When it comes to emotion vs logic, which is better: Affirmation or Information?
You will never resolve an emotional issue with logic – never! ~ Cliff Poe, LoveRecon
Do you ever feel like you are speaking two different languages when you try to communicate with your spouse? Well, you probably are! One of you may be speaking logical language and the other, emotional language. It is a common cause of misfires in expressing yourself and addressing your issues, especially those that are “hot” topics for the two of you.
Logic has been called the language of the conscious mind, whereas emotion has been called the language of the unconscious mind. Emotions are our reactions to what we perceive or imagine and are not based upon logic or fact, but on our own personal experiences. Emotions can often override logic. Logic will never change emotion or perception, no matter how hard we may try to reason our way through an issue or conflict.
Imagine that one of you says, “I think I’ve put on weight. I feel fat.” The other replies, “Well, get on the scales and weigh yourself and then you’ll know.” That is a perfectly logical reply, but it is a logical reply to an emotional statement and therefore wrong in the context of a relationship. What the person making the statement is likely looking for is affirmation, not information. Therefore, an emotional reply is what is needed. A better answer, in that case, would be: “I don’t know what the scales say, but you look beautiful/handsome to me.” Remember, the person is looking for affirmation. That answer was not a lie. It was using emotional language.
Much of our communication is logical as well. Questions like, “Have you seen my keys?”, “Where did you take the car for service?”, or “Which shirt do you think looks best on me?” all require a logical response. Your mate is looking for information, not affirmation. It would not be helpful at all, for instance in the case of the last question, if you were to reply, “Oh, you look so handsome/beautiful in either one”, especially if your mate is trying to make a decision on which one to purchase. They are clearly asking for information on which shirt looks best. In this case, give them the facts!
How do you know if your mate is needing affirmation or information? Sometimes it will be obvious. At other times, it will not be as clear. Here’s the rule: Always give affirmation! If your mate persists in trying to get a different response from you, then ask the question, “Do you need information or affirmation?”
We all have emotional needs, whether our default “language” is logic or emotion. Here are some examples of the affirmations that we need to hear from each other:
|You can do it||I want you|
|I’m proud of you||I’m here for you|
|You’re beautiful/handsome||I value your opinion|
|I appreciate you||You’re a good man/woman|
|I support you||I understand… Or I want to understand|
|I appreciate how hard you work
|I respect your need for
(hobby or healthy habit)
|Let me take you on a date||I want you|
Form a Dyad
Alternately complete the statements below.
A: I believe that my default language is… because…
Now, pick one of the affirmations from the list above – the one that you would most like to hear. What do you do or say when you need to hear this affirmation? For example: “You can do it” is the affirmation. You might say, “When I need to hear, ‘you can do it’ from you, I complain about how hard it is and say things like, ‘If I make the deadline, it will be a miracle.’”
A: When I need the affirmation… (from the list above), I do or say…
B: Give them the affirmation that they said they needed!
A: Thank you! That made me feel…
B: I believe that my default language is… because…
Now, pick one of the affirmations from the list above – the one that you would most like to hear. What do you do or say when you need to hear this affirmation?
B: When I need the affirmation… (from the list above), I do or say…
A: Give them the affirmation that they said they needed!
B: Thank you! That made me feel…
End with a hug, a kiss and a wish or prayer for your mate!
DAILY CHALLENGE: Play Kiss or Strip Scrabble in the bedroom. Play Scrabble and each time you score 40 points, you get to choose if your mate kisses you or removes a piece of clothing. (This could be adapted for other games as well.)