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Today’s article will start with the reality of emotions and talk about why we need to be aware of and express our true emotions.

 1. Emotions have a realistic function

Emotions – positive, positive, negative, negative emotions – play a very important role in our lives. And this importance is not limited to the psychological level.

Emotions have a realistic function; in simple terms, many of the problems you encounter in reality, such as those that are troubled by relationships, can be solved naturally through the guidance of your own emotions.

 The realistic function of emotion is mainly reflected in the following aspects:

“Leaving a bad relationship—-you can’t leave the wrong person because you don’t want to see yourself honestly”

1. Self-regulating by expressing emotions

When we can perceive our true, deep emotions and express them in the right way, we are actually self-regulating, releasing relatively high or low emotional responses, and eventually returning to a state of balance and calm. The self-regulating function of emotions allows us to respond in a healthy way to mood swings caused by external stimuli.

2. Help us understand each other in our relationships

We all aspire to deep, meaningful relationships with others, and one of the prerequisites for such associations is that we can understand each other’s true feelings.

In the process of interacting with others, the exchange of emotional signals provides us with an opportunity to understand each other. For example, when we have a misunderstanding with a friend, a friend’s words, expressions, and body movements are expressing ta’s disappointment and anger to us. When we receive these emotional signals, we may also feel sorry for this misunderstanding and choose to respond to the other person, clarify the misunderstanding, and convey to our friends the importance we attach to the relationship.

3. Drive us to make behavioural choices that benefit us 

Emotions drive us to take action and help us make useful choices. For example, we may feel anxious before we need to negotiate and speak at work, but this anxiety also drives us to try to prepare;

It is worth mentioning that an important function of emotion is to lead and help us out of situations that are not good for us. When we feel fear or uneasiness, these emotions may be a reminder that there is a crisis nearby, and we’d better leave the current environment. When a person is bad for us, the constant pain finally makes us the decision to leave.

2. Why the realistic function of emotions will be adjusted

Unfortunately for some people, ta’s emotional reality is dysfunctional.

If you have an emotional disorder, you may feel the following:

Trapped in unexplained negative emotions, such as feelings of fear, anxiety, helplessness, etc.

The heart often feels confused, “I don’t understand myself”, feel estranged from the inner self, do not understand what their true feelings are like;

It is difficult to express your inner feelings to others, and it is difficult to understand the emotional changes of others;

When you make a decision, you get into chaos and don’t know what to do.

·……

From the perspective of Emotion-Focused Therapy, there are three possible reasons why emotional reality cannot be achieved:

“Leaving a bad relationship—-you can’t leave the wrong person because you don’t want to see yourself honestly”

 1. Instrumentalization of emotional responses

People may whitewash their emotions and react specifically to external stimuli to achieve certain goals. For example, deliberately angry or falsely crying to attract the attention of others, and laughing to please others. These purposeful, false emotional responses, also known as “instrumental emotional responses” (Elliott et al., 2010). Instrumental emotional responses can be conscious or unconscious, conditional reflexes learned from experience. For example, some people can only get their parents’ arms when they are crying when they are young, so when ta grow up, when ta wants to be comforted in an intimate relationship and wants to make sure that he is safe, he may subconsciously start to “cry and hang three times”.

However, this expression of sadness is false, so it does not have the realistic function of sadness. We can neither self-regulate nor truly share our feelings by expressing such sorrow. If we repeatedly display instrumental sadness in a relationship, we can also make the other person feel tired and uncomfortable and want to escape the relationship. Another common instrumental emotional response is to pretend to be angry, which can be shown in a bullying, violent manner, to trigger fear and force the other person to obey to gain or maintain his or her position of power in the relationship. But instrumental anger can also cut off space for further communication and prevent the two sides from being for true intimacy (Meneses, 2018). 2. Occupied by secondary emotional responses

Secondary emotional responses are the emotions we generate for real, primary emotions – emotional responses to the emotions we already produce.

In other words, we know that our feelings are emotion A, but because we can’t accept ourselves to produce such emotions, we then produce emotional B.

In the following situations, our true feelings may be obscured by secondary emotions (Greenberg and Paivio, 2003):

Despair, anger, or shame at these profound and intense emotional reactions when out of control, pain, and abuse; For example, fear of one’s own fears, anger at one’s own anger, etc.; For example, because of gender stereotypes, some men are reluctant to admit that they are afraid, so they turn to anger when they feel fear;

When our hearts are occupied by secondary emotions, we are trapped in emotional reactions that do not enable self-healing. For example, when we feel secondary helplessness and frustration, we may cry, but after crying, we still feel that there is an “unsoilable knot” in our hearts, and even cry more and more sad. 

