Chapter Four: Emotions: Thinking, Feeling and Acting
What are Emotions?
When a person has strong emotions, bodily changes may occur
Feelings are often apparent by observable changes: Blushing sweating, etc.
The mind plays and important role in determining emotional states.
In his book Shyness, ZImmbardo looked at more than 5,000 subjects
80% described themselves as having been shy at some time
40% described themselves as being presently shy
Those who labeled themselves as "not shy" behaved in virtually the same way as their counterparts: Blush perspire, racking heart-rate.
The difference between the two groups seemed to be the label used to describe themselves.
The person who has the symptoms and thinks, "I'm such a shy person!" will most likely feel uncomfortable and communicate less effectively than another person with the same symptoms who thinks, "Well, I'm a bit shaky (or excited) today, but that's to be expected.
But risks must be taken,
because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.
The people who risk nothing do nothing,
have nothing, are nothing, and become nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but they simply cannot learn to feel,
and change, and grow, and love, and live.
Chained by their servitude, they are slaves;
they have forfeited their freedom.
Only the people who risk are truly free.
Universal Emotions: People from all cultures express these emotions in the same way
Let others lead small lives, but not you.
Let others argue over small things, but not you.
Let others cry over small hurts, but not you.
Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you.
Emery and Campbell indicate that there are only 4 basic emotions: Mad, sad, glad, and scared.
All emotions are derivatives of the four.
Too much sadness becomes depressions
Too much gladness becomes mania
Too much fear becomes panic
Too much anger becomes rage.
Robert Plutchik identifies 8 primary emotions: Joy, acceptance, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, and anticipation.
He suggests these primary feelings can combine to form other mixed emotions.
Anticipation and Anger mix to be aggressiveness
Disgust and sadness mix to make remorse
Fear and surprise mix to make awe.
Culture and Emotions
In one experiment of students with varied ethnic backgrounds-Caucasian, African American, Asian, Hispanic--the participants were asked to identify 56 photos representing their social situations. They identified the type of emotions, intensity and appropriateness.
Ethnicity seemed to play a role in the interpretation
Blacks perceived the emotions in the books as more intense than the Caucasian, Asian and Hispanic subjects
Asians perceived the emotions as least intense
Blacks reported a greater frequency of anger expressions than did the other groups
Caucasians perceived the display of several emotions as more appropriate than did the other groups
Asians perceived the display of emotions as least appropriate.
One aspect of communication competence is the ability to understand our own cultural filters when judging other's behaviors.
Gender and Emotions
As a group women are more likely than men to express both positive emotions (love, liking, joy, and contentment) and feelings of vulnerability (fear, sadness, loneliness, and embarrassment)
Men rarely express these emotions, especially to male friends, although they may open up to the woman they love.
Men reveal strengths
Women are more likely to use emoticons (such as the symbol :) )
Power and Emotions
People who are less powerful learn to read more powerful person's signals.
One experiment revealed that "women's intuition" should be relabeled "subordinate's intuition."
In oppposite-sex twosomes, the person with less control-regardless of sex--was better at interpreting the leader's nonverbal signals than vice versa.
Consider these definitions on human relations (Walker & Brokaw, 1986)
The greatest comfort is kindness
The greatest handicap fear
The nicest feeling appreciation
The worst mistake bitterness
The best help clear thinking
The greatest power love
The sorriest pain anxiety
The most needless burden false guilt
The pleasantest attitude cheerfulness
The highest barrier false pride
The most wasteful action self pity
The deepest need understanding
The brightest hope personal maturity
The most pressing ache loneliness
The greatest problem the self
The most constant need self assurance
The saddest feeling rejection
The greatest yearning tenderness
The sweetest joy romance
The swiftest resolution self-knowledge
Emotions can be transferred from one person to another
Researchers has 2 volunteers identify their emotions by survey
The volunteers were left in a room facing each other for 2 minutes while "waiting for the researcher"
Time after time, the less expressive partner's moods came to resemble the modes of the more expressive one --as revealed in a survey.
"We can catch feelings from one another as though they were some kind of social virus."
Anger Provoking Actions by Others
Type of Behavior
Harris 1994 In Becoming Aware by Velma Walker and Lynn Brokaw
People who know how to express their emotions are healthier than those who don't.
Inexpressive people-those who value rationality and self-control, try to control their feeling and impulses, and deny distress. These people are more likely to to get a host of ailments, including cancer, asthma, and heart disease.
Overly expressive people also suffer psychologically
When people lash out verbally their blood pressure jumps an average of 20 points.
The key to health is to express emotions constructively
See how many feeling you can write down....
People who act out angry feelings-even by hitting an inanimate punching bag--actually feel worse than those who experience anger without lashing out.
Use language that expresses that you are responsible for your feelings
No-You're making me angry
Yes-I'm getting angry
No- You hurt my feelings
Yes-I feel hurt when you do that
Most people suffer from impoverished emotional vocabularies. Most people use good, bad, terrible, or great to describe their day.
