Appeal to Emotion is a Narcissistic Abuse technique whereby a manipulative, calculating, and arguably Machiavellian speaker uses an irrational appeal to emotion in order to convince a target to suspend the rational use of logic.
Irrational appeals to emotion place a target in the position of feeling emotionally provoked, compelled to emote, and forced to feel shame for being analytical.
Typically, those who make the most aggressive appeals to emotion are skilled in jobs where conning skills are necessary to win friends, sway public opinion, or to make a deal where the parties involved walk away happy not realizing they were sold nothing more than a bill of goods.
Using appeal to emotion might come as an innocent lapse in rational judgment.
For instance, a person who is not thinking things through clearly might impulsively — without preparing or considering the best interest of the animal or their own lifestyle — might choose to adopt an adorable puppy.
Consider this an irrational appeal to emotion argument example.
Animal lover spots cute husky puppies. Brings animal home to surprise mate and family — deciding to spin adopting of the animal for egocentric and impulsive reasons a GIFT.
Puppy arrives home.
No food. No food bowls. No person arranged to care for housetraining.
Dog requires leash training and daily 1-2 mile or longer walking.
Pet sheds. Thrives in a cooler climate.
Dog requires supervision, behavior skill training, proper socialization with other animals,
Dog may or may not be good with children, smaller animals, or other family pets
If no one trains the dogs, works to housebreak the animal, or is available to care for the home where the animal resides to a degree the pet hair and dander do not compliment the health of the facility, all the humans in the home, as well as the animal, suffer.
If the spouse or children are not trained in how to leash train a pulling dog or not physically strong enough to control the animal, there is a problem.
If the animal requires extended walks on a daily basis to prevent developing health and anxiety disorders sure to lead to property destruction and the misery of the animal, that is a problem.
Not being able to pay for vet care or flea meds for the animal is a problem.
And certainly… the potty and feeding and training needs of the animal are a problem (even before one considers the risk an animal of that nature and type left unsupervised is likely to engage in lots of barking).
Bring the animal home because it was cute at 6 weeks old and is or was the right size at THAT age for a young, growing, or busy family is actually using an irrational appeal to emotion argument to defend and justify doing direct but passively active negligent harm to the family.
Bringing home a cute Husky pup might be situationally appropriate if you have the money to provide for its supervision and care, live in Alaska, or are hoping to pull a dogsled somewhere.
But seriously — if logic applied leads you to show emotional intelligence and exercise restraint?
It would be a neglect of human intelligence to say believing an emotional appeal argument is superior to the exercising of logic as the smartest or best way to live a social life.
People who use the verbal assault tactic to shame targets for the use of reason are a very specific kind of hospitality abuser — one who does dastardly things in the shadows while opening bragging about how smart and trustworthy they are in the light.
If someone uses the tactic on you, realize what happened — first and foremost.
Then, close your ears to the gaslighting plea to suspend your intelligence in favor of believing a fantasy a social predator or person striving to manipulate you consciously truly hopes that you will believe.
People who routinely make an irrational appeal to emotional arguments are fickle, dangerous socially, and typically overwhelmingly egocentric — three trait combinations that tend to produce varying degrees of fiscally and civically popular but gravely toxic people.« Back to Glossary Index