Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Feelings are fragile things

Today I got my feelings hurt and I hurt someone elses all within a few minutes time... I have been thinking ever since how fragile feelings can be and why that is. I have a few random thoughts that I want to free write about and see if it helps me sort anything out! :)

Feelings usually seem to form around expectations. Expectations of how we think things should go, how people should act, what will take place at an event, what should be the reward for our actions, etc. When those expectations are not met we feel disappointed, mad, frustrated, injured, sad, and other negative emotions. When expectations are are exceeded we are elated, happy, ecstatic, and giddy. And when expectations come in on par with what we had planed we are simply satisfied... Have you ever been in a situation where you didn't have expectations? In all reality probably not. if you were going to a concert and said you didn't have any expectations you in all reality just have very low expectations. Thus if the concert is a bore then you still leave satisfied that you judged accurately. If the concert was amazing then you leave extremely pleased because your expectations were not hard to overcome....

This is an interesting concept to think about. If you have low expectations of other people is that a bad thing? If you truly don't have any expectations then people will never hurt you... However, what about the saying "treat a man like the man he ought to be and he will become that man"? Or what about self fulfilling prophecy? Would that encourage our society to be more beligerant and proper conduct would decompose?

Another thought I had was that maybe feelings and expectations are related to the grand daddy of sin's... Pride. Are failed expectations manifestations of pride in that we would have handled the situation differently and our wanting to be acknowledged for superiority? I often have felt like it was my duty to teach the offending party how I would have handled it... thinking that if everyone had half the sense I did then the world would be a great place! No doubt others have felt the same about my actions as they have felt the need to correct me. So when I get my feelings hurt is it really my pride and confidence that I think I would have handled something differently?

Even if neither of these theories hold water... it seems to me wise to learn to be humble enough to have expectations of people, events, and situations. But to recognize our own short-comings and choose to not be offended or hurt by other peoples actions. After this brain dump I have concluded that humility for me is the antidote for fragile feelings.

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