[This post is part of a series on The Model — my model for the human emotional system designed for use in leadership, self-awareness, and general purpose professional and personal development — which I find the most effective and valuable foundation for understanding yourself and others and improving your life. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]
The Model predicts the human emotional system to be consistent and predictable. How so?
People often contrast emotions with reason, which they consider systematic and predictable. By contrast, they consider emotions illogical, unpredictable, and unsystematic. People are used to understanding how someone reasons from one point to another. They see occasions when someone else shows emotions different than they would and consider emotions random.
The Model says otherwise.
First, we all see when others show emotions the same as we would: an athlete pumps their fist after making a great play, a mother coddles her baby, a child proudly displays something they made by themselves for the first time. People take these consistent and predictable behaviors and emotions for granted. People also ignore many non-dramatic emotions, like calmness or satisfaction, yet they tend to motivate consistent and predictable behavior.
Second, the Model says that everyone has the same system, not its inputs. Since you and I have different histories, abilities, beliefs, and so on, the same environment may lead to different behavior. People see that difference and unpredictability as evidence of inconsistency. On the contrary, people should behave differently, even in the same situation — they’re different, they perceive their situations differently, and they have different abilities to respond to their situations.
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