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The Social Network’s Irrational Man

Those of you who have read my writing before probably have read something about the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) and Jungian personality type theory. Seeing the movie The Social Network, I’m compelled once again.

We constantly hear about women and their emotions– how irrational they can be or how much women flip-flop. However, men can also be irrational.

A perfect example of a man with an emotional decision-making tendency is Eduardo Saverin’s character in The Social Network, portrayed by Andrew Garfield. In the beginning of the movie, Saverin is a close friend of Mark Zuckerberg. As co-founder of the fastest-growing online social network of the decade, Saverin has a mind for business. As a young college student, Saverin also has an emotional mind and makes a grave mistake. He gets upset, then rashly threatens the success of Zuckerberg’s creation.

Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, in contrast maintained his logical cool. (Let’s say logiccool.) Zuckerberg is a classic intuitive thinker. In spite of the opposition, Zuckerberg didn’t make rash decisions, but used logic to determine his next move.

Of course, the movie probably overly-dramatizes Saverin’s choices, but it does give an excellent example of what an emotional decision-making man might look like. Granted, Saverin is young when he nearly pulls the plug on Facebook. (We were all young, and we have all made rash decisions. Okay, maybe not all of us.) But if your heartstrings are attached enough– say, to something you’ve invested in– your decision-making tendency will be illuminated.

A study published in 2008 indicated that 40% of American men are emotional decision-makers. These men, like women who are “emotional” tend to make decisions based on feelings before using logic. So, why does society acknowledge male logic more than male irrationality? Possible obvious answer: male dominance in business, marketing, politics, religion, and…uhhh, society? Whatever the real answer, we often fail to acknowledge that many men make irrational decisions because of their emotions. Because of this, we tend to make assumptions and generalizations about the dynamics of relationships. Then, life goes in an unexpected manner; someone gets upset; and the drama perpetuates.

Of course, there are other factors involved when it comes to emotions, namely, hormones. When it comes to understanding what makes relationships work well, whether they be romantic or work-related, knowing personality differences can elucidate.

So, understand personality type theory. Stop the drama before it sucks energy from your soul. But how?

To get more logiccool, first you need to know your tendency. Are you the type of person to make decisions because of logical thought or do you act because you want revenge, feel hurt or angry, or are in love? It takes more than one question to really determine your tendency. Be assured, 99% of people lean one way or the other.

If your tendency is to go by emotions more often than logic, be aware of the tendency, and stop yourself before making decisions. Take extra time to think before acting. Pretty simple, eh? Well, in the heat of a moment, it might not be so easy. Though the more opportunities to practice taking time, the more likely you will attain that logiccool.

Wing Girl Kim is the author of the AlphaDog book.