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July 2017



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reject reality

Defining Emotions: and how they are different from "feelings"

 We "feel" at least three different ways: physical sensations, intuitive thoughts or beliefs, and emotions.

Physical sensations are easy: hot, cold, pain, pleasure, soft, hard, rough, smooth, sharp, dull.

Intuitive thoughts or beliefs are harder to define. These are things we "know" without knowing how we know them. We feel them as a sensation of "rightness" or "wrongness". It probably has to do how new information fits into our worldview, which is based on previous experience. These are frequently "judgments". They are a result of our mind making meaning out of observations.

I'm most concerned with defining emotions. Emotions are more primal than thoughts or ideas. If we can clearly identify emotions we can easily see that thoughts and beliefs are not emotions. This is important because knowing the difference between what you are feeling and what you are thinking is the basis of clear communication. It is knowing the difference between "I feel you are an idiot" and "I feel angry, and believe that you are an idiot".

I've worked out what I think are the core emotions:
Attraction and Repulsion.
Love and Loneliness.
Joy and Sorrow.
Trust and Fear.
Numbness and Anger.

Attraction and Repulsion.
I didn't start there but Disgust is one of the seven universal human facial expressions. We can all recognize a look of disgust. One of the common physical responses to revulsion is vomiting. Repulsion is the emotional aspect of the physical desire to push toxins out of the body. Repulsion is the desire to push unacceptable thoughts, emotions, or experiences away from the self. To distance one's self from painful or unpleasant things. Other words for Repulsion are: abhorrence, aversion, contempt, derision, distaste, loathing, rejection, repugnance, & revulsion.

Attraction is the obvious opposite of repulsion. Desire is the opposite of disgust. Desire is wanting to join with things that make up happy. it makes us want to incorporate things into ourselves. It is the emotional aspect to the physical attraction to things that taste or feel good. Other words for desire are: ambition, appetite, aspiration, craving, curiosity, fascination, hankering, hunger, inclination, infatuation, interest, liking, longing, lust, mania, passion, ravenousness, thirst, urge, voracity, wish, & yearning

Love and Loneliness.
We tend to think of hate as the opposite of love. But I believe that is wrong. I will come to hate later. I see love as the emotion that signals connection. Love is the selfless desire for others to be happy and safe. As mammals love is the emotional manifestation of the mother's urge to protect her young. Men can also feel love of course, a father's desire to help and protect his offspring is also advantageous for survival. And of course one the emotion exists it can be transferred to other people, animals. plants, ideas, or inanimate objects.

When we Love we feel: affection, appreciation, caring, closeness, compassion, empathy, tenderness, togetherness, & achievement of union with the beloved.

Loneliness is the opposite of love, it is the feeling that one is not connected to others. That one is isolated, or cut off from caring or being cared for. We are social animals we need each other to survive. Loneliness is very dangerous and painful to humans. It has been pointed out many times that being alone and being lonely are not the same thing. You can feel lonely while surrounded by friends and family if you don't feel connected to them. And you can feel loved even when you are alone. Gods are very good for that. Or just the memories of past friends and family. Other words for Loneliness: Abandoned, alienated, isolated, neglected, & rejected.

Joy and Sorrow.
These are the emotional equivalents of pleasure and pain. I think it is very important to remember that sorrow is the equivalent of pain. If someone feels sad it is because they are in emotional pain. Pain is how your body tells you something is wrong, something bad has happened physically. Sadness is how your emotions tell you something is wrong, something bad has happened emotionally. Like physical pain, emotional pain needs attention, it needs to be eased and comforted. Joy is the emotional aspect of physical pleasure. It tells you that something good has happened. It wants to remember this for future reference to seek it out again. Joy reenforces and rewards physical pleasure or possibly vice versa. But they can occur without each other. It is very common to be happy for purely emotional reasons and it is possible to experience physical pleasure without emotional pleasure. Some women have reported having orgasms even when they were being raped. They were not experiencing emotional pleasure but their bodies still responded to the physical stimulation. This conflict between the emotional and physical responses can cause extreme confusion and guilt. I have included most of the emotions associated with excitement and elation in with joy.

