Emotional Honesty

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My father insisted that men were rational, women emotional, and therefore, women were irrational and inferior to men.  He liked to prove his point by provoking his wife and daughters into a rage, at which time he would sit back and smirk. I learned from his example that emotional expression showed weakness and inferiority, so I hid or denied my emotions until I finally realized he was wrong.  Over time, I discovered that much of the maturation process involves un-learning beliefs and attitudes picked up almost by osmosis from early conditioning.

 

 My father was not a bad guy, and he was probably rather typical of his generation.  Untold generations of men and women throughout history have believed and perpetrated the idea that intellect is superior to and at odds with emotion, yet this is fallacy.  The way the brain is wired, all sensory input travels through the pain (thalamus) and emotional (limbic) centers before reaching the frontal cortex, where intellectuality resides.  This implies that even the most intellectual and rational thinking is influenced by emotion.  What we choose to focus on, our interests, our skills, are all based on intent or desire, and their emotional significance to us.

 

Emotion gets a bad rap because it is associated with lack of control, as in the emotions of anger or fear.  But denial of emotion makes a person particularly susceptible to being manipulated by it, a major tactic used by advertisers and propagandists.  Targeting people’s insecurities, such as feelings of inadequacy or vulnerability, makes them more suggestible and more likely to buy the product or agenda being promoted.

 

The artificial split between emotion and reason is culturally created at an early age, when children are told what they “should” or “shouldn’t” feel.  The words “should” and “feel” do not go together.  Feelings are.  While it may be improper to act on certain feelings, to deny their existence only leads to repression, distortion, and dishonesty.   If allowed to run their course, emotions generally evolve into something else. 

 

The greatest value of psychotherapy is that it helps people find words for their feelings.  A diary or journal can serve the same purpose.  The words help bridge the gap between emotions and intellect, by making the feelings conscious and less threatening.

 

Ideally, emotion and intellect work together to guide thinking and behavior, but for this to happen, emotional honesty is crucial.  Some experts claim addiction is a disease of lying.  A more fundamental explanation is based on the Freudian model describing the stages of psychosexual development.  In the anal stage, which occurs around two years old, the child begins to learn self-control, symbolized by potty training.  Here power-struggles with the parent can begin, as the child learns boundaries and the meaning of the word “no.”  This phase is thus termed the “terrible twos” because of the child’s resistance to new structure and boundaries.  Successful mastery of this phase allows the child to develop healthy attitudes towards authority.  If this phase is not successfully negotiated, the child may develop life-long issues with authority.  In an alcoholic or addict, this shows in the see-saw between overly controlled versus out-of-control behavior, as internalized authority struggles with the inner child in a contest for power over the will.

 

This is why one of the maxims of addiction recovery emphasizes changing the concept of “power over” to “power to,” in which the individual harmonizes the opposing forces to achieve balance.

 

There’s a mistaken belief that emotional honesty must be rude, crude, or uncivil.  I’ve had people insist that people want you to lie to them.  Some believe in telling people what they think  the other person wants to hear.  I disagree and claim that tactful honesty is actually a sign of respect. 

 

This is another benefit of psychotherapy or of journaling.  Having the words for feelings provides a broader range of tools for communication, and allows for reasonable expression of emotion in a rational manner.

 

 

Comments

Autumn Cote Added Oct 11, 2018 - 3:29pm
Please note, it's against the rules to post articles here unless you comment on the work of others.  As always, many thanks for your participation with Writer Beat!
Stephen Hunter Added Oct 11, 2018 - 3:38pm
Great article and great facts Katherine. Emotional baggage exists in all of us and those who figure out how to become aware and deal with it are happier people. I find self hypnosis and guided meditations are really good. I look at it as going to the mental gym.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 11, 2018 - 3:43pm
Thanks, Stephen,
It helps if you like introspection, yet so many people have been taught to fear it.  Maybe it's cultural baggage to be frightened by the unruly id.
George N Romey Added Oct 11, 2018 - 3:50pm
Katharine my father came from that era.  Moreover, he grew up in the Depression to be dumped into WW2 as a young man.  He saw men all around him being blown to bits. As a kid I remember how he hated the Vietnam War.  It was one of the few things that he showed a real  passion for, hating that war.  And for good reason.
 
In today's society its very easy to forget how difficult it was growing up in the 1930s then to be shipped off to a war in the 1940s, or have those close to you being shipped off to possibly die.
 
