Hey emotion, you are not welcome here

I found this article incredibly interesting. Whether we want to admit it or not, an enormous amount of emphasis is placed on emotions and emotional behavior in our daily lives and decisions. I had always heard laughter was a universal emotion and it was both enlightening and engaging to learn there are basic emotions such as joy and fear through out humanity that link ancestry together since the beginning of time despite cultural differences. The article used the orchestra reference and it made me think of artists who make a newer version of an older song. When both are played, the majority are familiar with it and can recognize it as a particular song. Even with modifications from various artists, the song is still known as we pick up on the similarities.

I do think the article was spot on stating there is a much greater negative stigma against emotion than positive. I can’t tell you how many people have told me over the years that Spock was their favorite character and it makes me wonder was his lack of emotion appealing then to many? I personally don’t think emotion is encouraged in many situations. If a woman is too emotional she is characterized as overly sensitive or crazy. If a man is, he is not being “manly” enough. When men show too much anger, they are considered dangerous. Salesmen are infamous for persuading individuals to make “emotional decisions” to buy things, insinuating it is not an “intellectual decision” or the right one. In addition, we as a society only enable and prolong this battle with emotions using phrases such as “don’t show that you care” or “don’t give into your emotions.” Nowadays there’s “emotional eating” causing people to “eat their feelings” just another example of a way emotions are presented as negative to the public. With the dawn of technology it has become even harder now through text and everything else to convey emotion in conversations leading to often negative responses even if original messages weren’t meant that way. I am very excited to hear what everyone else has to say!!



3 thoughts on “Hey emotion, you are not welcome here

  1. As someone who considers Spock one of my favorite fictional characters, I can confirm that his emotions are a factor in that, but not the absence of it. Rather I find it interesting how he struggles with his human half (or his emotional half) and tries to bury it under his logical, Vulcan half. His struggle is similar to what society expects from us, as you said. Emotions are viewed as a sign of weakness in our culture. Though being completely devoid of emotion would render you as something non-human or robot-like, or even psychotic.
    Like we discussed in class, facial expressions are vital to our understanding of emotion and Evans’ article mentions this as well. Body language is also a component, but expressions allow us to express a wide range of emotions without verbalizing them. On your point about technology, much of the emotion is lost when we can’t interact and show these expressions, though there are emojis and slang to make up for this.

    • To piggyback a bit on what you said about Spock, I think part of the appeal of that struggle between uber rationality and human emotion is that fact that it mirrors the struggle that many self-described nerds (i.e. Star Trek’s main demographic in its first incarnation) experience between a highly organized and “logical” inner world and the difficulty of human relations.

  2. I definitely thought about the examples in our society of a negative outlook on showing emotion/letting emotion control our actions when I read this. What I think stuck out the most to me was your first example of how women are often looked down upon because of their tendency to express emotion. As a not-so-timid feminist, I have heard, read, and gone on many rants myself about how ridiculous it is that emotion is considered to be only something that women “give in to” and how it negatively affects their actions. Women are viewed as “crazy” when they show a lot of affection or awareness for someone else and aren’t seen fit for political office because their hormones and emotions will get in the way of them making rational decisions. Anyways, for the sake of not going on a long, crazy spiel I just really liked that the article pointed out society’s tendency to look down upon displaying your emotions. In my opinion, it’s typically harder to tell and display to people how you are truly feeling because it can make you extremely vulnerable, therefore proving it to be an act of strength and courage.

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