Being Emotionally Attached to Your Bias (or emotionally biased)

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Being emotionally attached to Your bias (or emotionally biased), ideas, information, thoughts leads to conflict, agitation, aggression, manipulation, control, violence, pain, etc.

What is “being emotionally attached to Your bias”?

An emotional bias is a distortion in cognition and decision making due to emotional factors (Wikipedia). In my own understanding, the more I’m attached to feeling a certain kind of way, the more my decision making and the ability to process information is misguided. Or even further, the more I’m attached to not feeling (or getting away from) a certain kind of way, the more my decision making and the ability to process information is misguided. It works both ways.

For example, one president wins = I feel great because it’s the “right” decision and everything will be fine. Meaning, I will be fine. I will feel good if x happens. They will bring justice and equality for all!

And more importantly, if the other president wins = I feel bad, angry, scared, will experience doom and pain, control (insert Your own emotional bias here. This doesn’t have to be the presidential race, it can be anything).

This leads the individual to be emotionally invested in the presidential race or the current political state (or any other kind of event). This means that every time something goes their way, they will feel good, positive emotions. The dark side of the coin is that every time the other candidate gets more votes or the other party wins, they feel bad, and mad, anger, frustration, disappointment.

Their actions are dependent on their emotional investment to this bias, or to the extent of that emotional bias to those things happening. This also leads to controlling or trying to control the situation or other people. (Behind every controlling, aggressive, manipulative, etc action is FEAR. The thought or subconscious thought is “If this happens we are all F*****, or I’m personally F***** if x happens so I better do something about it now!”)

This equation is pretty simple = the more invested I’m in a certain event (or the more identified I am with one side) the more it affects me if the results go against me. Or if my side wins. Obviously, it’s more difficult for a human being to deal with things going against them.

The difficulty or the success of the person here is entirely dependent on the sole matter of how easily they let go of things. Or their emotional bias to something.

The crux of the situation lies within the emotional strength of the person. More on that later.

What else is happening in that situation?

It is easy for us humans to start identifying with information, political parties, sides, groups, leaders, gurus, You can name almost anything here. Cheeseburgers most likely. This identification comes from a poorly nurtured identity and a weak emotional core. Usually developed in childhood, the core issue being not receiving enough attention, love, and/or guidance from the parents. Very often the parents of this individual didn’t instill enough self-confidence in the child or didn’t teach the difference between emotions and thoughts. Nor did they properly challenge the individual’s critical thinking. There are many ways of how this can develop, just some of the main ones.

If this happens the individual becomes emotionally vulnerable. Susceptible to groups, gurus, leaders, politicians, owners, lovers, relationship partners taking advantage of them. Because their emotional center (and their emotional bias!!!) can be changed very quickly by “big promises” and charismatic speeches.

As this happens, the individual finds support and identity belonging to a group. Or siding with a group, politician, guru, belief system. This feels like love, attention, being seen, overall this usually feels good. This new identity becomes stronger and they start to be more ingrained with the belief (again, insert the things I mentioned above) that is subtly taking over the vulnerable consciousness of the individual.

In the end, this can go to extremes, joining cults, violence, aggression, etc. Also, feeling very threatened by anything outside their set of beliefs which they have an emotional bias to or with what they identify as. If threatened enough resorting to conflict, agitation, aggression, manipulation, control, violence, pain, etc.

One of the biggest examples of this is being right. We all want to be right, mostly because this is associated with love and appreciation. In the school system, this way of being and thinking is ingrained into us very early. Be right = the teacher rewards You with love, attention, and good grades. At home, parents are happy and society gives You all kinds of goodies. Jei!

But if You are wrong, all sorts of troubles start = The teacher scolds You and gives You a bad grade. At home, You are scolded, even more, no understanding from the parents, etc. (Obviously it’s not like that in every household but I’m talking about the large majority as well as our past upbringing which was much stricter in these areas). And in the end, no goodies (or love!) from the bigger society. Meaning the person is without love if they are wrong.

To summarize:

If I’m wrong = no love from others (and usually feeling worthless)

If I’m right = love from others (and usually feeling worthy)

Why is it so difficult then for the individual to admit that they are wrong? Because it means that I (or they, or whoever) lose love. And if a person is deeply afraid of it they will do everything to protect them from not being wrong. Even if they made a mistake. (Being emotionally attached to a bias = “ I need to be right otherwise I will feel like crap because others won’t love me.”)

A healthy individual understands this situation differently. Their thought process is much different. For example “It’s shitty that I made a mistake and am in the wrong in this situation. But it’s okay. Even if I lose the love and attention of others I will be fine. To avoid even further problems and pain inflicted upon others, it will be best if I admit that I was wrong and I will make adjustments in the future.”

The conundrum of the situation is that the person protecting their being wrong because of their emotional attachment to being right, will actually and eventually lose the love of other people (through the actions of protecting their bias which take many forms). Through this, they have the final opportunity to let go of their emotional bias and attachment (for example being right).

The person who admits that they are wrong at least has a chance of redemption. Or the person who finally let’s go of their emotional bias.

A good question to ask to understand Your emotional bias “What am I afraid of that is making me act in such ways (or react emotionally)?” or “What am I desiring to gain from this situation?”. Answers to these questions can start to reveal the truth of the situation as well as open up new ways of thinking and feeling.

Ian Altosaar

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