Emotional Objectivity

When people talk about being objective, it usual means sticking to the facts and disregarding emotion. For a long time I thought that “objective” was generally superior to “subjective.” This is something I talked about in a previous post but I want to expand on it a bit. The common definition of objective seems to de-value emotion. Emotion is often associated with immaturity and naivete, which I think is a disservice to emotion itself and ultimately to how people interact with each other.

Emotions are, in a sense, objective. Feelings exists whether or not their trigger is factual or fabricated, and they are connected to physiological phenomena. Culture or past experience has trained my brain to respond emotionally to this situation, and that is a fact. I cannot change my brain to immediately feel something different.

Today so many people, including myself, look to “objective,” evidence-based solutions to problems. We try to filter out emotion because it muddles up the “truth.” What I’m advocating for here is, rather that filtering out the feelings and the emotions, acknowledge them. Recognize your own emotions and the emotions of others because if we want to effectively communicate science and facts we first need to establish human connections. And those connections are made through feelings, not facts.


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