Social Question

Just_Justine's avatar

Do you ever doubt your own emotions?

Asked by Just_Justine (6486points) March 22nd, 2010

I have come to the conclusion that I do not trust my emotive responses. For example, if I get really angry at a person, or situation I question if I am being “right” in being angry. Or do I have a right to be angry?

The reason I ask is, if I am confused and this situation warrants anger, then surely I would need to react appropriately. I am not talking “bash them over the head” but more a case of trusting that I am angry for a purpose. Do you ever question your emotions? or not? Also how good are you at putting forward your anger in a constructive way?

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50 Answers

slick44's avatar

Emotions are a funny thing. as far as trusting them, maybe. But take a minute to process first. Dont react to quickly.

davidbetterman's avatar

I often come to realize that if I am quick to anger, I am in need of some food. My blodd sugar is dropping.

I trust my emotions, but have learned to think about how to respond to them before issuing said response.

ucme's avatar

Yes I mean.. well… not sure… i’m going to say no, oh fuck it.

calipalagigirl's avatar

I think that it may be good that you check to see if your anger is going in the right direction. Otherwise, you might regret at going postal on someone.

To relive my anger, I go to the gym or go sit outside and soak up some rays and fresh air.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Reacting with an emotional response is a poor excuse for actually thinking.

I’m not picking on you. Everyone has suffered from this, especially myself.

Emotion is a Reaction.

Thought is an Action.

There is a vast chasm between Cause/Reaction and Thought/Action.

Only one of them requires a mind.

CMaz's avatar

No. Do I listen to then? That is the question.

msbauer's avatar

I’m always questioning my emotions…many psychologists say that you experience a physiological reaction which your mind then labels as an emotion and only THEN do you react emotionally. One fun example of this is a classic psych study in which male participants crossed a scary suspended bridge that wobbled and swayed. Immediately after, they were informed about an unrelated study by an attractive female researcher. At the end, the men were offered the lady’s telephone number to call if they wanted to go out. Men who had crossed the bridge, more so than men in a control condition that wasn’t so emotionally arousing, called the lady more often. They had MISLABELED their fear arousal as sexual arousal. Seems like you wouldn’t mix those two things up, sex and fear, but apparently it’s easier than you think…therefore, trust no emotions!

Source: Dutton, D. G., & Aron, A. P. (1974). Some evidence for heightened sexual attraction under conditions of high anxiety. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30(4), 510–517.

wundayatta's avatar

When I’m in a mixed state, I get irritable and my nerves get more hair-trigger. I never knew this until I found out that chemicals in my brain were distorting my sense of appropriate response.

At other times, I feel sad for no reason. Or anxious for no reason. It scares me (am I then feeling scared for no reason?) I feel like there must be a reason for these feelings. But if there isn’t, I often find myself creating a reason, by attacking people I love.

Even so, I try not to use anger. I try to use every other tool in my basket before I resort to anger. Anger, it seems to me is like using a shot gun. It usually hits things you didn’t mean to hit.

Anger is rarely constructive. Mostly destructive. If someone gets angry at me, I don’t trust them after that. I try really hard not to go that route.

stump's avatar

When I act out of my emotions, I tend to make my life more complicated and confused. I don’t trust them.

meagan's avatar

I’m a control freak. Sometimes when I lose control, I stress to the point where I cry.
Thats when I have to slow down and doubt my own emotions. Not to mention realize that I’m probably wrong.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Let the river do the rowing sometimes.

meagan's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I caaaaaaaan’t.
I control my entire day. literally. its disgusting.

Just_Justine's avatar

@msbauer yes that is sort of where the question started, to be in touch with ones feelings but as @wundayatta pointed out, sometimes they are not warranted. But either way people are allowed to feel whatever they want. It’s how they react. I don’t know if I am allowed to feel what I want? as Wundayatta may identify with. It’s an odd thought, been told you must be in touch with your feelings but doubting them.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Time for you to go sit under a tree and meditate. Look around you in that forest. What will you control there that you won’t destroy in the process of attempting to do so?

It’s just a ride baby. Enjoy it while you still can.

njnyjobs's avatar

I would consider myself as a level headed person that evaluates things from different angles. Emotions hardly play a role in my decision making process, unless it has to be made within split seconds. In that case, I would probably have to rely on instincts.

