Emotions and Feelings


For Me Ness

Some Topics

  • Smiling, Laughing and Crying

    Laughing and crying are the most demonstrative of emotional behaviors. The simplest case suggests that we laugh when were happy and cry when we are sad; however, laughter and crying are not always so simple. These behaviors are versatile and are utilized by different, even contradictory programs. Humans can cry when they are happy and laugh when they are afraid. Laughter is associated with humor. Humans will laugh when a story is truly funny but are more likely to laugh to relieve tension and as a gesture of group cohesion. Laughing, like yawning, is contagious. Humor (or what passes as humor) often takes the form of aggressive, insulting or distasteful remarks and stories. As long as you keep laughing, aggression is not so threatening, but if the storyteller goes too far with his insults, the laughter stops and is replaced by indignation or anger.
    Smiling is little laughter and can be a subtle expression (the Mona Lisa). Smiles may be the prelude to laughter and smiles are a reassuring greeting. People who like each other generally smile on sight and laugh easily if they stop and talk. Smiling usually means everything is OK, but there are exceptions. An embarrassed person may smile awkwardly in an effort to avoid criticism or rebuke. The wicked witch may smile sweetly as she invites you in for tea.The skilled interrogator may smile in a friendly manner while describing the painful consequences of not telling him the whole truth; his smile suggests that he can be your friend, if only you would cooperate.

  • Peacock [i] suggests that there are sex differences in smiling behavior in the in the U.S. Women smile eight times a day more than men and women smile at men more than men smile at women. Women smile 89 percent and men 67% of the time in social encounters. Forty-five percent of women rated smiling number one in a list of attractive physical characteristics in men. Peacock claims that women who smile too much in business are seen as less authoritative, less powerful and less businesslike. Peacock says:" This impression is straight from the primitive brain. In primates, smiling is a sign of low status and signals appeasement, even apprehension (in apes, it's called the "fear grin"). Too much smiling in human interaction says, I'm harmless, I won't assert myself.

  • For a good cringe, listen to some of the advice dished out in 1996 to political candidates by the Women's Campaign School at Yale:
    1 Look happy (to do so try thinking happy thoughts).
    2. Control emotions, i.e. anger and tears.
    3. Soft blouses with long sleeves offer a suitable feminine touch.
    4, It's more blessed to listen than to say.
    5. Keep smiling and smiling and smiling and smiling... “

  • Crying can be a discrete display of tears or a dramatic social event with loud sobbing, cries and wailing. Dramatic crying is designed to stop business as usual. The crier gets the attention they need to feel better. There is a curious need for some sadness and certainly most crying to be concealed from public view. Boys are taught that real men don’t cry and girls, despite a more permissive license to cry, remain shy to cry in front of strangers.

    Crying is a display of helplessness and vulnerability and the intended audiences are people who care about you and can help. Crying in front of strangers, especially a large group of strangers may attract the wrong response from people who will try to exploit your vulnerability. Crying is an effective display only if it unusual. A repeat crier will often be shunned or scorned by the same group that initially offered comfort. Most parents have a high tolerance for their own children’s repeated crying, but most kids learn quickly that that tolerance may not be offered by other adults.
    [i] Mary Peacock. Women Who Smile Too Much. Abstracted from http://www.Women.com July 1999.


    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 editions and eBooks for download are available from Alpha Online

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    Print Books Read Topics Download
    Human Nature
    The Good Person
    Pieces of the Puzzle
    The Sound of Music
    Surviving Human Nature
    Language and Thinking
    I and Thou
    Emotions, Feelings
    Neuroscience Notes
    Human Brain
    Children & Family
    Intelligence & Learning
    Religion 21st Century

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    The Psychology, Philosophy, Neuroscience series of books was developed by Persona Digital. The books are copyright and all rights to reproduction by any means are reserved. We encourage readers to quote and paraphrase topics from Emotions and Feelings 2017, published online, and expect proper citations to accompany all derivative writings. The author is Stephen Gislason and the publisher is Persona Digital Books, Sechelt, B.C. Canada.