The seven basic adult facial emotions as defined by Paul Ekman are Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Sadness, Surprise, and the adult emotion of Contempt, six of which are common to infants. “What will be the results of decisions based on anger?” was posted last week, but all of the emotions will have effects outlasting the moment. To some degree, these later results might be predicted and we can gain some insight on how we might behave by exploring what these effects might be.
When we come to the famous fork in the road and are forced to make a decision, the emotional state we are in when making that decision will affect what comes later. If we are angry when making our choice we will probably continue to be angry with what happens as time passes. It may not matter much what actually happens; our reaction to it will be influenced by the emotion we held when making the original choice.
If our emotion was disgust when making the decision our likely reaction to whatever happens later will be disgust. Probably we will have forgotten what our emotion was when making our decision, and that disgust was our emotion, but no matter which way we go, if our emotion was disgust, no matter what happens, it will be degraded by that original emotion of disgust.
Emotions are flitting through us all the time, and most of them are neutral and mild, but the ones that affect our future the most are the ones held when we are making critical decisions. When we are feeling emotionally expansive we can look around and check our options and choose the best one. However, when we are feeling depressed we have trouble seeing our options, and we will tend to choose poorly when coming from a negative emotion like disgust. If our future is going to be directed by our emotion at the time of decision it will be in our best interest to be feeling happy. Also, we should come to that decision moment from a time of paying close attention to the true and accurate facts associated with what we are about to do.
If we are about to make an important decision, and notice that we have a negative emotion at the moment, like disgust, we should put off that decision until we are feeling better about it and about our emotions. The same idea applies to other negative emotions, such as fear, sadness or contempt.
Get happy before making an important decision.