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Emotional Understanding Guidance

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Emotional Understanding Guidance

Postby xcagedsilhouttex » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:26 pm

It might not come across clearly on this forum but I struggle to identify emotions. The issues lies in how I experience them. I only really feel four emotions. The pleasurable emotion, the unpleasant emotion, the pleasantly unpleasant emotion and the lack of emotion. That is not to say that I don't have a variety of emotions, they just tend to taste mostly the same.

I have to process the emotions through context and then use fitting vocabulary. If I were to feel the unpleasant emotion, for example, I would need to try and identify what could be behind it in order to establish the emotion.

Generally speaking, this is not an issue and is easily manageable however in therapy (specifically stepwork) I need to be more specific in order for it to be accurate. Currently I am struggling with the concept of resentment. I know there are things that people have done that have given me an unpleasant feeling but I also know that not all of that can be resentment. How do I distinguish this?

I am sorry if this is a bit naive :oops:
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But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth. It's just a matter of how you look at it, that's all
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Re: Emotional Understanding Guidance

Postby naps » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:27 pm

xcagedsilhouttex wrote:Currently I am struggling with the concept of resentment. I know there are things that people have done that have given me an unpleasant feeling but I also know that not all of that can be resentment. How do I distinguish this?


Hurt? Anger?

Hurt + anger = resentment. At least for me.

Don't know what to say about the first part. I think emotions are hard to define and vary from person to person in regards to how they feel them, how they feel about them, and how they process them.

Except for anger, which happens quickly with me and sometimes for no discernible reason, I have a delayed reaction to emotions. When something happens, there's usually a period (minutes? days?) where I don't feel anything. Then, they seem to sneak up on me. Most of them are easy to shoo away. Except sadness, but I think that's because I have a history of clinical depression.
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Re: Emotional Understanding Guidance

Postby xcagedsilhouttex » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:57 pm

Thanks naps. Hurt + anger helps with understanding what they are looking for.
dx: Mixed Personality Disorder (F61)
Anorexia Nervosa (F50)
Substance Abuse (F11)

But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth. It's just a matter of how you look at it, that's all
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Re: Emotional Understanding Guidance

Postby salles » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:20 pm

xcagedsilhouttex wrote:

Generally speaking, this is not an issue and is easily manageable however in therapy (specifically stepwork) I need to be more specific in order for it to be accurate. Currently I am struggling with the concept of resentment. I know there are things that people have done that have given me an unpleasant feeling but I also know that not all of that can be resentment. How do I distinguish this?


This is so hard to answer. I have a tried a few times and eventually lost my answer.. so this is an abbreviated re-type.

Basically I think all negative emotions are branches of the same tree. Anger, resentment etc. stem from
-a perceived injury to sense of self. Cultivating strong self-esteem, self worth, alleviates these reactions.
-having expectations of others and life in general.
Based on this philosophy I don't feel it is that important to distinguish resentment from other negative emotions.
I would also find it difficult to do so.
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Re: Emotional Understanding Guidance

Postby Squaredonutwheels » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:51 pm

Meybe

Anger + hurt + impotence(?) = resentment

Another flavor in baking the resentment cake?

I can't think of a better word. Word confuse me as much as emotions do.

Just think that it might be hard to resent if the emotion cake can produce action; converting potential emotional energy into kinetic.
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Re: Emotional Understanding Guidance

Postby naps » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:03 am

salles wrote:
Basically I think all negative emotions are branches of the same tree. Anger, resentment etc. stem from
-a perceived injury to sense of self. Cultivating strong self-esteem, self worth, alleviates these reactions.
-having expectations of others and life in general.
Based on this philosophy I don't feel it is that important to distinguish resentment from other negative emotions.
I would also find it difficult to do so.


I think of emotions as just another survival mechanism. They help guide us away from danger and the pleasant one's restore equilibrium. I don't think it would be too absurd to say it's all about the mind/body connection, which I think is underestimated both by people in general and researchers.

Squaredonutwheels wrote:
Anger + hurt + impotence(?) = resentment


You mean impotence as in the reluctance or inability to confront the source of the anger and hurt, right? Sounds like a complete recipe. The icing on that cake would be shame.

