What is Emotional Reasoning? | Assertiveness Basics

  • Emotional Reasoning is a Cognitive Distortion, an automatic irrational thought.
  • It means to consider that the way we feel about something is somehow a trait of that element or context.
  • It implies that an emotional response is an objective trait of a situation.

Examples of Emotional Reasoning

“I am afraid of flying on a plane, therefore flying is dangerous.”

Data shows that being a passenger on a plane is a rather safe context. In the example above, the person considers her fear as an indicator of risk or danger, concluding that “dangerous” is a trait of flying itself.

“I feel overwhelmed by the amount of new information contained in this course, so learning this skill is complicated”.

Just because you feel overwhelmed, it does not mean that that is a direct result of the complexity of the course and the information it contains. Maybe you just need a different approach to learning and the feeling would change into a more supportive and motivational one.

How To Manage Emotional Reasoning

It is important for us to discriminate between our feelings about something and their objective traits. Our conclusions should be primarily based on data.