by:  George Tannous, PhD

Become a Certified Life Coach

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sentimentality Lesson at

Important: Before you study this lesson please watch this video, “Why?“.  Example:  If you or your client are in a relationship and the other person displayed an attitude of not being “Truthful”, you’ll need to master, and you’ll need to educate your client the following: “Confront and Level!”,  “Assertive Communications!”, as well as “I Feel Good, PST!”.

Make sure to answer the questions at the end and follow the instructions for submission!

From Wikipedia, “Sentimentality originally indicated the reliance on feelings as a guide to truth, but in current usage the term commonly connotes a reliance on shallow, uncomplicated emotions at the expense of reason.”

You might be asking yourself, “I am not a criminal, why do I need to learn this?” Well, the answer is simple. We are all humans, and “Sentimentality” is recognized by psychologists as a “Criminal Thinking Error.” Study it; don’t be “Sentimental!”

We all hear news and stories about cold, brutal, impulsive, and antisocial people committing some terrible crimes. These are some of the most common characteristics almost all criminals share. When it comes to crime, we all picture the criminal as someone ruthless, harsh, and cruel. But sometimes, the reality is different.

 Sometimes, crimes are committed by some of the calmest, caring, loving and emotionally sensitive people there are. Some of these “sentimental” criminals have robbed, abducted, and even murdered people without remorse.

We assume that the person who displays his emotions can never engage in wrongful acts. We believe that a person who shows his sensitive side can never bring any harm to society. But unfortunately, that’s not always true.

We all have read stories about people who were great to their families, their neighbors; who even engaged in noble acts like charity but were convicted. There have been many killers with a strong emotional side. These criminals would never step on an insect, never hurt an animal, would pray to the higher powers, visit the church every week and take care of their families, but wouldn’t think twice before inflicting pain on innocent people without any remorse.

But if these criminals are so sentimental, how can they engage in such wicked activities? If they have an emotional side, how can they lack empathy for people living in society?

The word that describes this condition is sentimentality, which is one of eight criminal thinking errors that helps criminals justify their unlawful acts. But before we talk about this topic in depth, it’s important to understand what sentimentality actually is.

What is Sentimentality?

The term sentimental refers to a person who often displays his emotional side. These emotions can root from attachment with people, past experience, thoughts on future events, etc. But can these emotions bring harm to society?

The answer is yes. When people rely on sentiments instead of logic, they can easily cause serious damage. When people and their actions are driven by feelings and emotions, which they firmly believe are good and necessary, they can bring harm to society. 

Sentimentalists often feel that their good deeds make up for their wrongful actions. For example, “I hit my wife yesterday but today I am buying chocolates and flowers for her,” “I yelled at the store manager yesterday in front of everyone but I also bought stuff from that store so that should make up for it,” “I hit my dog, but I also feed other dogs in my neighborhood. That makes me a good person.”

Sometimes sentimentalists feel that if they are being good to one part of society, it compensates for the part where they are bringing harm to others. For example, “I am going to mug that person, but I’ll be feeding the homeless with the money,” “I am going to steal his watch because my friend needs some cash,” “I will rob that bank but I will also make a donation to the orphanage.”

It’s important to understand that the sentimental side of criminals is often inconsistent. Sometimes sentiments are used, consciously or unconsciously, to portray a positive self-image in society. There have been many instances when criminals were convicted and their neighbors were left in shock because these criminals always projected an ideal and positive self-image. 

Let’s consider the example of Adolf Hitler, one of the most brutal politicians and leaders of all time who was responsible for killing approximately 12 million people. One can imagine the horror from the numbers and it’s important to note that these were all non-combatant deaths. But there is a catch here. Even though Hitler was considered one of the most monstrous politicians, he was labeled as a sentimental man by Claretta Petacci Claretta Petacci was the mistress of Benito Mussolini, an Italian doctor. When she met Adolf Hitler, she wrote in her journal that Hitler was indeed a sentimental man. She mentioned what an emotional man Hitler was and how he got teary-eyed during their meeting.

Some historians also believe that Hitler’s decision to commit suicide was heavily influenced by the death of Benito Mussolini. When Hitler found out that Benito Mussolini and his mistress Claretta Petacci were shot and their dead bodies were humiliated by the angry crowd, Hitler reached the decision of ending his life.

Imagine, a man capable of loving people around him, capable of feeling their pain, capable of empathizing and still being responsible for ending 12 million innocent lives.

Can sentimentalism be controlled?