Thoughts Caused Feelings
Cognitive psychologists argue that it is not events that cause people to feel bad but rather the beliefs they hold about these events.
In job interview, people who become nervous are more likely to use negative self-talk when they think about their performance.
The Criteria of Emotional Maturity
The ability to deal constructively with reality
The capacity to adapt to change
freedom from symptoms that are produced by tensions and anxieties
The capacity to find more satisfaction in giving than receiving
The capacity to relate to other people in a consistent manner with mutual
satisfaction and helpfulness
The capacity to sublimate, to redirect one's instinctive hostile energy into creative and constructive outlets
The capacity to love
William C. Menninger, MD
Irrational Thinking and Debilitative Emotions
The Fallacy of Perfection
Believe that worthwhile communicators should be able to handle every situation with complete confidence and skill. Assume that people won't accept you if your imperfect.
The Fallacy of Approval
It is vital to get the approval of every person. The people will go to incredible lengths to seek approval from others even when they have to sacrifice their own principles and happiness to do so.
The Fallacy of Shoulds
The inability to distinguish between what is and what should be. "There should be no rain on weekends," "People ought to live forever." "I should be able to find a quick solution to every problem," "I should always be happy," "I should always demonstrate unselfishness."
The Fallacy of Over generalization
Limited Evidence: "I am so stupid, I can't even remember how to so my income tax." "Some friend I am, I forgot my friend's birthday."
Exaggeration of shortcomings: "You never listen to me," "Your always late," "I can't think of anything."
The Fallacy of Causation
Based on the irrational belief that emotions are caused by others rather than by one's own self-talk. Becoming overly cautious about communicating because they don't want to cause any pain or inconvenience to others. "Keeping quiet when another's behavior is bothering you." "Pretending to be attentive when you are really late for an appointment and want to go."
The Fallacy of Helplessness
Suggests that satisfaction in life is determined by forces beyond your control. People continue to see themselves as victims. "There's no way a woman can get ahead in this society It's a man's world." "I was born a shy person, I would like to be more outgoing but there is nothing I can do about it." Most "I can't" statements should really be rephrased as "I won't."
The Fallacy of Catastrophic Expectations
If something bad can possibly happen, it will. "If I invite them to the party, they probably won't come." "If I apply for the job I want, I probably won't get hired."
What really matters: Character
Which is more important: Skill, talent and intelligence or character?
A host of thinkers, modern and ancient, agree: Character.
This may seem odd in a society where skill leads to fame and well-known people succeed despite their transgressions, but even authors who encourage worldly success place character above skill.
Author Stephen R. Covey defines character as being made up of the principles and values that give your life direction, meaning and depth. These constitute the inner sense of what's right and what's wrong. You know the difference between right and wrong based on inner traits of integrity, honesty, courage, fairness and generosity.
Philip Eaton, president of Seattle Pacific University, echoes these thoughts in a column written for the Seattle Times. "History should teach us that we need more than competence...Competence can make the trains run on time, but only character, based on enduring values, can make our society something more than efficient. Good character leads to goodness. Good character brings health, life and hope. People will always get hurt in the presence of bad character."
Dr. Russell Gough, author of Character is Destiny (Prima, 1998), says: "Knowledge without character--without, that is, virtues such as honesty, self-control, responsibility, and compassion--is worthless at best and evil at worst. Or, as President Theodore Roosevelt famously expressed it, 'To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.'"
These writers agree that our character is what shows when we are put to the moral test. In a rough situation, do we lie or tell the truth? Do we choose honesty and fairness even when this could lead to losses? As Mark Twain said, "The weakest of all weak things is a virtue which has not been tested in the fire."
Minimizing Debilitative Emotions
1. Monitor your emotional reactions.
2. Note the activating event
3. Record Self-talk
4. Dispute your irrational beliefs.
I believe that courage is all too often mistakenly seen as the absence of fear. If you descend by a rope from a cliff and are not fearful, to some degree, you are either crazy or unaware. Courage is seeing your fear in a realistic perspective, defining it, considering the alternatives and choosing to function in spite of risk. Leonard Zunin.
In Class Overheads
There is Power in A Name
Ms, Miss, Mrs.,
Black, African, American, Negro
Blind, Visually Impaired, Visually Challenged
Policeman, Policewoman, Police officer
Redskins, Indians, Native Americans
We are attracted to those who have a speaking style similar to ours.
Linguistic Solidarity-adopting the same slang and speech mannerisms.
Convergence - adapting anotherís speech style
Divergence is speaking in a way that emphasizes differences.
Feed the other person information that might start a conversation
Ask questions about shared locations, people, places, events
Avoid yes and no questions
Donít disclose too much information
Avoid short answers
Need to be sincere
Compliment the person rather than an object.
"You have great taste in clothing" which compliments the person versus "I like your dress" which compliments the dress.
"That hairstyle suits you." versus "Nice hair cut"
"You have a beautiful home" versus "You have wonderful taste. Everything looks so lovely. "