Types of Emotions

Paul Ekman identified seven basic universal human emotions —> happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, disgust, and contempt. In the Theory of Balanceology, I identify and I will focus on the following 5-core biologically based emotions —> fear, anger, sadness, jealousy, and happiness. Humans are biologically and empathetically similar in the sense that in one way or another we all experience the same five core emotions. However, some of us are just more emotionally and temperamentally focused than others. Some of us have a much wider range and depth of emotions. There are individuals who are just more emotionally hardwired creatures. Also, the feelings generated from an emotion can be widely different from person to person (more to come). We should keep in mind the huge emotional range of emotions from person-to-person when we interact with another person. It is important to develop an empathetic similarity with the emotions we share with another person, but just as important to develop an empathy for the very unique manner another person experiences and expresses their emotions. This ability to empathize has a remarkable impact on deeper belonging relationship attributes of attachment and affiliation (review previous posts).

I emphasis that emotions are neither good or bad;  they just are!  All emotions serve a function. For example, I agree with Gavin de Becker in his classic book The Gift of Fear, that fear can be a helpful survival emotion preparing us for “fight or flight.” According to de Becker, “true fear is a survival signal that sounds only in the presence of danger.” (1997) Fear can warn us when we are in immediate danger. Emotions happen as biological reactions to life and they can’t be stopped or removed. It is better to accept, trust (they are telling us something), respect, and work with emotions as they happen. It is better to honestly express an emotion as it is happening. Suppression and repression of emotions (including happiness) can cause a kind of toxicosis in the brain. Suppression and repression of emotions can result in bodily dysfunction and medical issues. It is best to: 1.) experience an emotion as it happens, 2.) have an appropriate internal feeling reaction to an emotion as it arises, and 3.) have an appropriate external feeling response as that emotion is being expressed. I try hard to have an emotional balance in the sense that I have the ability to experience, react, and response to all five emotions. There is a link between Affective Domain 5-core emotions and the Conative Domain motivational need states because emotions are one key indicator of meeting needs, not meeting needs, or of a lost need. Emotional reactions are about what needs we lack or think we lack. In the posts to come I will define our five core emotions, and I will discuss the many feelings that are a byproduct of each emotion.

types of emotions

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