The answer is yes, it can be controlled. But it’s important to realize that sentimentalism is not only a common thinking error among criminals but also it is a common trait among law-abiding citizens. We often try to mask our wrong deeds by using our good deeds to make the situation more tolerable. Sometimes, the consequences of our actions are too harsh, and we try to make up for things or justify the situation by engaging in noble deeds. But when people engage in good deeds to mask the consequences of the bad deeds, the actions taken in the positive direction are often inconsistent.

If you are someone who finds yourself tempted to act out on emotions, then talking to a therapist might help you overcome this attitude. In addition to this, one can take the following steps to avoid acting on emotions impulsively:

Introspection: This is usually the first step when it comes to self-help. Introspecting not only helps you know yourself better but also helps you keep track of your behavior. If you find yourself engaging in wrongful acts and then making up for them, or engaging in wrongful acts that you believe might bring positive changes in society, it’s important to note these down.

Get some fresh perspective: Sometimes we get so immersed in our own thoughts that we fail to see other possibilities. When we get emotionally overwhelmed, we sometimes take quick decisions. Hence before acting on emotions, talking to a person you trust or a therapist and discussing things with him or her can equip you with a fresh perspective and can help you avoid making decisions based on emotions. 

Stick to the plan: Another way of managing this self-destructive habit is to create a to-do list and stick to it. Make it a rule to not engage in any activities outside the to-do list. Doing this not only gives you clear goals for the day, but also helps in refraining from engaging in actions based on temporary emotions.

Realization: Realization is one of the most important factors in managing sentimentalism. Realizing that the good deeds do not cover up of your wrongful doings helps you keep in touch with the reality. Understanding the consequences of your actions and knowing that no number of good deeds will help in reversing the impact can help a person manage and separate his emotions and his actions. 

The essay:

Please write an essay, up to two pages, about a past experience you or someone you know had when you were sentimental. Tell us in detail, who, what, when, where, why, to whom, the time, the place of what you did. The outcome! And tell us in detail how you could have changed that use from what you learned today so the outcome would have been good. Internalize this lesson. Make it become a part of you.  Share your story in the Forums.

Our advice is for you to practice “Not Making Impulsive Decisions” for at least a week. Tell others around you to point out any event in which you didn’t. Have them hold you accountable. Visit the Forum and do a “CONFESSION.”

What is a Confession? A Confession is when you’ve displayed a wrong behavior and were held accountable by one of your family members, peers, or even yourself.  Visit the Forum and tell us about it. We will give you feedback! Make sure to watch the video about Confession for more details! Furthermore, become a member of the Forum and give feedback to others!

Read the article? Time to introspect!

  1. Have you ever met someone who has a sensitive side but held cruel thoughts for certain people?
  2. What steps do you think one can take to act logically instead of emotionally?
  3. Do you think self-righteous people can bring harm to the society?
  4. Do you also feel that rightful acts make up for wrongful deeds?
  5. What additional steps do you think one can take to overcome sentimentality?


This module includes the following:

Jump to Module:  Module 1: “Attitudes.  Followed by, “Your Logical Thoughts”.  Then, “Your Unlawful Thoughts”.  Then, “How Well Do You Communicate”.  Then, “Drugs, Alcohol, and You”.  Then, “Your Uncontrolled Anger”.  Followed by, “Is Your Life in Balance”.  Finally, “Your Relationships”.

There is no way any relationship will survive without having the qualities mentioned above.

Make sure to read each article carefully at least three time. Print your workbook (will be available per lesson.)  Answer all questions and enter them in your workbook. Once you have completed this entire journey, you will be issued a Life Coach Certificate so long as you’ve been a member of the “Forums.”


Also, follow the instruction for sharing your story in our Forums as well as participating in our “Forums,” especially our unique “Confessions Forum” so you may gain practice, knowledge, experience, and expertise!


I am thankful that you have given me this opportunity to share all of this with you. May God bless you and bring prosperity and peace into your life.

Respectfully yours,

George Tannous, PhD

Please Join The Forums. Watch Video

This is Where Confessions, Attitude Checks, Accountability, Give and Receive Feedback Comes in. Practice for Your Own Practice!

Well, you might be asking yourself “How am I going to get practice for my practice?”  Great question and I thought you’ll never ask!  

#1 You are part of a group with the same interests.

#2  You have a question in regards to one of your clients and we are here to help you.

#3  Others have questions and you can give feedback and help them.

#4  You need to do a confession.

#5  And much more.

You Are Never Alone!  Join the Forums!

Once you have completed this entire journey, you will be issued a Life Coach Certificate.  Must participate in our Forums to get certified!  You’ll achieve your internship by joining and partcipating in our “Forums”.