Negative emotions. Many consider them dangerous, harmful, destructive. That’s only harmful they are not “born”, but become from the wrong treatment. If you remember, “a dog is biting” is far from easy. With cockroaches in my head – exactly the same story.
BEETLE IN THE BOX
Somehow Ludwig Wittgenstein proposed such an experiment: imagine that you and I have a box. I ask: “What’s in your box?” – and you say “Beetle”. I say: “It’s great, I also have a beetle.” And if we both are not too interested in insects, we can well decide that in our boxes the same beetles. But if you want to check, is this so, what will we do? Probably, say: “I have a huge beetle there, and you?” – “I’m also hefty.” It seems that one parameter has coincided … But what does “hefty beetle” mean? For a person who has ever seen a South American Hercules beetle, and for a person who has not seen anything larger than a stork, the concept of what a “hefty beetle” means will be very different. And it’s good that bugs can be pulled out of the box, put next to and compare. And then find a way to classify them. And what if the beetles were only kept in closed boxes, they could be seen only by their owners, and then not entirely from the corner of their eyes, how would we talk about them then? Presented? That’s good, now there is no need to explain why the description, and even more so the classification of emotions – one of the most daring initiatives of psychology.
There were countless attempts to classify emotions, and most of them broke about this “bug” problem. Well, in fact, how to class things that can not be touched, measured, or separated clearly from one another? And the words they describe have many close but different meanings, which creates an excellent ground for jokes (“Gogi, do you like tomatoes?” – “Yes, but yes”), but ugly for research. However, even on such soil, any certainty can be germinated.
WHEEL OF ROBERT’S ROOT EMOTIONS
By joint efforts of social psychologists like Paul Ekman, ethologists, evolutionary and cognitive psychologists (who are surprisingly good at working beautiful and symmetrical sketches), several different classifications of basic emotions were created. The most successful, in my opinion, is the “wheel of emotions” by Robert Plutchik. The central circle on the wheel is affects, the middle one – the base emotions, the outer – some complex emotions. The farther from the center, the less intense is the experience, at the lowest point where the petals are closing, complete tranquility, emotional zero.
So, emotions are basic and complex. Complex emotions are obtained from basic emotions, basic ones from affective-behavioral reactions to typical situations (or rather, situations typical for our hominid ancestors).
Alfried Langle, the author of the existential theory of emotions, defines affect as an immediate feeling caused by an irritant. It does not last long – with the disappearance of the stimulus almost immediately (or after a short “decay time”), the affect caused by it also disappears. Unlike affect, which is only a psychic reaction to the stimulus and is not yet personally integrated, emotion is a product of the “refraction” of affect through the prism of subjective values. “Emotion is how a person experiences … what he perceived from the situation,” Alfred Langle believes, “emotion is not a reaction, but a kind of inner speech.” By “refraction” of the affect through the prism of the basic socio-biological values, we obtain socio-biological basic emotions. Complex emotions in Plutchik’s scheme are obtained by adding simple ones.
EXERCISES “TRAINING FOR EMOTIONS”
Here are some exercises that can be done with this table (they will be especially useful for those people whose typical emotional states are described by the words “bad”, “so-so” and “normal”.)
ANGER + PREGNANCY = STORED
Pregnancy + Joy = OPTIMISM
RETURN + ANGER = NEGLENCE
FEAR + SURPRISE = REMOVAL
JOY + TRUST = LOVE
FIRST + RETURN = DESERVED
SURPRISE + LEAVE = DOSADA
TRUST + FEAR = FEATURES
Anger + Joy = TRIUMPH
PREDICTION + TRUST = HOPE
RETURN + PREDICTION = CYNISM
FEAR + SAD = DESPAIR
JOY + FEAR = RISK
SURROUND + ANGER = ENVY
SURPRISE + RETURN = SHOCK
TRUST + SURPRISE = PERSONALITY
ANGER + TRUST = DOMINATION
PREDICTION + FEAR = ALERT
RETURN + JOY = UNHEALTARY THRUST
FEAR + RETURN = WINES
SURPRISE + ANGER = DISTURBANCE
TRUST + SAD = CONSCIENCE
JOY + SURPRISE = JOY
FIRST + PREDUCTION = PESSIMISM
EMOTIONAL ZERO = REST
Take this table not as a True and Immortal Dictionary of Emotional Manifestations, but as a simulator for developing emotional competence.
