Monday, September 19, 2011

Logical/Rational/Emotional Expressiveness?

Back to blogging and realizing a brief break from anything that you can break from, is useful. As I returned to my blog and reread the the blurb under the title I reacted to the first sentence. "Intelligentwomenonly.com targets smart women who want to think logically,
behave confidently, and handle their lives with greater intellect and lesser emotion."

I asked myself, "What does it mean to think logically and handle life with lesser emotion?" I used to bristle when men would say I was too emotional or "over reacting" — which meant the same thing.  "NO" I wanted to say and sometimes did, "You're too unemotional." I also saw logical rational and emotional positioned at opposite ends of a spectrum. Now I see it differently.

Here are a few brief definitions from my Mac dictionary.

Logical-sensible and based on facts
Rational-sensible and reasonable
Emotional-expressing emotion

Then of course you have to wonder briefly what "sensible" actually means. Dictionary says "practical". Who's to judge?

Logical and rational are almost synonymous and generally are viewed as "good" ways of expression. Emotional expression has often been viewed as "not good." Men's inner self-talk and outer talk is generally less expressive of emotion and more expressive of logic. Women's inner self-talk, at least the negative kind, is very emotionally expressive: frustration, anger, disparagement, dismissal, criticism of and with self.  That stuff is definitely not good regardless of outer talk.

I'm going to do more research into the neuroscience of emotion and logic, the brain, and communication. However, it seems logical
that both rationality and emotion are essential to good thinking, useful self-talk and, adaptive communication. Maybe I'll have to change that opening sentence to ". . . handle their lives with greater intellect and more emotion." 

I'm going to pay more attention this week, here and there, to see how much of my outer talk is emotional expressiveness, over-emotional expressiveness, and/or logical expressiveness, over-logical expressiveness — all depending on my own realistic evaluation. No negative self-talk.

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