What's your opinion on emotion
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20-10-2013, 07:13 AM
RE: What's your opinion on emotion
Emotions are ok as long as you realize that they are only in your head, and as long as they don't influence your decision making.

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20-10-2013, 07:22 AM
RE: What's your opinion on emotion
(20-10-2013 12:41 AM)amyb Wrote:  As mentioned ad nauseam elsewhere, I have SPD which is characterized by an absense of strong emotions and lack of affect, and even weaker emotions tend to be lacking or almost-nonexistent. Anger is the only one I don't seem to have a problem with, but only in certain situations (such as social injustice and dealing with abstract concepts, I've never been able to get angry at a specific person though). I point this out to say that I am not "emotionally-suppressed," but rather, that I don't have much in the way of emotions to suppress. You can't suppress what's not there. The emotions I do have are not ever directed toward people, they are reserved for appreciating things like a great novel or a beautiful painting, or a nice piece of music. I think talking about emotions in such a general way is difficult, because there are so many variables.

wikipedia Wrote:"In psychology and philosophy, emotion is a subjective, conscious experience characterized primarily by psychophysiological expressions, biological reactions, and mental states. Emotion is often associated and considered reciprocally influential with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation.[1] It also is influenced by hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin, oxytocin, cortisol and GABA."
I quote this because, as a person with SPD, I lack affect, probably my nervous system just doesn't dump those neurotransmitters into my bloodstream. Certainly, a lot of them are useful, like adrenaline if you're in danger. Others may be enjoyable, like dopamine and serotonin. If it weren't for oxytocin, parents wouldn't attached to their babies I suppose, and the human race might suffer if all the mothers were just leaving their babies in the woods to die. I can see the positive aspects.

I can understand, on an intellectual level, that emotions serve a purpose and that people even enjoy some emotions (such as being "in love").

On a personal level, I cannot relate to this at all and actually think of it as a weakness and sort of repulsive/distasteful. I compare it to drug addiction, or at least public drunkeness; people seem to be "high" on whatever chemicals their body is dumping into their bloodstream, they don't think logically, they don't respond reasonably when faced with choices. I especially try to avoid people who are "heartbroken" or angry at another person for some personal reason. I cannot fathom why people place so much value on transient chemicals states like being "in love."

In the recent months I've experienced a lot of anxiety and probably too much adrenaline. Maybe an involuntary drug addiction comparison could be applied, as it's difficult to keep it from happening because my body has gotten so used to it.

I get the avoidance - I've seen some pretty strange behavior from folk, and some strange behavior from myself!

My guess is they put such values on those transient chemicals as it avails them, for a time at least, of those which I've been experiencing. Some people would refer to it as "day-today miseries" and others "day-to-day-life" when it comes to the emotions they experience. I tend to view it as "okay, the shit is over, lets relax". Big Grin

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20-10-2013, 07:33 AM
RE: What's your opinion on emotion
Yeah, my comparison to drunkeness also refers to my response. Life, if you're in public and just one friend is extremely drunk and embarrassing everyone with his/her behavior, that's how overly emotional people seem to me, even the ones experiencing supposedly benevolent emotions like being in love. I just find it distasteful I guess, which is why I avoid people having any sort of emotional high or emotional display. Same goes for parents cooing over new infants and showing pictures and fishing for compliments on how cute their kid is. Sorry, but I've never met an infant I found "cute." I understand that they are just expressing their instinctive programming to find newborns of the species cute and want to nurture them, but that part of my coding is faulty, apparently.
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20-10-2013, 07:59 AM
RE: What's your opinion on emotion
(20-10-2013 07:33 AM)amyb Wrote:  Yeah, my comparison to drunkeness also refers to my response. Life, if you're in public and just one friend is extremely drunk and embarrassing everyone with his/her behavior, that's how overly emotional people seem to me, even the ones experiencing supposedly benevolent emotions like being in love. I just find it distasteful I guess, which is why I avoid people having any sort of emotional high or emotional display. Same goes for parents cooing over new infants and showing pictures and fishing for compliments on how cute their kid is. Sorry, but I've never met an infant I found "cute." I understand that they are just expressing their instinctive programming to find newborns of the species cute and want to nurture them, but that part of my coding is faulty, apparently.

Please say you're a fan of George Carlin. Blush

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20-10-2013, 08:00 AM
RE: What's your opinion on emotion
(20-10-2013 06:52 AM)amyb Wrote:  @Dom: You're right, I was not referrig to all emotions when talking about people being irrational. I was talking about things like a woman staying in an abusive relationship because she's "in love" with the man and thinks she can change him.

