Emotional or Logical? Can I be both?

Sadje’s Sunday Poser #126 asked if we are emotional or logical. My initial reaction is to say I’m emotional, but taking time to reflect on the question, I think I’m probably a bit of both, depending on circumstances, but my natural tendency will be towards the emotional.


Some characteristics which are associated with emotional people are being sociable, they find it easy to make friends, they are caring and wear their heart on their sleeve. They are vulnerable and could get hurt as they have an emotional reaction to events. There are two examples I can think of which demonstrate my emotional side easily:

  • A few years ago our team were involved in a reaccreditation visit to renew the licence for our professional HR courses. There was a lot of effort put into the preparation for the visit and I was heavily involved on the week of the visit (I think the visit lasted 2-3 days). At the end, when we were told they were happy with the visit, I came out of the meeting and burst into tears – I think it was probably the release of the stress knowing that the visit was over.
  • In my previous career I was a legal secretary in one of the bigger law firms in Glasgow. We had a new employee join the company so I extended a warm, friendly arm of welcome to help her settle in. We became good friends, spending a lot of time together. However, over time, she made new friends within the company (she had moved into the area so didn’t have any family or friends locally) and as she settled in and her group of friends expanded, it became clear she was distancing herself from me. I was upset and hurt that I was being excluded from activities she was sharing with her new friends. Looking back now, I guess I had served my purpose in helping her settle into the new environment and gave her the space to make her own friends, but it did hurt at the time.

I think the secret, when you’re emotionally-driven like this, is to recognise that you will get hurt, its inevitable, but that we must accept its going to happen or we end up closing ourselves off. I suspect not being able to express or feel our emotions might mean that we harm ourselves. Maybe by accepting the negative side of being emotional and learning how to cope with these emotions, we become stronger, more resilient as we know we can bounce back.


I think the emotional rather than logical is also borne out by the fact that I’m more interested in people/language rather than facts and figures although I think professionally I need to be more logical – teaching analytical thinking etc and the fact that the students need to support their work with evidence.

I think I can be logical but it needs more effort and attention to be successful. However, I need to be careful that when I focus too much on the logical, the emotional gets supressed which stifles my creativity and contributes to stress levels.

I think the freedom of blogging has allowed me to redress the balance between my emotional self and the logic required for my job. Blogging has allowed me to tap into and explore my emotional side more.

Summing Up

In conclusion, I think I use both, but my natural predisposition would be more on the emotional, intuitive side. While I need the logical elements for my job as discussed above, the emotional side probably also helps at work where students will hopefully see me as being approachable and someone they can talk to. I hope I’m empathetic and can put myself in their shoes sometimes. I may still require them to meet deadlines/submission dates, but I can work with them when they have problems to help keep them on track.

This year, working on my blog has given me an outlet for the emotional, creative side and overall I’d say I feel happier, more balanced and less stressed. There is definitely a benefit to embracing my emotional side.

What about you, are you more emotional or logical? Leave your answers in the comments. In the meantime, its logical to sign up to my blog


  1. I agree with you that we are all a bit of both, emotional and logical. The side which is more dominant takes over most of the time but the other side gets a chance too. Thanks for sharing your detailed answer

  2. Great look at both sides to how we may see ourselves Brenda. I fall heavily onto the logical side, and was just writing a post for The Heart of the Matter about that! It is uncanny how so many bloggers seem to be on the same wavelength lately with their topics. I suspect most of our writers are going to fall on the emotional side as I think they agree with your definition of emotion aids creativity. This paragraph struck me though:

    “This year, working on my blog has given me an outlet for the emotional, creative side and overall I’d say I feel happier, more balanced and less stressed. There is definitely a benefit to embracing my emotional side.”

    You feel happier and balanced from your emotional POV- I am so the opposite and know my stress levels rise when I feel flooded with that part of myself. Balance for me is the pragmatic, reasonable, straightforward path…which equals calm.

  3. Thanks Deb. Its always interesting to find out about others (and ourselves too). I must I have been surprised at how much more in control and calmer I feel since I started blogging.

  4. I’m definitely a bit of both, but I would say that my emotional side is more dominant. It’s interesting to see how you use both to good effect.

  5. I love brain science stuff! It’s generally not true that people are only emotional or rational. If we are functioning at a fairly normative level, we will be employing both, often without even knowing it. As a rule, people generally act on intuition WAY more than we even realize! Some research suggests up to 95% of our thoughts and choices are not even fully conscious to us – they’re just intuitive, and we just respond.