BTW, one of my mottos is – don’t get mad, get even.

cazzie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I want what you’re taking…...* Cheshire cat grin*

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I never distrust my emotions, but I’m always critical of my assumptions and my data.

So when I find myself becoming angry and the reason for that isn’t crystal clear, but “I think” that a bad thing is happening, then I examine my premises and the data inputs that I’m evaluating that lead me to “anger” as an appropriate response.

For example, I’ve been cut off in traffic before, which often leads people to explosive outbursts. But depending on traffic—or even something that I may have done, intentionally or otherwise—a person cutting in front of me with little or no warning might be an appropriate thing for them to do, and I try to refrain from the knee-jerk reaction. Or change my mind, if I’ve already had the reaction.

One can certainly do that a lot quicker than I can write about it.

Just_Justine's avatar

@CyanoticWasp aha! moment, get mad but analyse the data. Thanks GA.

downtide's avatar

I never doubt that my emotions are real or valid. I do however, sometimes doubt whether I should act on them or not. And I often think that I am not as emotional as most other people.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@cazzie What I’m taking?

Take what you get
Get what you give
Give what you will
Will that we live
Learn what you know
Know what you see
See what you find
Find harmony

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I like that! Is it original to you?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Given to me by the cosmos. It’s meant for sharing. I dare not attempt to own it.

cazzie's avatar

Ah… Cosmos… that’s got cranberry juice in it, right? (j/k).....

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

That… and some

cazzie's avatar

I think everyone questions whether they have a right to be mad or angry about something. We feel guilty about having a ‘bad’ feeling, but there really is no such thing. No one can tell you that your feelings are wrong. They are what they are. Our basic emotive reactions are pretty much either hard wired into us by genetics or learned by the time we’re three.

It’s what we do with the emotions that make all the difference. We have those lovely large frontal lobes that help us process our detailed and complex social skills. I try to imagine that the left front of my head is filled with Patience (a nice light blue colour) and the right front side is a super computer that processes all the emotions into some sort of socially acceptable response. It doesn’t always work. I lack a lot of interpersonal skills because the left front of my head goes from blue to blood red rather fast.

If you lash out emotionally, it’s hardly ever constructive and then people always feel they have to apologise and it’s awkwardnessful. (I know.. not a word, but it’s meta) You can let the person know that what happened made you angry without blowing your top or losing your patience.

You can start out like ‘Now… THAT irked me because…. I don’t think you were being considerate of….. blah blah blah…1. my time… 2. how much work I have on….. 3. how hard I worked on that….. 4. It was my turn to play the wii…. 5. You are obviously lying about the amount of water that leaked on the floor because the time lapsed and the volume of flow could never cover 15m2 of basement floor to a depth of 20cm.

anartist's avatar

I trust my emotions, I just don’t ride herd on ‘em very well. What I don’t trust is my judgment, filtered through those emotions.

partyparty's avatar

I always trust my emotions, and show my anger by speaking slowly and precisely, in a very matter of fact way. That always confuses people. They just don’t know how to react.

Disc2021's avatar

Yes, I always do. I’ve come to the realization that the world doesn’t revolve around me and have been trying to abandon any hint of inerrancy I may have been apart of. The social atmosphere we live in is so complex and sometimes goes beyond our own comprehension – sometimes, you just have to pull out your own emotional investment, look at the situation in third person and confront the possibility that you may be in the wrong and you may be overreacting.

Sometimes you’ll find that it really isn’t anyone that is being innately wrong or unreasonable, but that there is simply just a difference in opinions or two or more people wanting different things. Situations wont always work out in everyone’s favor and sometimes it’s simply just a matter of majority rule. There are times, however, when the tiger gets out of the cage and the only thing you could do is release your anger, ventilate your emotions and put your foot down.

Some battles are worth walking away from – especially nowadays when people will find the pettiest of things to gripe about. I prefer to save my energy for more positive things or at least the battles that count.

anartist's avatar

@partyparty Oh I know how to react to that . . .I just get madder and madder as you get more and more frostily formal.
My best coping strategy is departing.

elenuial's avatar

All emotions are true. They’re just not true at all times.

(e.g. Just because you’re mad now doesn’t mean you’ll be mad in five minutes, so acting in a way consistent with your anger may be a poor plan. That doesn’t mean you’re not angry, nor that you have no reason to be! But actions have consequences, regardless of their motivations.)

