The motivational value of emotions (and why emotions get suppressed)

My notes (on which the video lecture is based):

When do people have an issue with certain emotions that they label as negative? For a person who has been trained to inhibit the social display of certain emotions (out of terror of social punishment), then there will be an anxiety about showing certain emotions.

Instead of relating to fear as a motivating force to use caution and assess risk and then avoid any actual dangers, some people relate to fear as socially shameful. They don’t want other people to know when they are afraid and so they don’t want people around them to display fear (because that might resonate with them and trigger a surfacing of their own suppressed insecurity). They fear a social recognition of their fear. They are paranoid and anxious, but attempt to hide it.

Instead of relating to disappointment as a motivating force to assess the purpose of one’s own actions and then to assess the effectiveness of one’s own methods and producing those results and then perhaps updating one’s methods, some people also relate to disappointment as shameful. They don’t want other people to know when they are disappointed and they don’t want people around them to be disappointed, so they attempt to protect them from disappointment.

Why? They do not want to be punished for disappointing others and, once again, they don’t want displays of disappointment in their midst because that could resonate with their own buried disappointment, causing their own disappointment to surge to the surface. They fear a social recognition of their disappointment. They are paranoid and anxious, but attempt to hide it.

Instead of relating to anger as a motivating force to recognize one’s own interests and boundaries, finally, people may relate to anger as shameful or negative or disruptive. Anger, just like fear and disappointment, can certainly be disruptive. That is what it is for, right? When someone is ashamed of anger, they do not want to draw attention to themselves and become targets of social bullies who seek to discourage anger with punishment, through guilt trips and ridicule and harassment and of course the organized violence of armed soldiers, as in gangsters, police, armies, and other operations for governing humans through coercion.

Systems for social conditioning conduct rituals to promote shame and compliance in their targeted population of potential human resources (and to minimize or eliminate disruption to the rituals of social programming). In other words, they want to operate their systems for governing humans with the maximum amount of efficiency.
considering the military capacity of various systems that govern humans through coercion, we can respect the intelligence and appropriateness of the ability to inhibit the display of socially targeted emotions such as fear, disappointment, and anger.

We can also respect the rare case of people who seem to us to be safe as witnesses of our full range of emotions. Because of their demonstrations of discretion and perceptiveness and gentleness and communication with others, we made confide in them with comfort and an open trust. For many people, the distress of their paranoia and anxiety will result in them experiencing increased repulsion in regard to communicating with those that they see as unsafe or immature. In contrast, the magnetic appeal of those who demonstrate maturity and trustworthiness maybe, at least temporarily, so disruptive to their normal patterns of inhibiting their own emotions that they recognize their own internal instability and then have a new challenge of finding an appropriate pace for their interactions with the person or people that they find distinctively mature and trustworthy in regard to revealing their own tangles of emotion.

They may wish to drop everything to devote themselves to interacting with that person or those people. They may resist the magnetic attraction that they experience (like resisting by distracting themselves with old familiar habits of socializing and internal dialogue to generate justifications for any emotions that they experience as frighteningly disruptive). They may make their own practices of paranoia and anxiety all the more simple, ironic, and obvious (which serves to help them see it for themselves for what it is, similar to a snake gradually shedding a layer of skin).

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