Quote:When you say you have no emotions, it makes me wonder whether you actually do not have the chemical reactions, or whether you just do not have the usual physical expressions that come with them. If you don't have the chemical exchanges at all, I wonder if it is a disadvantage at times. Without the sudden release of adrenalin, will you be less efficient in coping with situations that require a heightened state of alertness? Or maybe there is not a complete absence of these chemical exchanges, but rather a selective one?
I do not have the chemical reactions (which explains rather nicely why I'm incapable of "romantic love"), that's pretty much what SPD is: being in the same unwavering mental state, regardless of circumstances. I've been in car accidents and in dangerous situations and it has never been a hindrance to me.

However, I do think it's not total and complete, I believe myself to be more lacking in situations that normally cause a release of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine.

Quote:In any case, we are all a product of evolution and both you and the drama queen are deviations from the norm, and if either variation were more beneficial than the norm, the norm would adjust itself over time to favor these traits. There is no personal responsibility in this. The individual has the basic traits and tries as best they can to adjust their personal life to make the most efficient use of what they have.
I agree it's not beneficial to the species to be like me. For one thing, the species would die out in a generation because no one would be having sex or wanting children. But my question was more on an individual basis, as to why Juv stated that overemotional and underemotional are "equally problematic," because I was interpreting the thread on a more individual basis.

Quote:You say people don't respond logically when emotional - actually, in some situations, emotions release chemicals that sharpen logical thinking and action, like when one goes into "shock". Shock is the result of an onslaught of emotion that signals that something is very, very wrong and they trip the system to where there is absolutely no emotion until the situation has resolved.
Yes, but you're giving an example of people being unable to cope while emotional so they go into an unemotional state to deal with things logically.

Related: many relatives insisted I was in shock when I found my dad after he died. Everyone else was a mess, my mom was threatening suicide and to burn down the house. I went about things normally, helped with the paperwork and dealt with the funeral home. It's not that I didn't experience grief, I did shed a manly tear at the funeral, but I don't experience it the same way as people expect me to, which often causes people to accuse me of being a horrible person at funerals because I'm not crying enough or something. Point being that I was not in shock, I was in my normal state and that is how I respond to things, rather flatly.

I used to work in retail and it was awful. You're expected to feign cheerfulness and it's just not in my nature, so people routinely thought I was trying to be an asshole and hated them personally. Even the ones that liked me always seemed to remind me of my lack of affect and one called me "cold" and "an ice queen." But other than that, I mean, on a day to day basis I don't really suffer any ill effects and I just consider myself a Vulcan and pat myself on the back for being able to deal with all these silly, emotional humans all the time.

Well, this still leaves me wondering about whether you actually do not have these chemical releases or whether they are just not visually expressed.

Grieving is a very individual matter. I don't go to funerals. They offer me nothing, and the deceased does not care. Other people need the release of serotonin and funerals tend to trigger that.

Grieving can come in stages that are many years apart. The intensity depends on the amount of space in your current daily life taken up by the deceased. As in, if you have been currently living with the deceased, and you have done so for decades, there is a big adjustment in your life. It is this adjustment to a different daily life that produces lasting grief. It actually has nothing to do with how much you cared about the person. You could have hated the person and the sudden empty gaps in daily life will trigger grief. Or you could have loved them dearly, but nothing changes in your daily life as they have not been living with you in a long time, and there will be little grief.

You can lose someone and have zero initial response and years later you get angry for no reason. Anger is part of grief, in this case it got delayed. Timing can be totally off. I bet more people feel guilty about not grieving enough than not.

Then there is the thing about emotions being contagious. This is where I can see you just not having that phenomenon occur for you. Laughing and crying can be particularly contagious. Probably a good portion of people you see crying at funerals are crying just because it's contagious. Do you yawn when others yawn excessively? Same thing.

About your retail experience - people expect you to mirror emotions. They smile at you, they expect a smile in return. It's the same as communicating with words. It reassures them. They don't necessarily feel anything at all when they smile at you. But they do feel funny when the smile is not returned...

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20-10-2013, 08:03 AM (This post was last modified: 20-10-2013 08:12 AM by amyb.)
RE: What's your opinion on emotion
Of course I am, cts.



Quote:Well, this still leaves me wondering about whether you actually do not have these chemical releases or whether they are just not visually expressed.
Pretty sure they don't exist. I'm not emotionally repressed. You can't repress emotions you don't have. They're not all absent, but they're mostly really weak, if present at all.