We've as a society seem to have given up on critical thinking despite having so much information just a click away.  You begin to see just how most of the world is grey, not black or white.  You also realize there is no pure "good" and "bad" in the sense we were taught in the 60s and 70s.  
 
Sometimes you have to put the bad behind you and move on.  Life isn't always fair and there's no do over.  We still have people ligating an election two years old.  Elections are not about the best person winning but the person that can win the electoral college. Sometimes its like society has the maturity of an 11 year old.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 11, 2018 - 5:36pm
“The words ‘should’ and ‘feel’ do not go together” is true. Feelings are not voluntary. What one does about feelings is voluntary.
Dino Manalis Added Oct 11, 2018 - 5:56pm
 We shouldn't make generalizations about people in general or genders.  decisions ought to be rational, not emotional.
Thomas Sutrina Added Oct 11, 2018 - 6:54pm
Katharine O.  this seem to be a discussion without a clear conclusion.  This seem to be your strongest statement.  "The artificial split between emotion and reason is culturally created at an early age, when children are told what they “should” or “shouldn’t” feel.  The words “should” and “feel” do not go together.  Feelings are.  While it may be improper to act on certain feelings, to deny their existence only leads to repression, distortion, and dishonesty."  
 
The issue is what part does emotions have in determining your action.   If emotions prevents answering the question when you examine the choices of action picked before taking action, "and what comes next."    Teenagers and early twenty people are consider to not have adult minds because they do not automatically ask this question.   
 
Katharine was your father actually saying that he associates from experience that when emotions are high, "what comes next" appears to not be asked and used to prevent some actions.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 11, 2018 - 10:05pm
George,
I don't believe in duality, myself, as far as "good" and "bad" goes.  But I think of life more in terms of being like a rainbow than black, white or gray.  It is infinitely colorful.  Maybe one of the gifts of a well integrated emotional nature is to appreciate the depth of experience.
 
My parents grew up in the Depression, too, and my father was in Japan in the post-war occupation.  I'm sure both were emotionally intense, and maybe it hardened some people and made them afraid of their feelings.  In my experience, combat veterans are often the strongest pacifists.  I wish they would speak up more.
 
Koshersalaami,
Yes, and ideally feelings can provide energy like a battery for effective action.  I've found I don't make good decisions in the heat of anger, though.  Best to wait awhile.
 
Dino,
My point is that all decisions have an emotional component, and that's not bad, as long as we recognize it. 
 
Thomas,
The lack of clear conclusion is intentional, because it's meant to stimulate open ended thought.  The "what comes next" question may prevent precipitous action, but it can also stifle action completely, if someone "overthinks" it.  Outcomes can be pretty hard to predict, no matter how "rational" or "emotional" you are.
 
I don't think my father thought that deeply about it.  He was not a very philosophical thinker, sort of closed-minded in that way.  I believe that's another drawback to being too "rational."
Cullen Kehoe Added Oct 12, 2018 - 1:14am
Emotional honesty is important, I agree.
Mark Hunter Added Oct 12, 2018 - 2:59am
My feeling has always been that men are just as emotional as women, they're just trained by society to hide it. And what's healthier, facing your emotions or forcing them down?
Of course, my feeling has also always been that women are smarter than men, and I'm sure that's not a popular theory to some people, either. In any case, my wife has been encouraging me lately to face my negative emotions, so it appears I'm part of the problem.
Michael B. Added Oct 12, 2018 - 5:56am
For some reason, Star Trek comes to mind:
 
Dr. McCoy: "Spock, you cold, green-blooded inhuman monster." (Liberal)
 
Spock: "Doctor, you should gain better control of your emotions; they will most certainly be your undoing." (Conservative)
 
Captain Kirk: "Alright, gentlemen, will you put your petty differences aside? We DO have an entire solar system with trillions of inhabitants to save...AGAIN!" (Pragmatist)
 
Some years ago I read aout "EQ", which was the Emotional counterpart of an IQ. Richard Nixon was a prime example of someone who had a very high IQ but a very low EQ. The character of Mr. Spock was supposedly based on the longtime LAPD Chief Parker, who had a very high EQ.
 
Excessive emotions are DEFINITELY not limited to women; I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy a box of maxi-pads for a certain co-worker, because he's such a bitch.
 
