You know this story, in various versions, very well. She was young and believed that her parents and close people around are good and wished her well. She was told to study, so she did it, not very much convinced if she wanted to do it. She was told that she should get married so she did it. She was told many times that such a lifestyle is better so she followed the instruction. She was told that this sort of career should pay off, so…why not? All the time it was not her choice, not her pleasure, not her emotions. Her emotions were unfulfilled, but the emotions of her parents and everybody around were – the parents were proud of her daughter so much. But what about her own choices? her own pleasures? her own emotions? What, if everything would have gone in a very different way, had she been able to decide on her own? Their emotions, my emotions….which is more important?
Their Emotions, My Emotions: Fascination with Others’ Activities
It’s great fun to be fascinated with other people’s activities. We all admire great sportsmen and get excited with their successes, having no emotions of this sort in our own lives. The same with our favourite celebrities; some of us envy them their glamorous lives, having nothing of this sort (or not noticing them). The same with authority figures; they inspire us and we want to follow them at least to some degree, not thinking that at least from time to time such authority figures should be looked for inside of us. So, their emotions, my emotions, whose? Shouldn’t they be my own emotions not the emotions that are indirectly taken on from others? Isn’t it healthier to produce, at least to try to produce the fascinations that have the source in my life rather than in the lives of others?
Their Emotions, My Emotions: Imitating Others’ Lifestyles
Many people copy others. It’s normal and it’s frequent. But, maybe, at some stage it would be good to give it up and think about not copying others. Perhaps, most frequently do it some teenagers. Some of them directly follow their parents’ ways or, in an inverted way, they try to do the opposite to what they saw in their parents’ lives. In both cases, the imitation of their parents’ ways is directly visible. Thinking about our own specific potentials to be developed by our own specific ways in order to satisfy our own emotions – this is the idea I’m thinking about now.
Their Emotions, My Emotions: self-fulfilment
There are some good reasons why taking care of my emotions more than about others’ makes much sense. Self-fulfilment is one of them. Self-fulfilment is one of the basic protections against frustration, disappointments, and the sense of emptiness. The other reason for thinking of our emotions, not those of your environment is to enjoy your greater and smaller successes. The things that give you emotional satisfaction, even micro-successes you can achieve in the ordinary, daily existence.
Their Emotions, My Emotions: a possible clash
Not always can we synchronize the emotions of other people with ours. It’s not even so each to realize ours independently of theirs. One of the main problems here is the possible clash that my emotions are in fact appreciated when they correspond to the emotions of the environment around. You want to enjoy some type of activity but the people around don’t share these emotions and even think very bad of them. A typical example, in some places, is sexual life: you want to be fulfilled in this area of life but for others erotic emotions may seem unacceptable or wrong.
If you have problems with talking about synchronizing your emotions with the emotions of the people who are close to you, yet for some reasons you can’t talk openly to them, try to convert this conversation into a game. Think of a situation in which you talk openly but not as you talking sincerely, but rather as you pretending to be somebody else. As if in a theatre where you play a role.
I have a 25 year-long professional experience. It’s mostly as a university professor, but also includes coaching, consulting, and teaching. 35 years of karate as a hobby and the best way of learning self-discipline.