When Feelings Mislead


Everyone knows their eyes play tricks on them. That’s what makes optical illusions so fun. Our other senses get fooled, too. The earth spins at about 1000 mph but we don’t feel it. The sun neither rises or sets but it sure looks like it. The car next to us slowly moving forward in the parking lot makes it feel like we’re moving backwards.

If our physical senses are so easily misled, why are we so confident about our feelings? For many, if they feel it they think it must be true.

Not so.

Just because something feels true doesn’t make it true

  • Feeling ugly doesn’t mean we are ugly.
  • Feeling worthless doesn’t mean we are worthless.
  • Feeling in danger doesn’t mean we are in danger.
  • Feeling compassionate doesn’t mean we are being compassionate.
  • Feeling controlled doesn’t mean we’re being controlled.
  • Feeling at risk doesn’t mean we are at risk.

Just because something feels untrue doesn’t make it untrue

  • Not feeling controlling doesn’t mean we aren’t controlling.
  • Not feeling needy doesn’t mean we aren’t being needy.
  • Not feeling irritating doesn’t mean we’re not being irritating.
  • Not feeling like we need continual reassurance doesn’t mean we don’t need continual reassurance.
  • Not feeling critical doesn’t mean we aren’t critical.
  • Not feeling loved doesn’t mean we’re not loved.

My point? I want to remind myself to have a healthy skepticism about things. Being confident is not the same as being right. It’s possible to feel certain and yet be certainly wrong.

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