Experiencing and Expressing Emotions - Emotion Essay Example

In the chapter, emotion is described as the powerful nature of an emotional experience and how we break it down - Experiencing and Expressing Emotions introduction. There are six primary emotions, surprise, joy, disgust, anger, fear, and sadness. They are identified through unique and consistent behavioral displays across cultures. However, every culture has different impressions of what the primary emotions in their culture are. While Americans consistently name surprise, joy, love, anger, fear, and sadness as primary emotions, Chinese view primary emotions as shame and sad love, an attachment to former lovers.

Hindu philosophy suggests there are nine primary emotions. Out of all these emotions, I am surprised disgust and shames are not among the primary. Shame is considered a key emotion in some non-Western cultures, but it is less likely to be considered a primary emotion in many Western cultures. Different situations evoke different emotions in different cultures too, such as; a pork chop served for dinner might bring on disgust in the majority of people in Saudi Arabia, while it is likely to bring sheer happiness in many people in the United States.

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I feel shame and disgust a lot, of course it also states in the book that disgust is a blended emotion. I did a little research and people in different cultures categorize emotions differently. Some languages have labels for emotions that are not labeled in other languages. For example, Tahitians do not have a word for sadness. Germans have a word, schadenfreude, meaning joy at someone else’s misfortune. I have never even heard of this before, nor could I live my life under that statement. Nonverbal expressions of emotion differ across cultures, due partly to the fact that different cultures have different display rules.

As kids, we are taught guidelines for whether, which, how, and when emotions should be displayed. For example, In the United States, male friends usually do not embrace and kiss each other as a form of greeting. Such behavior would make most American men uncomfortable or even angry. In many European countries, however, acquaintances normally embrace and kiss each other on both cheeks, and avoiding this greeting would seem unfriendly. In my family growing up, we were not really introduced to these guidelines. There was always fighting and children scared.

I grew up children should be seen and not heard. I remember living next to this Mexican-American family and they were so close and open with each other, I remember telling myself, this is how it should be and will be when I have a family someday. I try to teach my children to always be positive and open with how they feel no matter what. I don’t want my children growing up lost and depressed. It’s odd, my daughter is so intuitive, positive, high self-esteem, independent, and my son is completely the opposite and I worry about him.

At their fathers house my daughter has always gotten treated better than my son, but no matter what I do, I treat them the same and try my hardest to bring them up in a positive environment. When my kids were taken from me, I was so angry and disgusted at the system and how it worked. I don’t even want to get into it, but when I would see my kids on supervised visits, the visit supervisors would say that I showed no emotion for my children and was emotionally detached from them or something like that.

I was not, I was so traumatized and numb inside, I was unable to even express happiness for a long time, even to my kids. After talking to my lawyer and hearing this in court, I had to step up and suck up the bad and put on a happy face, which was hard to do. After reading this chapter, I realized I managed my emotion by deactivation. I have used this books examples so many times in my encounters, through my life-changing situation, it has really helped me. Online communication, I read this part, but really do not have much to say.

I am not one of those people who communicate online and to be honest it really annoys me. Anger, I grew up living in a household full of anger, but I myself don’t have problems with anger. Passion, never really felt it. Grief, been through it more than once in my life and the last time, I had no one there for me, but I actually think that made me a stronger person. Living a happy emotional life, I believe depends on people’s expectations of life and on the way they compare themselves to others.

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