Sunday, December 6, 2009

Trust Your Feelings

I always hate it when I hear someone giving over simplified advice. 'Trust your feelings', is one line I can't stand. People who commit suicide trust their feelings. Your feelings can lead to self destruction. That's one thing most people never understand. Your feelings are not just tied to your own individual health and well being they are tied to the well being of the social group you're in. A human alone can't perpetuate the species so why would our emotional system evolve just to ensure we as individuals survive and thrive. Individuals who are disconnected from their primary social group or feel at odds with that group's values will feel like they should eliminate themselves. If that's you currently then if you trust your negative feelings you are probably going to be hurting yourself. Self destruction is part of our nature as small group primates.

Intense emotion either good or bad should really be kept in check. I try to figure out what's triggering an intense emotion. If it's nothing I can really lock down I don't act on it if I feel like it'll change my life in some drastic way. Because I know if I don't understand what's going on and I act solely on emotion I may end up screwing my life up, breaking someone else's heart needlessly, or I'll just be wandering with no direction. I'll be letting my current circumstance take me for a ride.


Daniel R. Dangerdan Dubois Jr. said...

unwanted advice, stock advice, and just general projection of the 'you could and should be doing better' are things i also despise wholly, when given freely. should is dead!
and yeah, i'd say i have a few experiences under my belt that prove emotions can destroy... but without them, how would people like us have any material to express on paper?

Adam Tavares said...

Should is dead! I'm learning Spanish right now and they have a special verb tense for 'should' and a verb it's called the future subjunctive. When I was learning it I thought wow this is the verb tense for losers! But I use 'should' in English myself. I think you're right though.

And the better thing to do if you want to help somebody instead of shoulding them to death is to go all socratic, 'What are you going to do?', 'You think that's the best way?', etc. It's less jerky and definitely more helpful. Let the person you're talking to intuit the should.

Emotions rule the world now! People need to learn to tame them otherwise civilization is only going to get crappier and crappier. See you and I at least try to understand them and interpret them by putting them on paper but that's beyond most people. It's all about what you do with them I suppose.