Have you ever noticed that if you’re arguing/disagreeing/discussing something with someone, they’ll call a halt to the conversation if they see you getting upset? I can’t discuss this with you because you’re too emotional. Or maybe it’s you that “can’t deal” with people getting upset if you’re talking about something passionately. Discourse is often put into a perceived and rigid binary: being knowledgeable versus being emotional, the structure of which disallows the two to work in tandem. Often it is believed that one cannot be emotional and still be seen as knowledgeable; if emotions allow a speaker to alter their argument or stand-point there is a fear that one will seem less credible because of it.
This is an important idea for people to dismantle, as emotion can often serve as an enhancer for arguments, and not a contribution to the destruction of one. Passion is a driving force that allows people to feel less removed from the issue at their hand. Emotion, especially “positive” ones (you know, the excitable ones that result in your peers telling you to calm down because you’re “too intense”), can have a great influence over people’s desires and quest for knowledge. But that’s not to say that “negative” emotions in impassioned discussions are bad. It’s okay to be angry with things that you see and with situations you disagree with, and it’s okay to let sadness drive a course of action, so long as that is what those feelings are doing. It is not wrong for these emotions to be visible whilst engaging in discourse, and it doesn’t mean your feelings and ideas are any less grounded because you’ve chosen to illustrate your emotions in the conversation. Enacting sympathy in diction allows one to feel more of a connection to, and feel more deeply with, what they are speaking on.
There is a value to emotion and personal experience, and that should not be disregarded or seen as unintelligible.
Too many times people’s experiences are not seen as valid because emotion is a factor within them and is therefore viewed as biased and unreasonable. It however is an important tool when sharing worldview with others and should be seen as vital.