Emotions and Feelings


 For Me Ness

Some Topics

Feelings of Caring

A caring affectionate nature is characteristic of only some humans and others are the opposite. There is a spectrum of animal and human affiliation that is manifest by body contact, grooming, licking and reassuring vocalizations. There is a strong innate basis to feelings of nurturance and affiliation. Humans learn specific expressions of social behavior from maternal nurturance and develop different levels of affectionate behavior through nature and nurture.

A caring child will treat other children, dolls and pets with affection and concern that suggest mothering instincts. Even children who are treated harshly will sometimes be affectionate and conversely some children who are treated well will be callous and punitive toward others from an early age. Children who lack close maternal contact in the first year will seldom develop an affectionate disposition and will have difficulty being empathetic toward others.

One might ask why a temperature metaphor is used to describe degrees of caring. A cold person lacks expressions of caring and a warm person is affectionate. Puppies and kittens in a litter sleep together, getting as close as possible to share warmth and feel safe. In the best case, humans have a similar experience of warmth and safety by snuggling up to friends and family members.

Babies depend on mothers who care a lot about them and sacrifice personal interests and needs in favor of babies' needs. We speak of "mother's love" referring to the fascination of the mother with her child and the devotion she displays for the rest of her life. We refer to maternal feelings with words that describe a cluster of feeling states that appear when humans care about and care for each other. The root feeling is affection and the associated behaviors are grooming, feeding, protecting and sweet talk. Sweet talk is mostly prosodic utterances that are pleasing and reassuring but have little or no linguistic meaning.

The prototype of maternal love is breast-feeding an infant. The sucking infant’s instinct is to root for the nipple and suck milk from the mother’s breast. If the mother is available, patient and succulent, the infant thrives not only on the nutrients available in the milk, but also because of maternal contact. Mother’s warmth, her movements, her breathing, her heartbeat, her sounds and smells become incorporated in the deep memory of the infant and are never forgotten. There is a strong innate basis to feelings of nurturance and affiliation. Even children who are treated harshly will sometimes be affectionate and conversely some children who are treated well will be callous and punitive toward others from an early age.

Children who lack close maternal contact in the first year will seldom develop an affectionate disposition and will have difficulty being empathetic toward others.

Men often feel affection toward their children and their lovers and can be gentle, caring and considerate. Men have rougher versions of affection for adult male friends and may embrace each other with loud noises and thumps of the back that would bruise or offend most women. Lovers will feel affection when their love is fresh and beautiful and will display nurturing behaviors toward each other. The female is more naturally maternal, but the male lover is capable of a full range of grooming, feeding and protecting behaviors. There are exceptions.


    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 with other 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. For example, lovers experience a range of feelings and display different emotions at different times. 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 available as an eBook download. The book 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

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    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 2016, 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.