Emotional Reasoning is a cognitive distortion that makes you think that because you feel a certain way it is true.
Everyone experiences emotional reasoning which shapes many of our biases.
Assuming that, your emotions indicate objective truths is problematic when we allow it to override our logic. Persistent negative self-talk will escalate your emotions into a panic attack.
This is prevalent and problematic in family law litigation.
Because you feel something does not make it true. Your feelings are not proof.
What you feel is not who you are. Your feelings are not an excuse to take no action.
Your feelings are not a sign. Your feelings are not facts.
A feeling is only the opportunity to pause and observe what’s currently happening. Be present in the moment and observe the circumstances and your behavior.
Emotional reasoning is generally triggered by a past emotional experience and differs from intuition, in that intuition is a survival mechanism that protects us from immediate danger.
Three Tips to help you overcome emotional reasoning in family law litigation
Look for proof that your feelings are not true. Examine the evidence with your attorney to get a clear picture of where you are before you react. For example, “Texas family law is unfair to fathers, and gives mothers an advantage due to their gender alone.”
Don’t create excuses to try to challenge the evidence you find proving your feelings are not true. For example: “He is a horrible father, even though there have been no recent disturbing instances of bad parenting, it is just a matter of time before the next disaster that may harm my child.”
Acknowledge your feelings, but instead of obsessing on the negative self-talk, seek counsel, guidance, and solutions to help reassure you that this emotional feeling is not based in fact and will eventually go away. Any evidence you can find that disputes your feelings is a sign the negative thoughts were just emotional reasoning not based in fact.
And the most wonderful thing is how amazing our brains are and how we can change or update our mental programming. Affirmations and positive self talk can have real and lasting change on your perspective.
Finally, please don’t be afraid to seek therapy and talk to a licensed professional counselor to help you through stressful times like family law litigation.