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Emotions: A Powerful Financial Force For Help or Harm

Craig Edwards

I remember the day he came to see me.

“She’s just so emotional,” he said, as if he was talking about a disease. “About everything really, not just money. How can I get her to see that?”


“See what?” I asked. “That’s she’s emotional?”

Buddy, she already knows that. My guess is that she needs to see that you value her emotions as the powerful force for good they can be. Then, with that assurance, she can also see that her emotions don’t need to run her life (or yours)…just enhance it.

Think of emotions as a powerful wind. Remember when you first met her? You were paddling along, slowly, predictably in your little row boat. Let’s be honest…you were bored.

Then she came along…and her boat had something yours didn’t. It moved faster, made bigger waves and, frankly, she was having more fun. There was this invisible force that swept you both along when you were together. It was the “wind” of her emotions. And, at first, it was all fun and exhilaration.

Only later did you find out that the wind sometimes blew at unpredictable, even unwelcome times and took you in directions you weren’t expecting to go. Without any tools or directions on how to harness this powerful force, we less emotive types tend to run away and hide.

Bad idea.

You miss out on all the good that can come your way and you communicate to her that you don’t accept her for who she is – so-called “good” emotions and “bad.”

So if you’ll allow me to double down on my nautical metaphor, let me suggest you both learn how to use some sails and a rudder to harness the positive power of emotions and to protect you from their potential for harm.

Sails capture and focus the power of the wind. When there is no wind, a boat either sits aimlessly in the water or plods along at the rower’s pace. Wind fills the sails and propels the craft over the water so that you reach your destination much, much quicker.

Properly focused, emotions can fill your sails and give you energy, creativity and diligence to do the hard things necessary to make it in business. Do I need to tell you that sales (the kind that make money) are usually best done by emotional people?

You also need a rudder. A rudder keeps you on course, both when the sails are full and when the wind has died down and your boat is simply being moved by your own labored rowing.

If you are a non-emotive type, you probably get frustrated when some effervescently emotional person tells you to “lighten up and have more fun!” After all, you can’t just turn on some emotion switch and make it happen. You are who you are.

But so is she. She cannot simply turn off her emotions. They’re who she is.

Emotionally expressive people need to know they don’t have to be driven by their emotions. They may not be able to completely control them, but neither do they have to be controlled by them.

When it comes to financial decisions and lots of other things, emotions may be one of the biggest assets you’ve got on your balance sheet.

So… value them.

Byron is a Certified Financial Planner and Managing Director of the Planning Group at Argent Advisors, Inc.
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