BTW KO, I think I would have liked your dad, lol.
Neil Lock Added Oct 12, 2018 - 6:00am
Katharine: I think it's important to be able to be rational when that is what is necessary. If two people are in dispute, and one (or both) thinks or acts emotionally rather than rationally, that I think is likely to inflame the dispute rather than to help to solve it. Rationality - based on observations - is, for me, the only way to develop a "common core" of understanding, which people can use as a basis to move towards a solution to their dispute. That is why "hard" evidence is (or, at least, ought to be) so important in a decently run legal system.
 
People are all different. In how we sense emotion, and in its strength, we are all different too. It is very hard for people like me, who strive to be as rational as possible, to deal with those that speak and act mostly based on their emotions rather than on facts. Particularly if they are being emotionally dishonest - like the two particular categories you mention, advertisers and propagandists.
 
On the other hand, you're right, too, when you say that denying emotional feelings is a bad thing. I think Christians have it wrong with their tenth commandment, "thou shalt not covet..." That is telling people to deny their emotions; whereas a far better way forward is to accept those emotions, but for the rational part of you to vow not to act on them if those actions would be wrong.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 12, 2018 - 6:39am
Freud himself was nuts. I can guarantee that most boys never wanted to get in on with mom, only Freud did. I read his little Great Ideas book, I couldn't believe that I was reading the works of a respected intellectual. Its enough to scare you away from psychiatry.
  As far as separating emotion from reason it must be done when we decide what we should believe. We should exercise prudence and think like lawyers when deciding who or what to believe from the politic. The politic always tries to cloud this with emotion. People can no longer look at things on purely objective terms, if they could they just may see how mad the world has become.           
  Looking at things with the objective lens and tools of a lawyer is the only way to truly judge the state of affairs that surrounds us. The tools and lens are two thousand years in development. Under Talmudic law, no juries, no lawyers, no science of jurisprudence and no common law. We will be completely mad and this rational lens will be forgotten.
  The newest development of the propagandist, The Palestine Denier, created by the God of this world, the man behind the desk on the eleven o'oclock news, may have actually made Orwell roll over in his grave. This is a non separation of emotion and reason and a blind worship of a false god. It's insanity brought on by cognitive dissonance that must exist in the mind of even the most sub par thinker, a man who gets his news at eleven o'clock.
  Like CS Lewis explains, men no longer understand what proof is. We are being driven mad.
  We have been mentally molested for almost a century. Molestation isn't something that just happens in the home to young children. Adult children can be molested too.
  Molestation changes our beliefs, it blurrs the line between sexual conduct and misconduct, good and evil. It changes our brains in ways few people if any can truly understand.
 
re "This is another benefit of psychotherapy or of journaling.  Having the words for feelings provides a broader range of tools for communication, and allows for reasonable expression of emotion in a rational manner."
  This is half of recovery, IMO, understanding what happened to you and knowing you are not misunderstood by all. One you have the terms to compact everything to its bare essentials you can start putting the puzzle together. I think abuse victims are looking for rationality, or at least I was.
Ward Tipton Added Oct 12, 2018 - 7:06am
I have always had an intense emotional disconnect ... except with animals. I understand that emotions exist, but I do not personally understand them ... though I do feel bad whenever I kill an animal. Does that really count the same though? 
Steel Breeze Added Oct 12, 2018 - 9:14am
my wife of 43 years always says "nothing bothers you, you dont get happy or sad".......i tell her certain events in your life can use up your quota of highs and lows too soon.....
Thomas Sutrina Added Oct 12, 2018 - 9:25am
Katharine, obviously you know your father, and I realized that I was likely giving him more thought that reality.  He did know the response he was going to get before saying anything.
 
You are correct that we do not know exactly what will happen with an action.  The result you suggest is actually what I expected, "The "what comes next" question may prevent precipitous action, but it can also stifle action completely, if someone "overthinks" it."   People that overthink I guess are not the people that ever act without thinking.  They maybe emotional but part of their emotions of fear that always overpowers all other emotions.  
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 12, 2018 - 10:14am
Those who are good propagandists know that it is essential to reach the emotions rather than the logical centers of the mind. You can see no better example of that than the pharmaceutical commercials, showing people making emotional connections that supposedly couldn't happen without the benefits of the latest pill or injection, all while the narrator is going through the severe and sometimes fatal side effects of the same medicine.
 