Facade's avatar


nebule's avatar

@Just_Justine I know_exactly_ what you mean, I struggle to even identify what emotion I am feeling at times…. and when I do..I’m not sure if I should be feeling that… actually accepting my feelings is really hard for me.

So right now…I’m pigging out on chocolate for a lot of reasons… I can’t pin one down exactly….and there could be chemical reasons involved too (and who’s to say it’s all cognitive anyways…. it’s not) like, I might be angry, afraid, needy, lonely, fed up, I am trying to fill something, I am not hungry, I am hating myself, am I trying to be kind to myself by giving myself a break off this damn diet?.. I don’t know… I am switching off… I do not know what I am feeling at all…. or maybe I am feeling too much…

and then when I do figure it out… shoudl I be feeling this? probably no…so I try to change and then I am angry with myself when I can’t… total battle…24/7.

Yes, I know, it’s pathetic

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I always trust my emotions because they are usually approprite for what’s happening. What I’ve had to learn to do is not act on them until I know all of the reasons for them and can consider the repercussions if I do act on them. I used to react quickly and guess what, it didn’t always go to well.

Just_Justine's avatar

@lynneblundell thank you for your lovely honest answer :)

PacificToast's avatar

Yes, when they are leading me to make irrational decisions, I start trusting others.

Just_Justine's avatar

thanks @cazzie and everyone for your thoughts :)

lonelydragon's avatar

Yes, I go through the same thought process. I always wonder if I’m right to be offended, or if I’m being too sensitive. Unfortunately, there’s no objective measurement for the appropriateness of our emotions. Usually I give myself a cooling down period. Usually, I decide that the offensive actions or words shouldn’t be dignified with a response. But if the person was obviously trying to be a jerk, then I do my best to avoid him/her from then on out.

janbb's avatar

I trust my emotions; I’m just not sure I trust his.

LoveNickValensi's avatar

Emotions are crazy and I wish they were more controllable.But I try to trust them as much as I can.It’s hard and yes sometimes I doubt my emotions.

j0ey's avatar

When ever I feel anything (anger, sadness, regret) about a situation or towards a person, I always really think WHY I’m feeling like that. Usually it is how I am interpreting the situation. I think our internal thoughts determine what emotions we feel at any particular time…If your thoughts are justified, then you are probably feeling an emotion you can trust. However if you are having, lets say, jealous thoughts….you probably should be doubting your emotional response is a correct one.

KhiaKarma's avatar

Anger is ok, just like every other emotion. What you do with it is what matters. Anger can actually be helpful too. This poem by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D. author of the book The Dance of Anger sums it up:

“Anger is a signal, and one worth listening to. Our anger may be a message that we are being hurt, that our rights are being violated, that our needs or wants are not being adequately met, or simply that something is not right…

“Our anger may tell us that we are not addressing an important emotional issue in our lives, or that too much of our self—our beliefs, values, desires, or ambitions—is being compromised in a relationship. Our anger may be a signal that we are doing more and giving more than we can comfortably do or give. Or our anger may warn us that others are doing too much for us, at the expense of our own competence and growth…

“Just as physical pain tells us to take our hand off the hot stove, the pain of our anger preserves the very integrity of our self. Our anger can motivate us to say “no” to the ways in which we are defined by others and “yes” to the dictates of our inner self.”

partyparty's avatar

@anartist Well there you go, no stress for me, but lots for you. It works every time for me.

philosopher's avatar

I am sometimes baffled by why things make me nervous. I know I can do somethings but they still make me nervous.
Since I have to to do my best each day to make my Autistic son’s life fulfilling. I think this why. Stress takes it’s toll on everyone. Even if they do not shown it.

Zyx's avatar

My emotions actually inspire insight.

Cruiser's avatar

My emotions usually run very high and that is what makes life worth living. Got to feel it to live it!

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
zander101's avatar

I personally went through a traumatic experience which occurred at my workplace and it literally turned my world upside down which caused me to question life as a whole. Before I was able to adapt to situations without me using my emotions, where it did aggravate people that I encountered. Now, I’m more inclined to be more expressive which does bother people, however I was in position before where not saying anything bothered people. I feel that one of the reasons why one may doubt their own emotions woiuld have something to do with certain experiences of their past and present. It’s not easy to go through, but to me now I see it as an positive as it teaches you how your subconscious mind operates and how to collectively face your fears.

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