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What IS Emotional Courage? Options
Hope123
Posted: Sunday, February 4, 2018 1:41:20 PM

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Philosophy or Psychology or Both?

I read the transcript of this TED Talk, saw some excellent truisms about our emotions, and decided to share the link. I just didn't know which sub forum to choose.

Any thoughts or additions?

https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_david_the_gift_and_power_of_emotional_courage/transcript?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2018-02-03&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_content=talk_of_the_week_button#t-73512


Normal, natural emotions are now seen as good or bad. And being positive has become a new form of moral correctness. People with cancer are automatically told to just stay positive. Women, to stop being so angry. And the list goes on. It's a tyranny. It's a tyranny of positivity. And it's cruel. Unkind. And ineffective. And we do it to ourselves, and we do it to others.

The trouble with the world - the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, February 5, 2018 7:50:02 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Very interesting!

Of course I'm always bright and chirpy . . . Liar

Actually, I am most of the time, but that's just because I don't have many troubles.

My philosophy of emotions is that someone who is free to move up and down as befits the circumstances is pretty healthy emotionally.

Someone who is depressed and bursts out crying because a friend has just died - that's sane, really. One should recover from the upset over a little time.

Someone who is depressed for no reason - things are going OK, no real worries, but they go into bouts of depression - that's a problem.
Someone who is always 'cheerful', laughs when they see a bad accident, laughs and giggles at funerals - that's a problem too.

Sometimes, it's dietary.
I have a friend, one day she was talking - just normally - and suddenly burst into tears, saying it was all worthless, she may as well just kill the kids and herself, but she couldn't be bothered even doing that.
I tried asking what was wrong - all the usual things - and she said nothing particular. She was just depressed.
I knew she was regularly seeing the doctor (who happens to be another good friend) so I called there.
The doctor said "Oh, it's OK, just give her a spoonful of honey. She's missed one of her diabetic treatments."
A miracle cure!

Emotion (to me) is one's reaction to circumstances.
It's part mental/nerve/brain, part physical (glandular) and part spiritual (this bit you can 'decide' somewhat).
One can, in normal circumstance, 'be brave' or 'be strong' and not show the effects of bad news - so as not to affect others too much - but one can't usually decide that one's glands are going to stop working.
One can decide not to ACT angry, but one can't stop the Adrenalin . . .


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Hope123
Posted: Monday, February 5, 2018 6:58:30 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Drago,

I like your statement: "My philosophy of emotions is that someone who is free to move up and down as befits the circumstances is pretty healthy emotionally." I think that sums it up quite nicely. Plus contrasting feeling feeling and showing feeling is right on.

I'm not sure if were you brought up in the "children should be seen and not heard" and if you don't stop crying I'll give you another one" era as it was in my time. My Dad never hit us but we were not allowed to express our feelings, so I became a bit of a rebel and even now don't tell me that something is impossible or that I can't do something because I'll at least try to find a way (until I see for myself that it is not going to work). And I think that may be a good thing now. However, I am glad as a teacher and parent that I learned in time that it was important to allow children to express their feelings. With respect of course. Suppression of feeings only makes them stronger as she illustrated with what happened after her father's death.

That was one of things that jumped out at me in this TED Talk. That feelings are not good or bad, but are just feelings. It is what we learn to do with them that's important. Also, many times a person, myself included, may think they have one motivation when in reality the motivation is deeper. It is really hard to always be attuned to your real feelings.

I too have mellowed, am mostly happy, am fairly quick to anger, but I usually use the odd cuss word and get over it quickly. My only "trouble" is the inconveniences of my health. And I've coped with that for so many years that it is only the odd day that it gets to me. However, on one of those days, don't try telling me to "be positive". You will positively get a reaction - not necessarily positive. 😇 Edited to add: Smile sweetly and say, Please! Tell me more". I mentioned this positivity because of what she said about the attitude towards it today of being a new form of moral correctness.

But this part really explained for younger folks what getting older is like -

"Life's beauty is inseparable from its fragility. We are young until we are not. We walk down the streets sexy until one day we realize that we are unseen. We nag our children and one day realize that there is silence where that child once was, now making his or her way in the world. We are healthy until a diagnosis brings us to our knees. The only certainty is uncertainty, and yet we are not navigating this frailty successfully or sustainably. The World Health Organization tells us that depression is now the single leading cause of disability globally -- outstripping cancer, outstripping heart disease. And at a time of greater complexity, unprecedented technological, political and economic change, we are seeing how people's tendency is more and more to lock down into rigid responses to their emotions."

Part of the above edit : I happened to look at the title, and reread to check again what she meant by courage. I liked her definition: Courage is fear walking. And I agree with her; we should never lie to children.