If we really wanted to reduce the cost of health care, we'd ban all over-the-air advertising for pharmaceuticals.
FacePalm Added Oct 12, 2018 - 10:56am
Dino-
 We shouldn't make generalizations about people in general or genders.  decisions ought to be rational, not emotional.  
 
LOL!
Back in the day, i got a lot of sales info.  One of the main precepts is that 90% of all decisions made in this world are emotional, and 90% of the thinking about those decisions is to rationalize them.
 
This is why some of your best car sales people sell you on how you'll feel when driving your new car, rather than all the facts and statistics and crap about it, though they'll have that available for those who desire it(or SAY they do; many will simply refer to the docs to - again -  rationalize the emotional decision they made).   They'll mention all the senses - sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, sight - and how others will feel when they see or hear you coming, etc.
 
The same techniques work like magic when engaging in seduction, for many people, especially those who are unaware that these are sales tactics.  Many people, even if they ARE aware, like the words they hear and how they sound, as well as how they're made to feel from hearing those words.
 
i can't say i'm immune, either.  i just hate being manipulated, and often have a strong reaction when i sense/intuit that this is what's happening.
 
Is this emotional honesty?  Frankly, i'm uncertain as to exactly how Katharine means the phrase.
 
On the subject of "power over" vs. "power to," i prefer this understanding of the word "power:" power WITH.  Power over is, imo, buying into the dominance/submission paradigm, like authority has legitimate justification in all circumstances; i posit that there are very few, if ANY, people who are competent enough to demand that their "authority" be "obeyed," especially when representing a government of alleged "public servants."  Not masters.  Servants.  Masters employ force or the threat of force to compel obedience.
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 12, 2018 - 12:11pm
Katharine - if you can not be honest about your emotions you are not able to be honest with yourself.  Emotions are a manifestation of our animal nature, that part of us that is instinctual. Our rationality derives from our human side and can ( to some degree should ) be employed to restrain emotion.
Taking this to the extreme I believe is extremely unhealthy - physically as well as mentally. You show me the person who has all of their emotions in check, all of the time? That is a dead man walking.
FacePalm Added Oct 12, 2018 - 3:32pm
TBH-
In both my experience and from my observation, any man who dares show emotion in front of a woman which could possibly ever be construed in a negative light WILL be, usually in the next fight and for many years afterwards, for when it comes to relationships, women never forget anything, and will bring something back up over and over and over again - especially when they perceive they're losing the current argument.
 
Oh, and she'll tell all her girlfriends, her mother, YOUR friends, and everyone else who might join her in contempt of you, too.  VERY few women care to keep secrets...or keep what SHOULD be private, private.
 
It's been my experience and observation that what women SAY they want and what they're actually ATTRACTED to are miles apart.  If a woman SAYS she wants a guy who'll cry when he's sad or show fear when danger approaches, they're liars; they want the exact opposite, someone who will be emotionally strong and support THEM in their weakness, not prove to be just as weak and afraid as THEY are(if not more, in certain circumstances)...to be the figurative rocky shore upon which their emotional waves can break and recede and be comforted, not some paper bag which wilts and tears at the first discomfort, let alone hardship.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 12, 2018 - 4:48pm
Rationality vs. emotionalism only makes sense as a dichotomy if we define the desirable end. 
 
So let’s look at that in the context of behavior on this site. This site is certainly more conservative than liberal, to the point where I wonder whether all I’m doing here is giving a bit of bipartisan credibility to the functional equivalent of Breitbart. It’s also mostly a male site, and I would probably be close enough to on the mark to state that most participants here would define themselves as more rational than emotional. 
 
There are a lot of political articles here, most of which are written from some sort of conservative viewpoint. What is their rational purpose? Are they trying to energize the base? If so, one could make a case for rationality. Are they trying to reach moderates? A bit less well targeted. Are they trying to convert liberals? If that’s what they’re designed to do, they’re mostly irrational. Most conservatives here aren’t interested in how liberals think, they’re interested in how to demonize liberals. 
 
If I write a political article, and I’ve been known to write more than a few in my time, I’m not usually going to rail at conservatives. That’s done in liberal circles all the time, it’s trite, and it’s completely non-functional at reaching conservatives. I’m not stupid enough to talk to conservatives by simply shoving guilt because conservatives don’t feel guilty about the same things that liberals do. Liberals and conservatives have fairly divergent definitions of morality. If I’m going to write with conservatives in mind at all, I’m going to write in terms of where our values overlap. 
 
