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Irrational behaviour can come from Love too not just from Fear and Anger

When we talk of irrational behaviour, we refer to behaviour that is not helpful, that is not useful and may even be harmful for the person in the long run. We often associate irrational behaviour with the emotions of Fear/Anxiety and Anger.

A person required to go on stage to talk may say, “I decided not to go to he event itself as I was afraid of going on the stage and speaking a few words”. A mother reading about s child abuse case in a different school may ask her children from skipping school for the day although nothing has happened in her children’s school. The man of the house who is angry with his spouse and children may decide to skip the meals to teach others a lesson. Someone whose car got grazed in the traffic may pick a fight and get into a violent brawl hurting others and himself.

All these are irrational behaviours and come from the place of anxiety, fear and anger. These behaviours are hurtful for the person themselves and do not serve any purpose hence we call them irrational.

But anger, fear and anxiety are not the only emotions that make us behave irrationally. What about love? Can our love for someone make us behave irrationally? We often do but are not aware of it.

The child who has been caught stealing may be defended endlessly by the parents preventing him from bearing the consequences of his actions. Does it help the child? Does it help the parent? The love of the parents makes them behave completely irrationally in this case. The girl may notice that her boyfriend boasts of how he lied to others and got away. She starts noticing small lies that he tells her but ignores thinking they are not important or that she will change him once she marries him. She ignores all the red flags in the relationship out of love for her boyfriend eventually paying for it.

An adult child of a parent may be aware that her parent is manipulative and when her daughter comes and shares some negative opinion about the grandmother, the parent may defend that grandmother viciously against her own daughter. Her love for her parent made her act completely irrationally.

Just like fear, anxiety, and anger are strong emotions, even love is a very powerful emotion. Just like other emotions can make us act without logic, or reason, love too can. No emotions by themselves are good or bad, each is capable of being useful, protective, nurturing or harmful. Good to be aware of that.

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