    There are ways to strengthen the corpus callosum, which is the “bridge” between the emotional or intuitive (right brain) and logical or rational (left brain) sides. There are also experiences that will shut off or push us to only use one side or the other. And, if under enough stress, we can basically shut down both sides and only operate from our instictual / self preservation “lizard brain”. This is the fight/flight/freeze/fawn response – aka trauma response. Some people generally live in this trauma response – unable to fully connect with the “higher thinking” parts of their brain.

    The brain is also amazingly adaptive. If someone suffers a stroke or in some other way loses use of one side, they can grow new neural networks that, in time, can adapt and learn to overcome much of that loss.

    When my body is in a regulated state, I tend to be more “right brained”. But when I’m dis-regulated, I tend to think more from my rational side.

    The fastest way of thinking is with the intuitive part of our brain. The neurons in the logical area of our brain fire at a slower rate than the neurons of the intuitive area. Some people call this “being in the flow”. A lot of the repetitive things we do every day are controlled by this “fast brain” or, as Daniel Kahneman puts it “System 1”. For instance, driving a car or riding a bike. Once these behaviors are learned past a certain point, we really don’t think much about it. But, per example given by Kahneman, if we were asked to solve a complex math problem (and we are not mathematicians) WHILE driving, our more logical System 2 would have to take over, making it harder to drive while trying to solve the problem.

    Again, I love this stuff! It has been really helpful to me over the last year or so, especially!

    EMDR and “brainspotting” have been proven to help with brain integration. I’ve actually been going through some EMDR therapy over the past few months, and I’m finding it very helpful. I am more self aware and holistically integrated – not just brain/brain, but brain/body. Even in what I would’ve once considered to be a pretty stressful / disregulating season, I am able to stay “within myself” and as an addict, I am not finding the need to numb, escape, or dissociate.

    And if you’re wondering, I had to slow down and employ my more logical side through what I just wrote, because while I do love learning about this stuff, it’s not automatic for me! Whew…now I’m a bit “brain drained”!

    • Thank you so much for the detailed response you’ve given. This is a fascinating area. I agree, the brain is complex, there is still so much we don’t understand and I think its good to explore and have a better understanding of ourselves. Thank you again for commenting

    • David, in studying the effects and procedures of EMDR, DBT, CBT, EI, NLP, Hypnosis, and other neurological findings for the purpose of first aiding myself and using the techniques in helping others, our subconscious does more than what people suspect, which relies on about 43% (roughly) of what the typical human does. (Of course, there are those who participate in mundane lives with a higher percentage of following habits whose thinking is not a requirement to survive.) It’s equally as interesting in being aware that many of our thinking patterns can be altered, and are, by one minute event.

      I’m so excited in “meeting” a fellow brainiac. 🙂 Life is much more enjoyable when we don’t take for granted the lives we’ve been given.


      • Yeah I kinda nerd out on this stuff! It has been transformative for me as well. Nice to “meet” you, MJ!

  6. Before my amnesia, I believe I was more logical. My focus was on the necessary means of creating a positive outcome for the greater majority and fair grading. But since my folly, being more emotional was a no-brainer since I didn’t have a whole lot of rational pulling me through. However, there are a lot of caring people—but more greedy or desperate people than I imagined. Because of this, and many people both willing and eager of taking advantage of “slower” individuals, I forcibly withdrew from societal surroundings and acceptance models for the sake of protecting myself. Two relationships and two children later, while abandoned by both fathers seemingly prove my point, via my standards.

    Now, I’m what others refer to as “gun shy,” although I do own and utilize my own firearms, I have not dated for nearly fifteen years. And it isn’t because I’m a “ding-a-ling,” as my parents referred to me as, before abandoning me during my crisis. I’ve regained the majority of my faculties. Personally, I’ve found myself as being extraordinarily reliable, as opposed to others, when it comes down to honesty and follow-through. Besides, making it thirty years that I’ve been rediscovering myself, I’ve decided taking the chances of sharing my life and still being accepted not nearly as important as my own self-reliance.

    While I’m certain most others would disagree with this outlook, congratulations to them are in order for not having witnessed what I have seen, heard, felt, and endured, with two tiny children.

    • Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to write such a thoughtful response and sharing your experiences. Recovering and rebuilding from amnesia must have been very challenging.

      • Indeed, recovering and rebuilding was challenging, as is any of life’s challenges. Initially, I felt as if the hand I was dealt was completely unfair. The process of rebuilding a personality, as well as having a survivor ability required over thirty years of learning lessons without family or support through trial and error. Even still, I cannot fathom enduring the passing of someone I truly care for—or watching my child overcome an extreme learning curve. I’ve never had to search through the rubble of ruins for my belongings after an earthquake, flood, or fire. I’ve never been held captive and raped for years, hidden away from all that I’ve loved. I’ve never had everything taken from me by a jealous ex nor have I lost a limb in a horrific accident, surviving a tragedy that took the lives of all I love and admire.

