|Emotions and Feelings|
For Me Ness
Feelings are For-Me-Ness
There is a tension in us that will never completely go away. Feelings are polarized from negative (dysphoria) to positive (euphoria). Feelings are mixed with cognitions to arrive at the for-me-ness or the salience of experiences. Negative feelings are associated with aversive behaviors that encourage us to avoid illness, injury and death. Positive feelings are associated with seeking behaviors that encourage us to find good food, clean water, safe places to rest and nice to people to share all of the above.
Composite feelings such as tenderness and concern lead us to consider the feelings of others and encourage us to share advantages that bring happiness. Feelings are conscious experiences that are real and important but have the elusive quality of all inside experiences – only I experience my feelings. You can guess my feelings by watching my behavior or hearing my description of what it feels like inside. Feelings vary from a low rumble in the mix to the turbulent inner state associated with all-consuming emotions such as rage.
Feelings tend to be short-lived; minutes rather than hours or days. Humans often cannot localize the source or the effects of their feelings and tend to blame others whenever they are not feeling well. Humans tend to become emotional when they are not doing well.
Feelings are evanescent and can change abruptly. Criticism, an angry remark or an insult can switch a happy person to an angry person in seconds. An overly sensitive person may walk away from an argument in deep despair and may want to die. Drastic “thinking” is common. Pessimistic, sometimes nihilistic, thoughts are attached to the ancient feeling of dread. The occasion is usually some threat to your status in a social group.
Humans are usually tuned into behaviors that suggest other people have feelings. The sense of other people’s feelings is described as “empathy” A sensitive person will often pick up subtle signals that that are not conscious or explicit.
Some people talk about “vibes” psychics see “auras” and ordinary folk have “hunches and intuition” or just have feeling responses to others. You might meet a new person and walk away saying “I don’t know what it was… but I didn’t feel comfortable talking to that man.” Insensitive people are not aware of others people’s feelings, are socially inappropriate and can be dangerous. Humans who routinely hurt others tend to have little or no empathy and injure or kill others with no hesitation or remorse. Even sensitive people who are capable of empathy have a range of sensitivity and can be remarkably kind and responsive to some and insensitive to others.
Emotions and Feelings