Thought Mine #11: Emotional Reasoning

Each Thought Mine is followed by a definition and a list of examples. Please note that the following examples are representative statements. The same sentence may represent numerous Thought Mines. I list examples mainly to give you a starting point. Often individuals blend two or three “favorite” Thought Mines together into their own type of social misreading.


Thought Mine #11: Emotional Reasoning

Also called:

Gut reasoning, Feelings as facts.


Knowing something is a fact because you feel it is a fact.

Allowing your thoughts (and actions) to be unduly influenced by your feelings or present mood. Often evidence contrary to your feelings is disregarded.

Negative self-talk example:

“What a headache, this will be a crappy day for sure!”

Couple example:

“You know I’m tired, so why are you on my case now?”

“If you loved me, you’d know that you’re bothering me!”

Teen example:

“That’ll be fun, let me have some of those pills.”

Work/school example:

“I just got in the door, why couldn’t you kids just give me a minute to myself.”

“I hate math, why do I have to take another math class!”


By using feelings as facts, one can give oneself permission to do almost anything. I once worked with an angry young man charged with murder. He stated, “If he (the victim) didn’t want to die he shouldn’t have come to the ATM.” When I asked him to explain this he emoted, “He put himself in danger, if you put yourself in danger, you could die. When the lion kills the deer, he ain’t being mean to the deer, is he?”

Unfortunately, emotional reasoning is pervasive in our society. I feel this thought so it must be a correct thought.

A local businessman told me, “If Hillary Clinton gets into office we won’t be able to afford employees.” When I questioned his assumption, he said, “It just makes sense, Democrats love taxes, and Hillary is the worst type of Democrat, so it means even worse taxes.” This is an illogical form of syllogism that should be left for late night television comedians. This businessman was allowing his dislike for a candidate to justify his business worries. This type of emotional reasoning could lead to humongous business and personal mistakes.

More: Understanding Thought Mines

Thought Mines are social misreadings that get in the way of communicating clearly. They are thought stumbling blocks that allow us to misread, and often misjudge, the intention of others. By misreading others intentions, we can often get sidetracked from getting our needs met.


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