“Leaving a bad relationship—-you can’t leave the wrong person because you don’t want to see yourself honestly”

Primary mood disorders

Primary mood disorders may also prevent us from realizing the realistic function of emotions. There are a few people who do indeed produce and interpret emotion in a scene, but the emotional response itself is abnormal. For example, feeling sad when others are happy, feeling angry when others care about themselves, and so on.

Primary mood disorders are usually caused by past traumatic experiences. In a sense, the essence of primary emotion is not what we encounter now, but what we have learned. When a person feels sorry for the happiness of others, ta feels the initial source of grief, perhaps not the smile of others here and now, but the loss that ta has experienced.

The essence of emotional reality dysfunction is that we are not honest enough about our emotions

What we need to realize is that when we use secondary emotions from our defences or use our emotions as a means to achieve our goals, we are actually suppressing our true emotions and lying to our hearts.

The motivation behind this dishonesty about our emotions may have to do with our experience. When we find in our own experience that the consequences of truthfulness are shame, out of control, and endless criticism and accusations, we no longer dare to expose ourselves and think that honesty about our emotions is worth it. To avoid letting those extremely negative experiences happen again, we bury our precious true emotions deep inside.

Another possibility of being dishonest about our emotions is that, for some seemingly favourable outcome, in pursuit of something that others or the mainstream of society tells us “should” pursue, we take the initiative to silence our true voice. We learn to manipulate our feelings like we manipulate certain tools – so that we can control how others treat us and avoid getting out of control and getting hurt.

But the more so, the more unable we are to bear the true self, and the less courage to face the real people. Gradually, it’s hard to get on with others, and relationships can only surface – because we’re always wearing masks or disguises. When we reach a fork in our lives and need to make our own choices, we begin to lose.

As mentioned in the fan message at the beginning of the article, since she knows it’s a bad relationship with herself, if she expresses real anger, the other person will also have a chance to understand how she really feels and can choose to adjust herself or let go of each other. However, because she always makes false emotional reactions, in a happy mood to deceive themselves first, and constantly to please, accommodate each other, and ultimately neither side can make a decision to leave, and she has to remain in the relationship entanglement.

3. How to restore the realistic function of emotions

If you see here, find that your emotional reality function also has a certain degree of imbalance, you can adjust against their own situation, refer to the following directions.

1. Your emotional reality dysfunction is due to the instrumentalization of emotions or being dominated by secondary emotional responses.

For you like this, there has long been a gap between the feelings you experience and express and the true emotions within you. To restore the reality of your emotions, you need to learn to be more honest with your emotions.

Emotional honesty means that you have the ability to acknowledge and express your true feelings, and you are willing to choose to express your true feelings.

It’s not easy, because it means trying to put down those utilitarian purposes, put down layers of defence, and face the weakest, softest parts of our hearts. To do this requires long-term, sustained self-awareness and deliberate practice.

2. Your emotional reality is dysfunctional because your primary emotions are not adapted to real life.

After experiencing trauma, people may experience adaptive difficulties in their emotional responses to external stimuli. You may have been able, to be honest about your emotions, but you’re still hampered in your expression, relationships, or choices of action.

For you like this, change is more difficult. You need to seek professional psychological help or create new emotional experiences by conducting in-depth conversations with important people who can help you, to change or transform old emotional experiences that point to traumatic experiences.

:: Practice emotional honest tips in your daily life:

No matter what your situation is, in your daily life, you can help yourself practice emotional honesty by practicing it deliberately. Specifically, you can start with three small suggestions: Tip 1: Increase your awareness of emotions. Pay attention to what your emotions are like and describe them in as many ways as possible.

Tip 2: Practice not judging your emotions. Don’t divide emotions into good ones, but understand what they mean to you. Ask yourself, what do these emotions mean to you? You may have discoveries. Tip 3: Start with safe, open scenes, practice your expression of real emotions, and get new emotional experiences from real feedback. For example, in a counselling relationship, or when you’re in a conversation with a reliable friend.

It is a regrettable fact that the world not only rewards truth but also encourages fantasy and vanity. We are too easy to taste the sweetness of lying to ourselves and too easy to be hit by the pursuit of truth. However, if we want to live a life that we think is worth living and be who we want to be, we still need to be honest with ourselves and respond to our true inner desires.

At the same time, we have to adjust our own “what is good” criteria: the outside judgment of “good” is not necessarily good, and the real is good. This is not only a simple change of consciousness but also a more determined, self-honest philosophy of life.

British writer Iris Murdoch (2002) wrote: “We all have… A natural impulse to make our world unrealistic and surround ourselves with illusions. Even simply stopping doing so and filling in the void with lies and hypocrisy is a step forward. ” 

When we are willing, to be honest, the truth already contains answers.

Recommended reading:

1.Get ex boyfriend back—-what should girls pay attention to when they meet their ex boyfriends

2.Get ex boyfriend back—-how did you get your ex back after the breakup

3.Get ex boyfriend back—-after breaking up, the girl recovers her ex boyfriend’s routine

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