PREVIOUS: Repressing Emotions #2
▪︎: FACE DATA (Psychology, Appearance & Behavior of the Human Face
SOCIAL NEEDS (cont)
EFFECTIVE Communication isn’t just about exchanging information – we also need to understand the Emotions behind the facts. This requires skills in reading nonverbal cues, attentive listening, dealing with present-moment stress, & the capacity to understand our own Es – as well as recognizing those of the person we’re talking to – without needing to spell it out for us
Growing psychological research suggests that the role of language may run deeper in emotions than previously thought. The things that people say affect our emotions, & can describe emotions with words once they’re felt.
EXP: One study limited participants’ understanding of emotion-words such as “disgust vs anger, fear vs sadness, …. which later led those people to identifying strong facial expressions of Es (wrinkled noses, scowls, wide eyes, frowns) as merely unpleasant.
Interesting for ACoAs = IF the meaning of emotion words is a basic part of identifying nuances of emotional facial expressions,
AND IF a child is not taught words for a wide variety of feelings, as telegraphed on other people’s face & by body posture,
THEN it’s not surprising, as adults, that ACoAs have trouble picking up on the fact that other people are communicating emotions, much less which Es show on their face
Ineffective Communication of Es:
Counterfeit Emotional Language: it seems to express emotions without actually describe what a person is feeling. Shouting “Leave me alone!” doesn’t identify the Es causing the reaction. (fear? overwhelm? frustration?….)
— It’s also counterfeit to say “That’s just how I feel” without connecting behavior to Es
Not Owning Feelings: disowns personal responsibility: “You make me angry” , instead of “I feel angry when you don’t text when you say you will”…..
Generalities: “I’m upset / freaked out / ” suggest emotional sates, but are too vague. Are you happy reeked, or scared-freaked….?
2. HOW & WHEN emotions are communicated are regulated by social & cultural norms, so that even minor violations of the rules governing emotional responses can cause serious problems for us, whether personal or in business.
• Other studies have shown that when emotions are intense, the part of the brain controlling higher reasoning tends to shut down (frontal cortex), which is unfortunate because that’s when we need it most.
However, in emotionally charged situations, IF we know ourselves well & can ‘stay present’, we’ll still be able to think clearly, giving us more control over our actions.
We learn to communicate Es FROM:
• Framing Rules define the emotional meaning of a situation (DB -Frames post)
EXP: In some cultures funerals are sad occasions, & it would be in bad taste to treat it like a party (Wasp). In others a funeral is a time to rejoice & celebrate (Irish).
• Feeling Rules : Societies try to keep order by controlling emotional expression, telling us what we have a right to or are expected to feel in particular situations. These identify & perpetuate cultural & moral values, & the roles assigned to various groups.
EXP: Societies that emphasize individuality allow the feeling of pride in personal accomplishments, while those that value cooperation encourage expressions of humility or self-effacement, no matter how great the work being done
• Emotion Work: This is the ‘internal self-awareness work’ which helps to manage one’s own feelings – a conscious effort to keep relationship going well.
It’s about the thoughtfulness & self-restraint we use when considering what Es we outwardly express in a particular situation, especially when considering which ones may or may not suit that specific event (a church service vs a rock concert….).
EXP: We feel guilty if we start socializing too soon after the death of a loved one. On the other hand we’re judged if we mourn a loss too long!
Normally we make these evaluations based on what we originally learned at home, as well as from the larger culture we currently live in.
NEXT: Communication #2