Managing irrationality



  • Everyone is irrational about something
  • It’s good when you can get over irrationalities and be rational about things
  • Rationality makes it possible to understand things better, and to be more flexible.
  • This does not mean that getting over a particular identified area of irrationality ought to be an overriding priority.
  • For instance, someone who is irrationally afraid of dogs may well be better off avoiding dogs than working intensely to figure out how not to find them frightening. Overcoming a phobia is a lot of work (and can’t always be done), and sometimes it’s more work than it’s worth.
  • It’s ok to say that yes, it’s irrational, and no, fixing it is not a priority.
  • You are allowed to decide what is and is not a priority. Being irrational about something does not mean that other people have the right to jump in and take over and fix you or demand that you fix yourself.
  • Personal autonomy is not contingent on being flawless.

Also more people need to understand the incredible amount of courage it takes to overcome irrational fears, and that when people do make it a priority to overcome certain irrational fears, especially social anxieties or phobias, they are making a huge effort and other people really do need to respect it.

Yes - overcoming irrational fears can be an immense amount of painful work, and it often makes more sense to put that effort elsewhere.