The trouble with the world - the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell
FounDit
Posted: Monday, February 5, 2018 8:32:16 PM

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It is an interesting read, and a subject I have found fascinating for many years. I’ve mentioned several times here on the forum my thoughts on what motivates humans, and she comes very close to aligning with them in my opinion. There is a difference, however, that I think is significant.

And at a time of greater complexity, unprecedented technological, political and economic change, we are seeing how people's tendency is more and more to lock down into rigid responses to their emotions.
The significant factor for me is this: she describes “…people’s tendency…to lock down into rigid responses to their emotions”. We don’t have responses to emotions. Emotions are themselves responses; responses to circumstances we find ourselves involved in. What we have when we examine our emotions (responses) is another response.

Research now shows that the radical acceptance of all of our emotions -- even the messy, difficult ones -- is the cornerstone to resilience, thriving, and true, authentic happiness.
Notice she says we should accept all of our emotions (responses). What does that mean? To me it means understanding why we responded the way we did, and recognize the underlying feeling(s). She confirms this with, “When we label our emotions [responses] accurately, we are more able to discern the precise cause of our feelings.”

So, what does this look like in practice? When you feel a strong, tough emotion, don't race for the emotional exits. Learn its contours, show up to the journal of your hearts. What is the emotion telling you? And try not to say "I am," as in, "I'm angry" or "I'm sad." When you say "I am" it makes you sound as if you are the emotion. Whereas you are you, and the emotion is a data source. Instead, try to notice the feeling for what it is: "I'm noticing that I'm feeling sad" or "I'm noticing that I'm feeling angry." These are essential skills for us, our families, our communities. They're also critical to the workplace.
So if you say, “I’m noticing that I’m feeling sad”, or “I’m noticing that I’m feeling angry”, the next question to my mind is “Why? What has happened to make me feel sad or angry? What do sadness and anger have in common?” They are both responses (emotions) to negative experiences created by another person or circumstances. And what do negative experiences generally look like? Anger, sadness, hurt, pain, rejection.
Now ask yourself what positive responses (emotions) feel like. Are they not happiness, contentment, joy, connection, acceptance?

Acceptance and rejection: the root sources of all our responses to life. I believe it wholeheartedly. Only the form of expression differs in each case.




A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Hope123
Posted: Monday, February 5, 2018 9:45:30 PM

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I don't normally believe in coincidences. But the TED Talk speaker and I were talking about being "positive" and my friend just posted this old pic that I've seen before on her Facebook page. So to inject a bit of humor...



The trouble with the world - the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell
almo 1
Posted: Monday, February 5, 2018 11:16:43 PM
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Joined: 10/16/2016
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Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan


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Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 11:53:03 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 29,710
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Sadly, my computer does not allow me to visit "Am I Annoying.com" - I would have liked to do that test.

I'll try from home later (I don't have filters on the wi-fi there).
Thanks for the link!




"FDA approves new Pfiser drug to handle chronic cheerfulness - ask your medical professional for DESPONDEX today"

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 3:52:22 AM

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FounDit wrote:
It is an interesting read, and a subject I have found fascinating for many years. I’ve mentioned several times here on the forum my thoughts on what motivates humans, and she comes very close to aligning with them in my opinion. There is a difference, however, that I think is significant.

And at a time of greater complexity, unprecedented technological, political and economic change, we are seeing how people's tendency is more and more to lock down into rigid responses to their emotions.
The significant factor for me is this: she describes “…people’s tendency…to lock down into rigid responses to their emotions”. We don’t have responses to emotions. Emotions are themselves responses; responses to circumstances we find ourselves involved in. What we have when we examine our emotions (responses) is another response.

Research now shows that the radical acceptance of all of our emotions -- even the messy, difficult ones -- is the cornerstone to resilience, thriving, and true, authentic happiness.
Notice she says we should accept all of our emotions (responses). What does that mean? To me it means understanding why we responded the way we did, and recognize the underlying feeling(s). She confirms this with, “When we label our emotions [responses] accurately, we are more able to discern the precise cause of our feelings.”

So, what does this look like in practice? When you feel a strong, tough emotion, don't race for the emotional exits. Learn its contours, show up to the journal of your hearts. What is the emotion telling you? And try not to say "I am," as in, "I'm angry" or "I'm sad." When you say "I am" it makes you sound as if you are the emotion. Whereas you are you, and the emotion is a data source. Instead, try to notice the feeling for what it is: "I'm noticing that I'm feeling sad" or "I'm noticing that I'm feeling angry." These are essential skills for us, our families, our communities. They're also critical to the workplace.
So if you say, “I’m noticing that I’m feeling sad”, or “I’m noticing that I’m feeling angry”, the next question to my mind is “Why? What has happened to make me feel sad or angry? What do sadness and anger have in common?” They are both responses (emotions) to negative experiences created by another person or circumstances. And what do negative experiences generally look like? Anger, sadness, hurt, pain, rejection.
Now ask yourself what positive responses (emotions) feel like. Are they not happiness, contentment, joy, connection, acceptance?