A lot of the articles here are basically venting. In case you haven’t figured that out, that’s more of an emotional response than a rational one. 
 
If you’re going to really favor the rational, it helps to ask yourself why you’re writing any given post. 
Koshersalaami Added Oct 12, 2018 - 4:53pm
I am not arguing for the superiority of rationality over emotionalism. Really, I’m closer to backing up the author’s point: emotional dishonesty is not the same thing as rationality. Ignoring your emotions is a great way to screw up your rationality because you’ll end up doing things for reasons you don’t admit to. 
John Minehan Added Oct 12, 2018 - 4:58pm
I tend to like the Stoic view.  You can't control the universe . . . but you can control your reaction to it.  
Doug Plumb Added Oct 12, 2018 - 6:34pm
At the end of the day, Koshersalaami, the rationalists are more likely to donate to causes and more charitable than the empiricists. They are better read and tend to be older. The empiricist worships the god of this world and wants to make rules to please the present. The rationalist wants laws, but their own conscience to rule the present.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 12, 2018 - 6:36pm
We can always separate our emotions from reason top decide if a story or statement is believable. We must do this to make this determination and never rule truth on emotion.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 12, 2018 - 8:58pm
Mark,
I try to avoid stereotypes, but would say women are smart in different ways than men, but this is a generalization.  An easy way to become more aware of negative emotions is to pay attention to your tone of voice.  If your wife picks up on an angry or condescending tone, she may (possibly correctly) figure that you are mad, even if the words themselves are benign.
 
Michael B.,
Dr. Spock was supposed to have a high EQ?  Meaning having no emotions was supposed to be better?
 
You might have liked my father.  My friends loved him, because he liked to challenge people and get them arguing.  But he also had this perverse quality of pushing hot buttons that he knew were hot, especially with his own family.
 
Neil,
It's hard to generalize about hypothetical situations.  When discussions get heated, both "rational" and "emotional" types become angry and tend to say things that make the situation worse.   I'm a big believer in time outs, especially if the situation isn't urgent.  But once people lock horns, it's hard for either to be "rational" enough to voluntarily disengage.  At least that has been my experience.
 
Doug,
I agree Freud got into a rut, but he was a trailblazer, and I have to respect him for that.  He explained some tendencies better than anyone else has, such as "projection."  Someone else mentioned the Oedipus complex just the other day.  It occurs to me that while mother-lust is not common, many children will compete with one parent for the attention of the other.
 
You have more respect for lawyers than I do, and I'm not sure what you mean by the Palestine Denier.  I'm also not sure what you mean by "mental molestation" and would contend that has been going on by churches and states ever since they began.  
Katharine Otto Added Oct 12, 2018 - 9:12pm
Ward,
Animals count.  They are much easier to love than humans, sometimes.  And you have a wife, so there must be some emotion there.  You also seem passionate about many things, and passion is an emotion, in my book.  By "emotional disconnect," are you saying you don't feel what you believe you "should feel" around people?
 
Steel Breeze,
Tell your wife you are in a comfortable marriage, and it's to her credit you are so calm.
 
Thomas,
Right-o.  With my father, what hurt was not what he said but his intent to provoke.  He knew exactly what he was doing, manipulating, possibly because he was repressed emotionally and needed to enjoy it vicariously.
 
Clock,
I don't have a television and can only take a few minutes of it at a time.  Pharmaceutical ads are a particularly sore spot with me, direct-to-consumer advertising was only approved by the FDA in 1997.  After that, marketing budgets skyrocketed, and that may account for some of the costs of medications.  
 
I've also noted the beginning of this year's propaganda campaign for the flu vaccine.  Here we have not only pharma, but the government (CDC and health departments) waging this comprehensive scare campaign to vaccinate as many people as possible.  This is a billion-plus dollar bonanza for a vaccine that is maybe only 40% effective, against a disease that is usually self-limited.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 12, 2018 - 9:44pm
FacePalm,
I would say that when people know they are being manipulated, they are picking up on emotional dishonesty.  Unless a salesperson really believes the product is the greatest, a certain amount of emotional dishonesty probably comes with the job.  
 
As far as women tattling on men for making emotional displays, I would say that goes both ways.  There are lots of "poor me" men out there, too, who want the world to know how put upon they are.
 
It's possible very few people actually know what they want, or they get what they say they want and are disappointed.
 
