help – but you can’t think your way through the feelings surrounding it.
- Score for Emotional Reflectors: 81
- Score for Emotional Deflectors: 66
Relying solely on information obtained through logic, analysis, research, and reasoning can provide you with really useful information to help you assess situations and make decisions – but it’s only one side of the story. Your logic can also limit you, and result in a rigid way of thinking. Intuition and gut instinct provide valuable insight that is not accessible through logic and reasoning. For example, have you ever had the feeling that something was off about a person but you had no proof or logic to back up your hunch? And then your hunch turned out to be spot on? That’s wisdom that your logical mind is not privy to.
- Score for Emotional Reflectors: 89
- Score for Emotional Deflectors: 75
While it may seem like Emotional Reflectors are prone to getting caught up in their emotions or becoming easily overwhelmed, they are actually slightly better than Deflectors at picking their battles. Essentially, they know when to fight their corner and when to let things go.
Need for Approval
- Score for Emotional Reflectors: 30
- Score for Emotional Deflectors: 49
In spite of their seemingly stoic demeanor, Emotional Deflectors have a higher need for approval than Reflectors. Why? My theory is that because they refuse to accept themselves and their emotional side, there remains an unfulfilled need to have their feelings validated by someone. The case could also be that, having shared their emotions at some point and having been mocked or rejected as a result, Deflectors still yearn to have their feelings validated/sympathized with (at least that’s the case for someone like me).
Being emotional, sensitive or just plain passionate isn’t always looked upon favorably. We have become habituated to viewing emotions as a sign of vulnerability and weakness, and to admire people who are poised under pressure, who don’t give way to their emotions. While self-control is admirable, it should not come at the cost of suppressing our emotions completely. Denying that we have feelings is denying our humanity. Moreover, what Queendom’s study has shown is that people who are highly logical and who dismiss the information their feelings are trying to offer are placing themselves at a significant disadvantage.
In order to navigate this world you need to possess good judgment, sound reasoning, logic, and the ability to critically analyze information. But you also need to be able to trust that innate survival mechanism that has kept humans alive for thousands of years – your gut instinct, your intuition, your emotional sensors – all of which offer information that is beyond the reach of logic. People who are in tune with their emotions are more fully connected with who they are and as a result, seem to be better-equipped to adapt and thrive. What we need is a balance of both worlds. Logic and emotions are not enemies; they are two sides of the same coin, both offering valuable insights to help us live a happy, well-rounded life. So go ahead and analyze, research, assess, evaluate, and calculate – and when you’re done, go with what feels right.