Joy words: ablaze, alive, amused, amusement, anticipation, arousal, awe, bliss, calm, cheerfulness, content, contentment, curiosity, delight, eagerness, ecstasy, elation, enjoyment, enthusiasm, euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, gaiety, gladness, glee, happiness, hope, jolliness, joviality, jubilation, optimism, pleasure, pride, rapture, relaxation, satisfaction, serene, thrill, triumph, wonder, zeal, & zest

Sorrow words: agony, anguish, dejection, depression, despair, disappointment, dismay, displeasure, gloom, glumness, grief, hopeless, hurt, loss, melancholy, misery, pain, sadness, suffering, suffering, unhappiness, & woe.

Trust and Fear.
These are about security.

Trust is about believing that you are safe. Trust words: safe, confidence, adventurous, courage, familiarity, hope, secure, security, & surrender,

Fear is about believing you are in danger. Fear words: alarm, anxiety, apprehension, distress, doubt, dread, fright, horror, hysteria, intimidation, nervousness, panic, reluctance, tenseness, terror, uneasiness, & worry.

Numbness and Anger.
Numbness and anger are both cover emotions. They hide other emotions and call for us to look deeper. They are also adrenaline responses.

Numbness is the emotional aspect of shock. Physical shock prevents the body from being overwhelmed by pain or too much sensation. Emotional numbness prevents the mind from being overwhelmed by emotional pain or too much emotional sensation. It is a defense mechanism. it is probably also related to the freeze response to adrenaline. Freezing in response to danger is a common response in juvenile animals. It makes them hold still so they don't attract the attention they are too small to fight or run from. But it can be fatal it is probably the cause of animals being "scared to death". In extreme conditions emotional shock can kill you just as easily as physical shock. Numbness words: shock, surprise, amazement, apathy, astonishment, boredom, confusion, emptiness, indifference, lack, & startled.

Anger is also an adrenaline response. Anger is the emotional aspect of the fight response. If you feel angry it is because on some level you feel that you are being threatened and are in danger. Fear informs you that you are in danger. That is the gift of fear. And fear might tell you to run away from the danger. But anger tells you to stand and fight the danger. Anger wants you to do something about the danger other than freezing or running away. Usually anger wants you to fight in some way. To destroy the danger so it will not return. Anger words: ablaze, aggravation, agitation, annoyance, apoplexy, bitterness, dislike, exasperation, ferocity, frustration, fury, grouchiness, grumpiness, hate, hostility, irritation, outrage, rage, resentment, scorn, spite, & wrath

A short list of emotions that are combinations of other emotions or beliefs:
Envy, jealousy (Attraction toward what others have and/or Anger at not having it).
Guilt, shame, regret, remorse, mortification, & embarrassment (Sorrow, Fear, and Repulsion).
Pity, sympathy (Sorrow and Love).
Respect & admiration (Trust and Love).
Helpless, powerless (can be Sorrow, Fear, Anger, or Numbness at the belief that one can not avoid undesirable conditions).
Relief (Joy at the removal of Fear or Sorrow).
Gratitude (Joy and Love for the removal of Loneliness, Fear, or Sorrow, or the achievement of union with the beloved).
Confidence (pleasure because of one's belief in one's ability to achieve one's desires).
Pride & Satisfaction (Pleasure because of past achievement).


I wonder how it is that attraction and repulsion can go together with two people? You putting them together got me thinking of how I've known many women who were repulsed by a guy who was attracted to them. I truly don't understand how that can happen. And it usually happens that way too, female-repulsed/male attracted. I might think a boy is pretty to look at, but I would not want to be around him if he's repulsed by me.
If I'm understanding you correctly, attraction and repulsion can be responses to each other.

From a biological perspective males are rewarded for persistence in the face of rejection. Sometimes women find persistence attractive. A male who who persists after being rejected is perceived as being less likely to leave after sex. But sometimes the more the male pursues her the more she want to get away from him. That is even more true the other way around. Men generally are repulsed by woman who pursue them.

But that isn't what I'm talking about in this post. I'm talking about the spectrum of emotion within any one individual. There is no standard agreement as to what human emotions are or how many of them there are.
I know what you were referring to, I just was thinking about those two things together. It's come to the front of my mind due to niece with her stripping job.

Possibly there are just more nuances within a certain group, as in disgust is a take on repulsion, just ramping it up. I might be repulsed by someone, but only once in my life was I ever so disgusted by a guy I wanted to kill him within 10 minutes of knowing him.

Shades of grey as it were.....
Certainly. All these emotions are scalar.