Burghal,
I would say we live in an overly restrained society.  Enthusiasm is an emotion, as is joy.  How many people feel comfortable bursting into song, or dancing a jig on the street?  I'm amazed at how dour people look, much of the time.  
 
At the same time, there's a pervasive but subtle angst in the air, most evident in the noise level.  Even in my formerly rural neighborhood, I'm surrounded by machine noise, including the aircraft overhead from the local Army base.  There's the Gun Club down the street, the power tools by all the neighbors, and the relentless traffic noise, especially at rush hour.
 
Koshersalaami,
You make a good point.  That's one of the reasons I intentionally posted a non-political article.  I don't consider myself liberal or conservative and lately have become rather apolitical.  To me the political machine runs itself, there's nobody at the helm, and the wheels are disengaged from the ground.
 
People do get emotional about politics and religion, though, even though they like to consider themselves rational.  I do believe you can argue "passionately" for a particular point of view and still retain rationality, especially if you present a fair picture of both sides.
 
John Minehan,
Me, too.  
 
Doug,
By "empiricism," are you referring to experience, as in what works?  If that's the case, I'm pragmatic enough to be an empiricist.
Ward Tipton Added Oct 12, 2018 - 9:47pm
"By "emotional disconnect," are you saying you don't feel what you believe you "should feel" around people?"
 
I do not generally "feel" anything around people, with very rare exceptions at least. My daughter however, was a defining moment for me, though as much as I may "love" my wife, I think it was my daughter who showed me what love was really all about the first time I held her. Yet I also recognize that her job is to get away with as much as she can to grow emotionally and in experience, while my job as a parent is to allow her to experience as much as possible without allowing her to get injured or hurt. Still, one day in maybe ten years or so, she too will have all of the answers and dad will be just another old person who does not understand. Despite the emotions I do retain for my daughter, ultimately, they are just as likely to fail in any meaningful way. 
Koshersalaami Added Oct 13, 2018 - 12:43am
I assume you meant Mr. Spock, not Dr. Spock. Mr. Spock was Star Trek, Dr. Spock was perhaps America’s most famous pediatrician. 
Doug Plumb Added Oct 13, 2018 - 2:03am
re "By "empiricism," are you referring to experience, as in what works?  If that's the case, I'm pragmatic enough to be an empiricist."
 
Empiricist means that truth can only be found through empirical experience. Yes, I believe you are an empiricist, most Jews are.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 13, 2018 - 2:17am
re "You have more respect for lawyers than I do, and I'm not sure what you mean by the Palestine Denier.  I'm also not sure what you mean by "mental molestation" and would contend that has been going on by churches and states ever since they began. "
 
A Palestine Denier is one who denies that Palestine ever existed or had a right to exist. Its a new political phenomenon that was created, I guess, by the men behind the desk of the 11 o'clock news. A Palestine Denier is likely to attack a holocaust denier with a series of empty and meaningless insults. There are many Palestine Deniers, at least one this forum. In reality, if I read through all posts I would guess around five Palestine Deniers on this forum.
  Mental molestation is what propaganda accomplishes, it warps thinking in the way that sexual molestation blurrs the natural line that exists between sexual right and wrong. Its why a lot of hookers and porn stars became what they are - many have a background of being molested. An consequence of mental molestation results in the belief that the national debt is real, and that the holocaust should never be questioned, and that Palestine doesn't exist. Evidence of mental molestation takes the form of cognitive dissonance.
  Its a term I made up, to explain how people can be made to accept our funny money.
 
  I think of the world as being run by Jewish ideology, and therefore an analogy that its a little ball of hard excrement being rolled between the thumb and forefinger of a Jew. Many Jews are pointing this out and they represent little bits of undigested food that may be contained in it. The rest of us can only aspire to such selflessness.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 13, 2018 - 8:25am
My father was the no-expression type since he was taken off his mom by the government due to poverty, and the conclusion I took was to live the opposite. Be open to your feelings and therefore prevent stress and heart attacks. And my kids are grateful to have a papa they can discuss anything with.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 13, 2018 - 9:07am
Palestine Denial is ultimately irrelevant. It doesn’t matter where Palestinian identity came from. What matters is that the Palestinian population exists in that part of the world, can’t realistically be integrated into Israel, and isn’t going anywhere. The same is true of the Israeli population. The only solution that makes any sense for the coexistence of these two populations is a two state solution. One either works toward it or is an obstacle to peace. 
Michael B. Added Oct 13, 2018 - 10:59am
@ KO - On one hand, I want to call you Dr. Otto, but on the other hand, I like KO much better, as I'd prefer to think of you as a knockout, in the most complimentary ways. I'm sure that's far from being the first time you heard that, but I obviously couldn't resist, lol.
 
