I mean, there's the schadenfreude side of things where we feel better about our own lives when someone else has a worse situation going on. But I'd generally say that people are uncomfortable around people experiencing negative emotions.
I often see the general public as a herd of gazelles (or some other four-legged deer-like creature). You know that look they get when they're running along and realize there's a lion taking down one of their flock/herd? They all shie away with that bug-eyed blind panic look.
|RUN FROM SOURCE OF BAD JUJU!!!|
This is the picture in my head when you tell someone you're either sick, sad or pissed.
There's a natural instinct, I think, to just...
This is why I actually try not to share too much of that. No one knows what to do with it or they go to "savior" mode and try to come up with solutions.
And this is where I should explain the way I see my brain. I have two halves that seem very distinct. (I'll acknowledge that most people probably feel this way, but I define much of my reactions to things in life by this concept)
Anyway, the Left vs Right brain concept is a little exaggerated, but it does make a good visual. To me, I think Logical Brain and Emotional Brain, without a left/right designation.
The main problem is when I have an emotional issue and my logical brain has it all worked out, but the irrational emotional side still wants to self-medicate with Oreos. Even when I'm majorly PMS'ing, my logical brain is pointing out the insanity and generally not helping my attitude in the slightest.
So, to simplify:
Logical Brain says "You know you will be okay and that you're just having a reactive depression from some really bad news a few days ago."
Emotional Brain says "Gah! Dammit! Why the hell does this have to be happening to me? I'm mad and scared and sad and tired and depressed and really really really want a hug...or to just RUN AWAY!"
Yes, Emotional Brain is red for a reason. ...and it curses a lot. ...and wants cookies with milk and pizza with soda.
And even while I'm feeding poor, pathetic Emotional Brain, my Logical Brain is sitting over on its high horse pointing out the flaws in my actions and the fact that it won't really help in the long run.
"Go ahead and try to get drunk, you know I won't let you have more than a couple drinks. You'll have to drive home eventually because you don't sleep well on strange couches and you have a whiny cat at home who doesn't like to be left alone overnight and alcohol is just a depressant anyway..."
"Me want to knock self out with tequila and vodka and crudités! Damn it, just let me sink into oblivion!"
"Whyyyyyyy???? Life sucks!" (really whiny)
"Life sucks 'right now' you mean... You know time will make it better, and you'll be fine in the long run. You're stronger than this. Really."
"Well now I'm ashamed... I feel guilty and gross and useless!"
"It's okay. You're just human. Wanting to escape is completely understandable."
...you get the idea.
[Anyone else see a kind of 3D effect in the red and blue text above?
Pretty cool, huh?
Also, I found this great discussion about the emotional/primitive brain and how it undermines our best intentions - http://www.eruptingmind.com/emotional-brain-decision-making/]