        My life has clearly been challenging and has succumbed to unbelievable events while overcoming others. But there are horrendous happenings I could never recover from and regain. My personality is far different than it was before—my approach is thought out better.

        Ask yourself, what are some experiences you’ve overcome that you believe others would make you out for a hero in surviving? What events have sharpened your ability for dealing with larger happenings next time? What lessons have you learned that will entitle you for greater things tomorrow?

        You are a superstar! Not everyone learns from episodes of another’s life, but you have an innate ability which shall serve you well.

        Thank you for your kind words this morning.

  7. Emotions, positive and negative, are something I sit with easily. They come and go quickly. Therefore there is no prolonged joy or angst to hang on to in any of them. It’s wearing your heart on your sleeve and being comfortable to do so no matter the response to your emotional presentations. Anger is extremely rare on my emotional list. Logic? I don’t know the first thing about it and haven’t a clue about how to use it. Common sense maybe. Great post here again Brenda. Nice one. Emotional responses on reading it? Positive ones. All the best.

    • Thanks Gray. I’d have guessed you were emotional, but I think logic would have featured in your nursing,as well as the emotional 😁

      • Thanks for recognition re: the emotional ownership. You are correct. Logic is a sound base for nursing and you have the logic and ideas in your head. For example Margo McCaffery quote ‘Pain is whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever and wherever the person says it does’ is logical but has no real logical response. Patients and people, being individuals, have completely flummoxed the responses. The interventions to be both given and negotiated are not logical. They jump to and fro. So logic exists in the rationale of descriptions. But not in responses. So my daily response to logic was to think outside the box. How to adopt new/different methods to get back to, or as close as possible to, homeostasis. Then keep it in the status quo. The one area that always used to totally surprise, no……actually astound me? A person with an eight day prognosis who is still alive eight months later because their inner spirit demands and determines it. That certainly defies logic. Cheers Brenda.

      • Yes, there are things which will always defy logic. I guess the difference between an emotional and logical person is how we respond to such situations. Thanks for sharing Gray. Have a great day

      • Nail on the head Brenda. I tend to talk all around the bushes and you are very much more concise. It’s good to see it all so succinctly. All the best.

      • I guess that comes from years of academic writing and trying to teach students to be succinct 😁. Thanks Gray

      • I’m usually the opposite … I dont want to see bullet points … im looking for analysis and interpretation, can’t do that with bullet points

      • In your final example, about the person with a definitive amount of life left, how much control of our lives do you feel anxiety owns?

    • Well thought-out and precise response, and although you do not see a logical side of yourself as much, you absolutely have an extremely potent sense of logic.

      I appreciate your share. Thank you.

  8. I think I am a mix of both as well. I don’t know the proportions though. I could relate to the incidents you have mentioned. I guess it happens to all of us at varying intensities. I don’t think anyone can be 100% logical. Even logic has emotions.

  9. I think I’m both. Sometimes I wonder what came first – the egg or the chicken. My pondering leads me to believe that I am emotional at the base. However, life has taught me that logic might be valued more/seen more seriously, so that’s where I’ve moved. People hate that, too.

    As far as your colleague goes – I can definitely understand your hurt, but I’m glad to see that you found the silver lining in that you helped her when she needed it the most. Like a toddler who can now walk on their own.

    It made me think of hurt in general. Recently, someone told me that someone else feels hurt by me. Aren’t we adults? Can’t this hurt person tell me? Can’t we just hash it out? It’s silly to me. It’s also interesting to see that no one asked if maybe I was hurt, too… Selfishness is annoying.

    • I know what you mean in your last paragraph. People are focused on themselves so much that they don’t stop to think about the other person. I don’t know the situation, but if you upset someone, depending on circumstances maybe you were hurting too – and people don’t stop to think about that

      • And I absolutely hate it when they go around telling other people that they are hurt but me. We’re supposed to be adults. It seems like you really don’t want to solve anything, either if you don’t face the specific person…

      • To me it indicates they’re scared or don’t want confrontation. But going behind your back just increases that likelihood

  10. I’m a mix of both logical, my default setting, then emotional, my secondary setting. I shift between the two extremes depending on the situation… which I suppose I assess first with logic then decide which way to go after that. Great topic.

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