1. PLEASE REVIEW THROUGH THE TABLE CAREFULLY.
Add in it missing, in your opinion, options or correct the proposed. (For example, why “Trust + Sadness = Empathy”? I would rather say “Sentimentality” or “Nostalgia”.)
Think, what exactly is your version of the proposed one? Why do you think that he is more suitable for this? Why did the author of the table seem more appropriate to the word, from what considerations did he put it there, what value did he put in it?
2. REPEAT THE SAME EXERCISE IN A PAIR OR A GROUP.
You may be surprised that the names that seem appropriate to you cause objections and bewilderment to other people, or that someone will insistently suggest words that you think are clearly not appropriate. Perhaps you understand these words in different ways. Discuss and try to find out what exactly is the difference.
3. REMEMBER ANY EMOTION WHICH IS NOT IN THE TABLE.
Now think which cell it is better to insert? How does this emotion differ from all others? Intensity? Targeted object? Something else? The process of doing the exercise will allow you to better understand the emotional world. So, not only better understand other people’s emotions, but also feel their own. After all, as Wittgenstein said, “the boundaries of my language define the boundaries of my world.”
PLUS ON MINUS Albert Ellis, the founder of rational-emotional-behavioral therapy, once proposed a simple and convenient formula for describing how this “multiplication” occurs. A x B = C, where A is an activating event, B is our views and beliefs about the structure of the world, and C is an effect (in our case, a complex emotion). A complex emotion is determined by how we interpret this situation. Some people allow themselves to be crushed by “negative emotions,” while others do not. And this speaks not so much of the fact that they have other physiological reactions, but rather that they experience these reactions differently. Beliefs Ellis divides into rational and irrational. The first are expressed in the form of wishes and preferences: “I like when I manage what I do.” The second – in the form of absolute requirements: “I must achieve success in everything, for whatever took.” And the same emotion, when “multiplying” by rational belief, turns out to be unpleasant, but completely bearable, and when “multiplied” by irrational, by torture. Thus, a healthy negative emotion differs from an unhealthy one only in the belief that it is applied to it.
POCKET IDENTIFIER OF IRRATIONAL RELATIONS
Learn irrational beliefs by several typical characteristics (watch the inner dialogue!)
Absolute demand for yourself: “I always need everyone to like.”
Overwhelming: “I never do anything.”
Dramatization: “It’s unbearable! I will not survive this! “
Absolute requirement for peace: “This should not have happened! Never!”
Catastrophement: “I did not pass the report on time – now they will definitely fire me, I will not find another job, there will be no money, in a month I will be thrown out of the apartment …” These things, incidentally, like to hang out together.
WINE – SHAME: both guilt and shame start in disgust and fear of being rejected by the reference group. But if, in the case of guilt, aversion causes an individual act, shame is a consequence of the spread of disgust at the person who did what he did not dare to do.
DOSADA – DISAPPOINTMENT: you are sad that fortune suddenly turned to your back – it’s quite a healthy annoyance. But if you think that she had no right to do so to you and the world is cruel and criminally malicious, then this is the first step to depression.
ALERT – CONCERN: worrying in anticipation of frightening events – it is normal. But if you convinced yourself that this is a watershed between the potential prosperity and the irreversible collapse of all life’s aspirations, then anxiety grows into anxiety.
Envy – jealousy: sadness and anger from the fact that someone has something that would not hurt you, – a healthy envy, the engine of accomplishments. But you should believe that something must necessarily belong exclusively to you, and now your muscular black hands are strangling the girl. The list of such pairs could be continued, but I think the main idea is clear: suffering is a consequence not of emotions, but of incorrect handling of emotions. Healthy optimism easily becomes unhealthy, as soon as a person begins to believe that “good things must necessarily happen to me, because they are good and I, good, very, very much want them to happen.” And here on the money that used to go on insurance, now he buys a book “The Secret …”. But this is the topic of another article.