Feeling It All

Face

Feelings are one of those things that make us oh so human. 


We feel love and hate, joy and sadness, hopeful and anxious, peaceful and distraught, and countless more emotions. 


While some people come across as stoic, others seem to take it all in (maybe even right on the chin). 


Hence, the perennial stone-faced poker player verse the person who seems to show every emotion and just can’t hide it. 


According to the Wall Street Journal, about 20% of both men and women are what’s called highly sensitive people (HSPs).


HSPs simply feel everything more!


These are the people who are crying at the movies and so on. 


They can also be extremely empathetic and caring–because they just almost intuitively understand. 


I think they are also deep thinkers, they are watchers of people, taking in the stimuli and processing it in terms of their feelings. 


I remember as a kid sitting with my sister and her friends who were considerably older than me–8 years–and I would listen to their “mature” girl conversations go on and on, and then at the end, I would just sort of say my sensitive two cents, and I think more often then not, I got a lot of surprise looks at a young boy who seemed a lot older and wiser than his age. 


In retrospect, I think that I was always just very sensitive to people, their plights, their hurt, the injustices in the world, and sought to understand it and try to make it right. 


The flip side is that one schmuck of a manager years ago said to me, “You need to get a thicker skin!”


But you know what, I like feeling, being very human, and deeply experiencing the world.


I would imagine (having never tried drugs, true) that perhaps people who get high either are running away from some feelings or running to others–but as a HSP, you just feel it all straight up. 


Being very sensitive to the world can almost be like extrasensory perception…sometimes you can see what others don’t, but you also have to learn to cope with the firehose flood of feelings–sometimes even having to tune some of it out. 


Cut me and I bleed, caress me and I am comforted.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Feeling Groovy

Who_cares

It was interesting, I was reading about how humans have six universal emotions.

These emotions are considered largely involuntary responses to stimuli, and they are:

  • Anger
  • Happiness
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Disgust
  • Surprise

As I thought about these out of the six emotions, only happiness is the straight out good one. Hey, who doesn’t want to be happy (maybe only an ascetic, but that’s because they parodoxically get a type of happiness out of being unhappy)? 

Then, I thought about surprise and that is sort of a toss up–it can be a good surprise or a bad one. Most of the time, people don’t like surprises and would rather have an element of control over what is coming, when, and how. So I would throw surprises in the you can keep it pile. 

And while the other four emotions–anger, fear, sadness, and disgust–may be helpful at times (in protecting us physically and emotionally), they all have negative connotations and implications. 

Anger usually means someone has hurt or slighted us. Fear impies that that there is something dangerous or scary to be feared out there. Sadness is the opposite of happiness, so it’s a non-starter. And disgust is attributed to something vile or revolting and is usually something we want to get away from as quickly as possible. 

So, six primary human emotions and only one–happiness–makes us feel–happy!

Thinking about emotions as colors, we can feel blue (sad) or fiery red (anger), what about green (with envy)?  Uh, wonder why this emotion was missing from the list, but I would add it as number seven for universal emotions. 

Unfortunately, envy means we feel less than or jealous of the next person, so this is another one that doesn’t make us feel very good. 

Maybe then expectations for how much happiness in life we should or can have should be tempered knowling there are six others to keep us busy and feeling–other things. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)