A few weeks back I asked y’all about Michael Vick, redemption, and forgiveness in a public sense. It was intriguing to see how many people understood their reactions/opinions were visceral and potentially irrational (which is perfectly okay, mind) and yet stood by their non-rational emotional response. I often feel like my emotional response isn’t “enough” and that I need to pick it apart and understand what rational thing motivates me. This, friends, is an exercise in frustration and futility.
Today I am circling back to that conversation, kinda. This time I want to know how you handle that kind of situation in your personal life, with people you actually know who have some bearing on your day-to-day goings on.
I am under no illusion that I’m friends with everybody. I’m prickly and I know it. I don’t try to be prickly, but I also don’t try not to be if that’s the best course of action for me. At 41, I have at least two relationships (one very important, one hardly important) that failed due to imbalance of emotional benefit and actual work necessary to justify said emotional benefit. I was thinking of the hardly important one today, realizing it’s similar to that Vick question in that it (now) operates so far outside of my day-to-day. And yet, part of me feels like I should try and fix it, because … erm … yeah, I got nothin’.
The now-gone hardly important relationship was infuriating and detrimental, and yet here I’m all “but perhaps now it’s different”. So it was irrational before, now it’s gone, and I irrationally wonder if I should work to have it back. Bah.
What happens when your emotional decision making bests your rational decision making when it matters to your own daily life? Does every decision about friends/family/jobs have to be partly rational if you consider yourself a fairly rational being? Do I have to try and make people like me no matter what? Do I have to try and like everybody?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.