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Do not trust your feelings. Obe Wan Kenobi’s advice to Luke was wrong. Your feelings can be wrong. Your feelings can be out of proportion to the situation. They might be either more intense or less intense than is actually warranted. Or they could just be wrong to the situation. Let’s say a situation makes you feel sad when it should make you feel angry. Or a situation makes you feel angry when it should make you feel sad.
A long time ago when Freud started the field of psychology, he saw one main problem in most of his clients. Many of his theories then reflected that problem. He saw that repressing, or over controlling emotions, was causing people to become neurotic.
One of the problems in society today is the pendulum swung too far to the other direction. Everybody seems to expect that their feelings are going to be acknowledged and validated. They expect that just because they have feelings that they’re right. But that’s not true.
If you expect that your feelings are always going to be acknowledged, validated, and right, then you’re going be impulsive, entitled, and unhappy person. So a better response, something that is more middle of the road, is to question your feelings. Challenge your feelings. Grow through that process. As you grow, you will more often encounter that case where your emotions are both:
- Right for the situation
- and in proportion to the situation.
You need both of those. And the process of building that is called emotional intelligence.