Feelings of Attraction
Feelings of attraction are associated with drives that organize our projects
in the world and motivate us to venture out and seek gratification of our needs.
Positive feelings are associated with attraction and seeking behaviors that
encourage us to find good food, clean water, safe places to rest and nice to
people to share all of the above including a mate. Positive feelings center
around affiliation and affection. We use terms such as “gentle, tender and
caring” to describe the behavior of a human who is feeling affectionate.
Attraction to other humans is based on appearance, smell and conduct.
Feelings of attraction are aroused when the right signals are received. Emotions
are muted or suppressed when strangers meet and find each other attractive. The
idea is to establish a calming level of interaction that allows trust to
develop. Emotions are disruptive when a new relationship begins with the
exception of laughter. Women, for example, often include humor on their list of
desirable characteristic of a potential mate. Feelings such as tenderness and
concern lead to greater awareness of the feelings of others.
Joy and elation are terms that describe the strongest positive emotion. When
a dog greets his master returning home, he is joyful and his emotions take over
his body. Humans are capable of similarly effusive displays of joy, but often
learn to temper their expressions of joy and settle for a hugs and a few words
Love is not an emotion and certainly not a discrete feeling state but a
complex mix of many ingredients; affection is a prerequisite of love, but we are
used to "people in love" having emotions such as anger and jealousy. Recurrent
positive feelings can merge into a nonspecific sense of pleasure and well being
that we call “happiness.” Without affection and a sense of security, the
term happiness loses most if not all of its meaning.
Romantic love is the temporary glue that sticks two people together and is
most evident in younger people choosing a mate. The essential feature of falling
in love is a fascination with another person coupled with a drive to be with
them and to protect them. Fisher suggested that lust, attraction, and attachment
are features of three brain systems involved in courtship, mate selecting,
reproduction, and parenting. Lust is the sex drive, the craving for sexual
gratification. Romantic love is characterized by obsessive thinking, deep
dependency on the relationship, and a craving for union with one individual. A
couple is elated when things are going well, but suffer terribly when things are
Emotions and Feelings
- This book investigates the for-me-ness of
experiences, using psychology, neuroscience and philosophy.
Everyone has some idea what emotions and feelings are but their exact nature
is elusive. We can begin by noting that emotions and feelings are not the same.
Generally, humans are ignorant of internal processes
and invent all manner of imaginary and irrelevant explanations to explain
feelings. The term “emotion” is best used to point to animal and human behavior.
There are a small number of primary emotions and variations that involve
mixtures of emotional displays feelings and behaviors. Joy, anger, fear and pain
are pure emotions. Other, more complex and derivative experiences act as
interfaces to emotions. Love, jealousy and hate are not emotions. These are
descriptions of complex interactions and evaluations that involve a range of
feelings and interface to true emotions some of the time. Euphoria is the benefit of being in love. Sadness and anger are the cost
of being in love. Jealousy, like love, is another complex of cognitions,
feelings and emotions that exist to monitor and regulate close relationships.
The absence of emotional display is highly valued in polite society. Humans have
advanced toward civil and productive social environments that are emotionally
neutral. Emotional neutrality is a requirement for acceptable behavior in school
and work environments.
Emotions and Feelings is intended for a well-educated smart reader who is
interested in Human Nature and the daily experience of humans in groups. The author is
Stephen Gislason Both Print
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