Acceptance and rejection: the root sources of all our responses to life. I believe it wholeheartedly. Only the form of expression differs in each case.




I agree with some of what you say, but disagree with some points.

Unfortunately for some of us the answer to what makes us feel negative emotions or positive ones come to that, is not negative or positive experiences but a biochemistry that is different to many other people. The answer to why am "I feeling sad " is not that there is a real circumstance that makes me feel sad but a certain substance my body is running low and I will feel sad even if I was in the most positive situation possible. It's only when the imbalance in my body is corrected that I would feel,positive about that situation.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Absinthius
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 5:20:35 AM

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Sarrriesfan wrote:

I agree with some of what you say, but disagree with some points.

Unfortunately for some of us the answer to what makes us feel negative emotions or positive ones come to that, is not negative or positive experiences but a biochemistry that is different to many other people. The answer to why am "I feeling sad " is not that there is a real circumstance that makes me feel sad but a certain substance my body is running low and I will feel sad even if I was in the most positive situation possible. It's only when the imbalance in my body is corrected that I would feel,positive about that situation.


This is very true, but so hard to understand and empathize with. I have very similar experiences to what Sarriesfan describes. For some people, the brain biochemistry isn't regulated as narrowly and consistently as for others. This can trigger emotions that have no basis in what they are 'meant' to be a reaction to. A prime example of this is misophonia, a strange phenomenom indeed.

Misophonia is actually very common, but comes in many shapes and severities. The most iconic and mild forms are the feeling of 'goosebumps' when someone cracks their knuckles or scratches a blackboard. But there are also less conventional forms. I, for example, can not stand the sound of someone eating an apple. It's completely arbitrary as far as I can tell, no rational reason behind it and still very confusing to me. If someone in my vicinity bites into an apple, that sound triggers a feeling of rage in me. Not at all directed at anything, just the feeling. Apart from clenching my fists I have no other urges, no inclination to any kind of violence or confrontation, in that moment I don't even blame the person eating the apple. But for the durating of that meal I can not focus on anything else, just that sound is everything in the world to me.

I have tried to explain this many times, but of course people don't really get it. I share an office with 3 people at work, there is a strict no-apples rule in that room. I'm lucky it is something this easily avoidable.

Brain chemistry is a strange thing, emotions seem to be such a personal and profound thing. In reality they are just the effect of chemicals, easily manipulated but most people don't want to in the fear of 'not being who they really are'.

Look, how about this? Let's pretend we've had the row and I've won. See? It saves a lot of effort.
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 9:10:53 AM

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Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Abs and Sarrri,

Agreed - Brain chemistry is very important and also very individual. Fortunately there are supplements for nutrition that can aid in brain chemistry, and of course there are drugs for the various deficiencies these days. Some parts of the brain that are situated closely to each other can spill over into each other. People with allergies often have ADD etc.

The apple conundrum and misophonia mentioned is fascinating,

In previous times, names everyone has heard, such as Sigmund Freud and B. F. Skinner, would be cited to supply a reason.

At the turn of the 20 th Century, Freud would have said that in depth psychoanalyis of a childhood trauma would reveal the cause.

Skinner and his box experiments show that animals including people can be "conditioned" simply by association - that the apple eating somehow became associated with anger.

Since then, there have been many new ideas about why we all have certain idiosyncrasies, such as the misophonia Abs describes, and also this possibility:

Cause and affect: Emotions can be unconsciously and subliminally evoked, study shows.


https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428155208.htm


I didn't check any out, but I see links at the bottom of that link to articles that purport various theories as to causes of emotions - such as culture, or the connection between sex and disgust for some people etc.

Abs, it is great that your colleagues are willing to understand and eliminate your problem at work - just as many workplaces have rules about wearing perfume and aftershave, and smoking, to accommodate people with problems.


Edited - writing this reminded me of some weird phenomenon in psychology. Some people have a disability in facial recognition. Then there is this book -

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales is a 1985 book by neurologist Oliver Sacks describing the case histories of some of his patients.
Author: Oliver Sacks



The trouble with the world - the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell
JackMon
Posted: Sunday, February 18, 2018 9:29:48 PM

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There is the science named psychophilosophy, i like this
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 1:41:38 AM

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A child's or a weak person's decision to fight intruders who are harming his parents, I think is "Emotional Courage", Hope123.

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
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