Just think that it might be hard to resent if the emotion cake can produce action; converting potential emotional energy into kinetic.


This is dangerous for me.
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Re: Emotional Understanding Guidance

Postby Eight » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:34 am

For me, resentment is more a mix of hurt + anger + injustice = resentment.

The mix of hurt and anger isn't enough to stir up resentment in me. But if those couple with some sense of injustice, that the situation was unjust, that is when thoughts and feelings of resentment can arise.
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Re: Emotional Understanding Guidance

Postby naps » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:40 am

See? Emotions work differently for everybody.
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Re: Emotional Understanding Guidance

Postby emillionth » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:02 am

xcagedsilhouttex wrote:It might not come across clearly on this forum but I struggle to identify emotions.

No, I think this is the exact right place to be talking about this. I'm sure most people here have trouble with it.

I generally can't tell "first hand" what emotions I'm experiencing. I need to look at myself from a sort of outside perspective. I think what I struggle with the most is telling whether or not a certain emotional reaction or state is pertinent and proportionate to what it seems to be attached to. I know for a fact that sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't, but I can't tell when, sometimes not even in hindsight.

There are days when I honestly think I'm totally fine (because I really don't have any concrete reasons to be feeling bad), but then the tiniest everyday frustration suddenly makes me want really bad to throw something at the wall. I really don't know if I was totally fine until that moment but was in an over-reactive mood, or if I was actually not fine and just hadn't realized it yet. Without a way to even tell what "emotion" means, I guess it's basically a (bottomless) philosophical question.

It may sound silly, but I think that looking up dictionary definitions can help. Words for emotions are kinda like words for colors, after all. Some languages have no separate concept of "orange color" (it's just a variant of yellow or red instead), while, in other languages, cyan isn't a variant of blue or green, but a separate color of its own. So it depends on cultural convention at least as much as on individual perception. The ability to mentally categorize it and then put into words depends on innate personal features and such, but it's also learned (or, in the case of SPD and other disorders, it probably wasn't, for various reasons).

According to the OED, resentment = "bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly", bitterness = "anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly", and indignation = "anger or annoyance provoked by what is perceived as unfair treatment". So those are the main themes: experiencing anger, and perceiving some kind of unfairness to be the cause of that anger.

Those are good leads. Anger is usually the easiest emotion to tell that you're experiencing if you look at yourself. If you have a desire to cause otherwise-gratuitous damage to something or someone (or if you actually do it), then you're angry. Unfairness is also a pretty easy concept (it's infinitely complicated in a rational sense, but we're talking about emotions and subjective experience): you feel that you were harmed in some way because someone did something that they shouldn't have (or didn't do something that they should have).

If you can tick those two checkboxes, then I guess you can follow either one of the two leads: "who is it that you desire to cause damage to" or "who is it that caused you harm through wrongful action/inaction" (according to your gut, at least). And then if you realize that the original action/inaction that triggered your resentment wasn't actually wrongful, or maybe wasn't intentional, or maybe was really bad and you had never acknowledged it before, or something like that, you'll probably make your therapist's day. :)
Is this now?
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Re: Emotional Understanding Guidance

Postby Squaredonutwheels » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:26 am

naps wrote:
Squaredonutwheels wrote:
Anger + hurt + impotence(?) = resentment


You mean impotence as in the reluctance or inability to confront the source of the anger and hurt, right? Sounds like a complete recipe. The icing on that cake would be shame.

Just think that it might be hard to resent if the emotion cake can produce action; converting potential emotional energy into kinetic.


This is dangerous for me.

Yes I think your expansion of impotence is similar to what it points to for me.

It is dangerous indeed. How to channel the energy. Some numb it down, others divert to creation, some build hamster wheels to spin in rituals or imaginary worlds. Trying to modify the mechanisms that consumes emotion into action is the art of living I guess. A constant excess that one must burn hurts?

Not sure if shame is the icing on the cake though. I've noticed that shame is a primary ingredient for many other emotions. Much too fundamental to be sweet overlay.

Taking a stab in the darkness of my hurt: I suspect shame is the "original sin". One of the fundamental fuels to achievement; both light and dark. Perhaps it's more like a hole than an ingredient. A hollowness.
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