3 Ways to Expose Deceptive Emotions

Things that feel good can be bad. Emotions lead you astray – sometimes.

When bad feels good:

  1. Lying to get out of a jam. (The First Time I Told a Lie at Work)
  2. Calling in sick when you’re healthy.
  3. Driving over 100 mph in your two-seat sports car.

In the moment, it felt good to lie to my boss. Going fast doesn’t feel good. It feels great – until you drive through a speed trap.

Emotions lead you astray - sometimes. Image of a worried person lost in the woods.

3 Ways to expose deceptive emotions:

#1. Think long-term.

Discipline feels good later. In the moment it might suck. Saying, “No,” often feels bad. But freedom from entanglement feels great. Putting your fork down when you’re full and desert is exploding your tastebuds is good but feels lousy.

Some decisions feel good later but in the moment they’re like chewing gravel. Some decisions feel bad later, overeating for example.

Actions create emotions. Image of a toddler exercising.

#2. Think sequence.

Actions create emotions.

Do what you lack.

Work-out when you’re tired because you get energy when you give energy (to a limit of course).

Love when it feels hard.

Love people before they love you. Don’t keep score. Kindness is beautiful especially when harshness feels good.

Pride says, “Don’t forgive.” Feelings say, “But they wronged you; they don’t deserve it.”

You are judged the way you judge others. I needle my friends who are 1 minute late for a meeting. Guess what my friends do when I’m 1-minute late?

Press through when quitting feels good.

You gave your first presentation, even though you wanted to puke.

If you graduated from college, you learned to ignore deceptive emotions. You probably felt like quitting, but you’re glad you pressed through.

Some decisions are good when they feel bad.

#3. Think influence.

You can’t control emotions.

You can influence them by taking actions that serve long-term interests.

What tools help people navigate deceptive emotions?

Still curious:

5 Ways to Manage Emotions that Distort Perception

The Positive Value of Negative Emotions

It’s So Wrong But It Feels So Right