The opposite of polite talk is insulting talk. Insults are names and
attributions designed to hurt others, to arouse anger and ultimately to start
fights. Children are often taught:” Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names
will never hurt me.” While the intention is to alleviate some of the suffering a
child feels when others hurl insults, the statement is not true. “Names” can be
harmful and are often remembered for years; whereas pleasant experiences are
You could ask why insults are potent as expressions of aggression and as
triggers for fights. Proud males, for example, so reject insults that a scrappy
fight, a formal duel, or a declaration of war follows an insult.
If you are a skilled peace-maker, you learned to deflect insults and inhibit anger. But even
the most skilled pacifist will still be hurt by insults and will require
strategies of self-defense that do not depend on anger or revenge. An important
meaning of an insult is: ”I don’t like you and intend to do you harm.”
The term “profanity” originated with religious authorities to describe words
and expressions not approved by the church. Blasphemous language opposes the
stories and authority of the church. Insults are often expressed with profanity
that consist of words and gesture that are rude and disrespectful. Synonyms for
profane speech are cussing cursing, swearing, obscene, dirty words. Words that
refer to the anus, feces and sexual organs are often used as insults.
Disrespectful words that refer to ethnic origins, religion, and occupation are
also used as insults. Referring to people as animals with low status is
Insults are competitive behaviors that cause occasional confrontations that
can interrupt the social order. Kudryavtseva stated: “Agonistic
(competitive) behavior includes the manifestations of aggression and
submissiveness by individuals in conflict situations and is a universal form of
behavior found in animals of different species. The sensory contact model allows
aggressive and submissive (inhibited, suppressed) types of behavior to be formed
in male mice as a result of acquisition of repeated experience of social
conquests or defeats. Experience of aggression is accompanied by
activation of the dopaminergic systems in the victors. Experience of social
defeat leads to changes in the state of the serotoninergic and noradrenergic
systems of various parts of the brains of the defeated animals. Significant
differences in emotional expression, movement activity, investigative activity,
communicative ability, alcohol consumption, and many physiological aspects were
found in animals of opposite social groups.“ (Kudryavtseva NN.
Agonistic behavior: a model, experimental studies, and perspectives. (Neurosci
Behav Physiol 2000 May-Jun;30(3):293-305 (ISSN: 0097-0549))
Emotions and Feelings
- This book investigates the for-me-ness of
experiences, using psychology, neuroscience and philosophy.
Everyone has some idea what emotions and feelings are but their exact nature
is elusive. We can begin by noting that emotions and feelings are not the same.
Generally, humans are ignorant of internal processes
and invent all manner of imaginary and irrelevant explanations to explain
feelings. The term “emotion” is best used to point to animal and human behavior.
There are a small number of primary emotions and variations that involve
mixtures of emotional displays feelings and behaviors. Joy, anger, fear and pain
are pure emotions. Other, more complex and derivative experiences act as
interfaces to emotions. Love, jealousy and hate are not emotions. These are
descriptions of complex interactions and evaluations that involve a range of
feelings and interface to true emotions some of the time. Euphoria is the benefit of being in love. Sadness and anger are the cost
of being in love. Jealousy, like love, is another complex of cognitions,
feelings and emotions that exist to monitor and regulate close relationships.
The absence of emotional display is highly valued in polite society. Humans have
advanced toward civil and productive social environments that are emotionally
neutral. Emotional neutrality is a requirement for acceptable behavior in school
and work environments.
Emotions and Feelings is intended for a well-educated smart reader who is
interested in Human Nature and the daily experience of humans in groups. The author is
Stephen Gislason Both Print
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publisher is Persona Digital Books, Sechelt, B.C. Canada.