Emotions, The Center of Social Interactions and Communication

Monday, September 15, 2008 2 comments

I don’t think that there is any doubt that emotions play an important part in all of our lives. In every moment we experience them, and are faced with a choice as to how we choose to respond to them. Most of us don’t always understand the emotions that we are feeling during certain circumstances. If we want to know more about ourselves, and understand those around us better, we need to understand emotions. Good communication is essential in our relationships, and one of the most important factors in good communication is understanding what the other party is expressing to you and why. Being able to stand in their shoes and look through their eyes and mind. As well as being able to express to others well.

Emotions are our psychological reward or punishment. In most cases, our emotions are more important than our intellect when determining what our attitude and reactions are going to be, and in forming many decisions. Our ego speaks louder than logic or words. The heart rules the mind. It has been referred to as the “Ego-Caretaker, and has been said that it is the “being of human beings”, and an element of survival. If you are capable of mastering many of the elements of survival, it can leave you free to transform these ego driven feelings, and replace them with intuitive wisdom.

According to experts, we have primary and secondary emotions, and hundreds have been documented over the centuries. The primary emotions are the ones that we feel first, our gut, instinctive, unthinking reaction, and then those emotions disappear quickly, many times as quickly as they appeared, and lead to the secondary emotions. Most normally the primary emotions, which can also be felt as secondary emotions, are happiness, sadness, fear and anger, and are very powerful. Although, disgust, surprise, excitement, loneliness, gratitude and humility, are sometimes classified as primary emotions. They are where all other emotions originate. It is believed that they have an evolutionary basis, as they are also expressed in many animals, also.

The secondary emotions are where things become a bit more complicated. They can be triggered by the primary emotions, such as when you experience fear; it can lead to anger, to prepare the body for the fight response. But they can become complicated when more emotions join into the mixture. For example, jealousy stems partly from anger, fear, and sadness. Relief is a combination of anticipated fear with happiness.

Normally, we are expressing our secondary emotions, and the other party is experiencing them. But to understand ourselves, so that we can communicate to someone else honestly, getting to the bottom of the problem, and so they can understand how we are feeling and why, we have to know what the gut reaction was that started the chain reaction of emotions to begin with. That’s where the real issue lies.

The secondary emotions are also important in understanding others; as they help you get a better understanding of how the other person mentally processes the primary emotion. Normally, the whole process is being done subconsciously, and the person feeling the emotion, has no idea what is happening. If you are able to slow down their mental process to determine their internal reasoning as to why they arrived at the secondary emotions, it may come as a big surprise to both of you.

There is no question that social relations are the prime instigator of emotions (Kemper, 1978; de Rivera & Grinkis, 1986). Other people, or groups of others, are normally are largest cause for emotions. We are social creatures. When you are able to get down to the heart of the primary emotion, and its trigger, normally people are involved. We all have our individual basic emotional needs, and in varying degrees of importance. Many of our emotions stem from one of those needs not being met sufficiently, which triggers that primary, gut reaction. The best way to truly get to know yourself and others, is to discover what your/their most important emotional needs are.

Even though at times it may feel like a curse, we are blessed with the ability to feel emotions. Without them, we would be unable to obtain unity.

One way to discover what your most important emotional needs are, is to ask some basic questions. A method used by NLP Experts.

What do I want most? It does matter if the answer is material or emotional
Take that answer and ask, What will that give me that I don’t already have?
Take that answer and ask, What will that give me that I don’t already have?
Once again, take that answer and ask, What will that give me that I don’t already have?
You will reach the basic, underlying need or value, after asking this 5 to 7 times.

The question “What will that give me that I don’t already have?”, can be replaced with “Why is that important?”

Another way, is through meditation and hypnosis.

You can take a free Emotional Intelligence Test here.

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2 comments: to “ Emotions, The Center of Social Interactions and Communication so far...

  • NeuroticlyStable 10/16/11, 8:54 PM

    The aforementioned classification of emotions may seem like common sense, but it is suprising how many people would respond "I don't Know" when asked how they are feeling. The average person communicates without consciously acknowledging the bridge between their subconscious and conscious minds. As stated above, most of us don't understand the emotions we are feeling during any given situation. The strategy on detecting self-emotions (by asking what do I not already have)is quite useful in justifying/detecting a majority of emotions, but not all emotions. I have found, when using asking myself "what would that give me that I don't already have", I usually go in a big circle and end back up with where I started, Perhaps a different strategy can be utilized, depending on the situation. (But for the most part it seems to help!)

  • ivy 2/23/12, 4:58 PM

    i agree with the comment above. the feelings we have are our own feelings and it would be impossible to explain them to someone without them actually feeling them. the best we can do is use body language to explain them.