Quote:About your retail experience - people expect you to mirror emotions. They smile at you, they expect a smile in return. It's the same as communicating with words. It reassures them. They don't necessarily feel anything at all when they smile at you. But they do feel funny when the smile is not returned...
Yeah, this why I never pursued acting as a career. I can't fake it and I don't "catch" it from others. I always thought I was perfectly helpful and polite, but it appears that's not enough when working with people.

Quote:Grieving is a very individual matter. I don't go to funerals. They offer me nothing, and the deceased does not care. Other people need the release of serotonin and funerals tend to trigger that.
I don't usually, either. In fact, I've been to three: a lifelong friend of mine who died in high school, my great grandmother, and my dad. I always sort of resented the whole thing, to be honest. It seems stupid to me. I know it's helpful to some, but not to me.
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20-10-2013, 09:06 AM
RE: What's your opinion on emotion
(20-10-2013 08:03 AM)amyb Wrote:  
Quote:About your retail experience - people expect you to mirror emotions. They smile at you, they expect a smile in return. It's the same as communicating with words. It reassures them. They don't necessarily feel anything at all when they smile at you. But they do feel funny when the smile is not returned...
Yeah, this why I never pursued acting as a career. I can't fake it and I don't "catch" it from others. I always thought I was perfectly helpful and polite, but it appears that's not enough when working with people.

Yeah, it is acting. Acting that becomes a conditioned response in time. I don't think it has an actual emotional base for anyone. People will smile at you when interacting even if they feel no joy whatsoever. It's like when people ask: "how are you" and one says "fine". Doesn't mean anyone is fine at all, it's just a conditioned response.

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20-10-2013, 09:39 AM
RE: What's your opinion on emotion
True, but I also have trouble faking it and mirroring people. They once diagnosed me with asperger's also, which I don't doubt because I have such trouble with social cues. I don't think I have an awareness of what my face is doing, and it's so tiresome to try to remember to do a fake smile hundreds of times a day.

As for grieving, I try telling people it's different for everyone but it doesn't always work. My mom would accuse me of "not caring about anyone" because of refusal to go to most funerals, and not crying at them. It's pretty weird to think some people judge you on how much you cared about a person by how much you weep openly in public when they die. When my dad's younger brother died, he used to sit on the porch with the obituary for hours just staring at it. I'm more like that.

Quote:Then there is the thing about emotions being contagious. This is where I can see you just not having that phenomenon occur for you. Laughing and crying can be particularly contagious. Probably a good portion of people you see crying at funerals are crying just because it's contagious. Do you yawn when others yawn excessively? Same thing.
I always think of this when watching comedy specials on tv. Some of the shit the comedians say, even good comedians, isn't really funny, or it's not nearly as funny as you'd think, watching people's reactions. Yet people are doubled over with laughter. Must be some kind of contagious effect. And I'm sure it's enjoyable for them, it must release some neurochemicals or something.
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20-10-2013, 10:46 AM
RE: What's your opinion on emotion
(20-10-2013 09:39 AM)amyb Wrote:  I always think of this when watching comedy specials on tv. Some of the shit the comedians say, even good comedians, isn't really funny, or it's not nearly as funny as you'd think, watching people's reactions. Yet people are doubled over with laughter. Must be some kind of contagious effect. And I'm sure it's enjoyable for them, it must release some neurochemicals or something.

It does, and it is also a repair and healing process, both emotionally and physically. Recovering patients are often encouraged to watch things that make them laugh to speed up recovery. There are also therapy groups where you just laugh for a while at every meeting. It starts out forced but ends up becoming real, because you then either laugh at your own pitiful attempts to fake laughter, or you laugh at other people's laugh. This is followed by a feeling of being "high". A calm elation.

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26-10-2013, 06:02 AM
RE: What's your opinion on emotion
Hi,
I would like to clarify a few things. It might be obvious for some, but not so obvious for others.

1) Humans do not monopolise on emotions. Other animals also show a capacity for emotions. But because humans have evolved to live in a social environment in which verbal and non-verbal communication is very important, emotions have evolved with us, so to say.

2) Absolutely all emotions are products of our brain processing information and relaying hormonal responses.

3) Different responses of individuals to a given circumstance depends on how information is perceived, processed and responded to. In addition, there are somatic factors like sensitivity to the change in hormone levels.

Also something interesting about body language and somatic response. We all know that emotions dictate body language (mimic is a part of body language). But apparently, it can be driven the other way around by purposefully adopting a certain body language and inducing associated emotions. I find it quite fun Smile

Fun "paradox": The higher the selection pressure, the slower evolution takes place.
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