Please tell me your experience of these emotions:
Do you feel them at all? What are your notions of them?
I wanted to reply, but I didn't know what to say. So I decided to think about it, and today, more than a week later, I think I have the answer... I'll start with Relief, and write about intimidation next time.
So how am I with this emotion, do I feel relief, have I ever felt relief, and if I have, how did it feel?
Strange as it may sound, I can think of many times where relief would be the natural emotional response. But the fact is, I can't explain this feeling.
There've been many times where I've said: "I'm so relieved!" and "What a relief!", I would make that deep exhale, holding my hand at my stomach, as we all no doubt have seen people do in this kind of incident.
But I can't put my finger on how the actual emotion feels, or if I ever felt it. I've 'performed' relief so many times, not thinking about it or whether felt it or not, so when I was asked outright if I feel it, I was unable to answer. I think the truth is that I never have felt real relief, at least not in the traditional sense.
It puzzled me that I couldn't explain anything about relief at all, and it reminded me of the times in prison when I would be asked about all kinds of feelings and I had to think of something I'd read or heard in order to find something to say about it. With relief I can easily mimic the way I know it's supposed to be expressed, and I've done it on many occasions.
It seems that my feelings have a strong cognitive bend. When I was in the in situations where I f.x. barely escaped capture after having done something criminal, the relief I expressed was more of a cognitive recognition of the situation than it was some distinct emotion.
When I looked up the definition of relief I found it to be somewhat different from what I thought the word meant. It also made it much more understandable for me that I don't experience this emotion, because it seems that what you gain relief from has to be associated with some form of stress and pain, danger and fear. I didn't realize this, and so I was at loss for words.
I've always associated relief with a situation, not with an emotion. If I had been more aware when I learned how to show relief, I would've noticed something wasn't quite right, for why would I have to exhale deeply and smile while giving a 'saying' look at the others present? I've seen this behavior as a form of communication, after all a lot of our communication happens with gestures and how we look at each other.
Since I don't experience these things the way that most people experience them, I would also not really have any trigger of relief. Danger, and even fear to some extent, for me are exciting. They add color to my life - which I don't see as a sign of emotional poverty, but a sign that I have emotional room for a lot.
I have learned something new again, and I can thank my Readers for helping me do so with great questions. More to the point, I hope Readers will learn from my attempts at describing and explaining these things.