Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Word about Feelings. - (Part II)




I haven't overlooked the many reasons one can use to argue against the usefulness of having feelings: The muddled clarity and encumbered logic being the first example that comes to mind, and it is very obvious that a lot of people suffer more from their ability to feel than they find strength, Happiness or entertainment from it.
In that sense I can understand why some people come to the conclusion that:


"It would be better and easier if I was a Sociopath or a Psychopath!"



Nevertheless I stand to my statement: I'm happy and absolutely pleased that I have emotions and that I can feel.
But as I say above, I haven't overlooked the less pleasurable aspects and I'm aware that some amount of discomfort follows with having feelings. It cannot be helped.
Yet, as far as my personal experiences with having feelings go, the positive outweighs the negative.


Sure, one sometimes do run into situations which brings with them feelings that that are less than pleasant - and sometimes outright painful, though this applies mostly to physical pain - at least for me, but I realize it is different for each individual, be they Psychopaths or non-psychopaths. And yes, I have certainly experienced very unpleasant emotions on several occasions, on and off throughout my life.

But to me it is at least partially a question of being able to make the decision to let unpleasant feelings of the past remain feelings of the past. I mean, to not allow your suffering from the past to rule and dominate you and your feelings in the present.


In other words: To be able to ...

... Let go!


Maybe I'm just really a very, very lucky person in that respect: As I mentioned, I do experience pain and painful emotions every now and then. But the recurring pattern - as I see it - is that such feelings are almost always very brief! This means that even if I sometimes have moments with painful emotions, I know from experience, if nothing else, that it won't last long.
Every now and then - usually very rarely and for many only once in a life time, if ever - extreme physical pain can last for a lengthy period, fx. months. On such occasions I haven't had time to ponder whether or not I'd rather feel nothing, I could think only about wanting to get rid of that specific pain I was feeling at that time. But of course it didn't change anything. I had no choice but to go through it, and through it I got.
The point here is, that once it is over and done with, once it is in the past, I no longer care about it having been there. It is just not a problem, and even the prospect of having to go through the same thing again does not really affect me. Again, I know it will pass...
I've made a thought experiment: What if such a situation never ended and I knew I would have to continue being in that situation for as long as I live? - The obvious answer would be: "I'd kill myself!", but then I went further ... What if I had no way that I or others could end my life prematurely? And my reaction is this: Well I can't really worry about it, because if such a thing should happen, there's nothing I can do about it anyway, and hence it really is not a problem!


And that's another way that I see feelings can be an asset and not necessarily a disadvantage: I can mostly switch my ability to feel on and off at will.
This ability allows me to switch off my feelings when I'm in a situation where I sense they may interfere with my ability to reason and act effectively. potentially counter my opponent/s position or attack.

I can choose not to worry!


This is how I see it, and this is how I feel!...
Yep, I quite do like my feelings!!...
___

3 comments:

ZKM said...

It is a common misconception that Psychopaths are emotionless. That is untrue, we have 'shallow' emotions. People claim we are emotionless because they seem to connect all human emotion to empathy, or feeling 'bad'. That's absolutely ridiculous. Although I will not deny there is a good percentage of psychopaths that feel little to nothing OR they only feel a limited assortment of emotions. Both of these scenarios I find very fascinating. My emotional spectrum spans from irritated, annoyed, to amused. I am most commonly annoyed and my whole goal in social interaction is to be amused.

Your post is very interesting. I have a question though. Since sociopathy is actually defined by our lack of emotion in relation to others, how far do your emotions go. Can you feel 'happy' for another person? Do you love anyone? If so, that would really test the boundaries of psychopathy as a whole, don't you think?

Zhawq said...

ZKM,

I agree that of course we do have emotions (well I should know, considering I carry the label, lol). It's as it is with everything in life: We're not one and the same.

People tend to see you through glasses with a tint-writing that says: Psychopath, and then all the textbook listings come up.

It's the same that makes them decide you can never trust a psychopath no matter what his personality and preferences, etc.


"..OR they only feel a limited assortment of emotions."

Well according to the experts this is true for all who have this diagnosis, it's a requirement for them to give it.

I used to think I had all the emotions that everybody else had, I just didn't understand what they meant verbally, or I thought they were simply lying and faking emotions they didn't have.

After having read up a good deal over the past months I'm beginning to realize I may have misunderstood something in this regard, in that from their perspective I really do not have a wide range of emotions.

And they really do have some of the emotions I always thought were fake and self-staging.

All that said, I think I/we encompass emotions they do not! And so we can actually say that we're just two very different variety of the human species.

Maybe I'm deluding myself, I don't know. But the thought that I should be somehow less than they are, just seems ... wrong, in so many ways.


"Your post is very interesting. I have a question though. Since sociopathy is actually defined by our lack of emotion in relation to others, how far do your emotions go."

You know that's the question I'd love to answer too. I'm so curious about it, but how do we define the extent of our emotions?


"Can you feel 'happy' for another person?"

Uh, I have to answer no to that. Only another person can feel happy for others, they have to do that for themselves.


"Do you love anyone?"

Okay, you got me there. - No. I never have, I have no idea about how that must really be like.
I can feel interest and some respect which I sometimes associate with 'liking' someone. But looking further into what it really is I feel at such times, it turns out to be linked to whether or not that person can - well, can be of use to me.

I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. At least it sets things straight.


"If so, that would really test the boundaries of psychopathy as a whole, don't you think?"

According to the definitions a psychopath cannot feel this type of emotion, so it will never get to shift any boundaries in that regard.

It might create a new label for a new minority, somewhere in between psychopathy and what is normal.

Zhawq said...

ZKM,

I agree that of course we do have emotions (well I should know, considering I carry the label, lol). It's as it is with everything in life: We're not one and the same.

People tend to see you through glasses with a tint-writing that says: Psychopath, and then all the textbook listings come up.

It's the same that makes them decide you can never trust a psychopath no matter what his personality and preferences, etc.


"..OR they only feel a limited assortment of emotions."

Well according to the experts this is true for all who have this diagnosis, it's a requirement for them to give it.

I used to think I had all the emotions that everybody else had, I just didn't understand what they meant verbally, or I thought they were simply lying and faking emotions they didn't have.

After having read up a good deal over the past months I'm beginning to realize I may have misunderstood something in this regard, in that from their perspective I really do not have a wide range of emotions.

And they really do have some of the emotions I always thought were fake and self-staging.

All that said, I think I/we encompass emotions they do not! And so we can actually say that we're just two very different variety of the human species.

Maybe I'm deluding myself, I don't know. But the thought that I should be somehow less than they are, just seems ... wrong, in so many ways.


"Your post is very interesting. I have a question though. Since sociopathy is actually defined by our lack of emotion in relation to others, how far do your emotions go."

You know that's the question I'd love to answer too. I'm so curious about it, but how do we define the extent of our emotions?


"Can you feel 'happy' for another person?"

Uh, I have to answer no to that. Only another person can feel happy for others, they have to do that for themselves.


"Do you love anyone?"

Okay, you got me there. - No. I never have, I have no idea about how that must really be like.
I can feel interest and some respect which I sometimes associate with 'liking' someone. But looking further into what it really is I feel at such times, it turns out to be linked to whether or not that person can - well, can be of use to me.

I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. At least it sets things straight.


"If so, that would really test the boundaries of psychopathy as a whole, don't you think?"

According to the definitions a psychopath cannot feel this type of emotion, so it will never get to shift any boundaries in that regard.

It might create a new label for a new minority, somewhere in between psychopathy and what is normal.