Anyway, "Dr. Spock was supposed to have a high EQ? Meaning having no emotions was supposed to be better?"
 
KO, you obviously aren't a Trekkie; neither am I, but I like the original series, so there! Anyway, Spock, being half-human, is actually VERY emotional, but his Vulcan half does a very good job of keeping them in check, but when he blows it, he does it at warp speed! It's all about control.
 
Recently someone told me that they were "as happy as a clam". My reply to that was, "I had no idea that bivalve molluscs experienced emotions". That smart-ass reply actually got me thinking, "What's the threshold for that, if there is one?" I could do a web search, but I'd much rather hear it from you.
 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 13, 2018 - 3:15pm
Ward,
You got me to thinking about the idea of not "feeling" anything around people.  Emotions are hard to define.  For instance, I'm not sure I know what "love" is.  It seems to be different for each person.  You are probably far from being alone in your detachment.  By emotions "failing" in any meaningful way, do you mean someone expects you to prove your love?  The idea of having to prove love makes no sense to me.
 
Koshersalaami,
You're right.  Thanks for the correction.  Michael B. was referring to Mr. Spock, and his comment below explains the idea of Spock's having a high EQ.  I was a Star Trek fan many years ago but had forgotten that Spock was half human and at the mercy of emotions from time to time.
 
Doug,
You don't have to be a Jew to be an empiricist.  While we may agree on certain things, like the Federal Reserve fraud, I tend to agree with Koshersalaami that Israelis and Palestinians need to learn to get along, one way or the other.  There's nothing new about people fighting each other over ideology and cultural differences.  It would be new if they learned to get over it.
 
The world seems to be run by funny money ideology, meaning a skewed sense of values.  I don't know if the Jews have a monopoly on that.  
 
Stone,
I guess you learned what not to do from your father.  Your kids are lucky.
 
Michael B.,
Thanks for the reminder about Spock.  It does seem the overly controlled people can go ballistic when they suddenly lose control.  My description above of addiction--the overly controlled vs. out-of-control characteristic--refers also to people who don't know how to let off a little steam at a time.  
 
Yes, "happy as a clam" is a strange expression.  I haven't interviewed any clams so cannot say how happy they are.
Michael B. Added Oct 13, 2018 - 3:33pm
@ KO - I gotta ask; what's you're favorite sexual position, and why?
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 13, 2018 - 5:33pm
I would say we live in an overly restrained society. 
 
No truer words ever spoken
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 13, 2018 - 5:35pm
Michael give it up man! Katharine is obviously a lady of quality. Save your barbs for those more deserving of the honor :)
Jeff Michka Added Oct 13, 2018 - 8:45pm
Yeah, like ask some under aged Latino hookers, MB.  You are in frequent contact with them  KO deports herself well here. 
Ward Tipton Added Oct 13, 2018 - 10:29pm
"By emotions "failing" in any meaningful way"
 
I mean there will inevitably come a point in time in my daughter's life when, despite my love, there is not going to be anything that I can do to teach her more or to assist her in the growing process ... emotionally or intellectually at least. I do however, hope to live long enough to make it past that stage. 
 
One of the most rude awakenings I ever experienced, and one of the most enlightening and rewarding in a very odd sort of way, was when I discovered not only how right my dad had been, but how much I have grown to be just like him in a great many ways ... though I am unable to share that with him now. 
Michael B. Added Oct 14, 2018 - 12:33am
@ TBH and JM - HAHAHAHAHAhahahahahha!!!!!!!!! Thank you both for validating the concept of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Kudos to both of you dickheads for rising to the defense of KO, lol. Yes, that was a very, very rude, crude, and socially-unacceptable question, but seeing as KO is obviously interested in the subject, I'm still interested in how she replies to it.
 
"Yeah, like ask some under aged Latino hookers, MB. You are in frequent contact with them KO deports herself well here."
 
JM, why do you act that like there's something wrong with that? One of my buddies had the perfect response to a certain question:
 
Question from a bitchy woman: "Why don't you date women your own age?"
 
Reply from buddy who has his priorities all lined up: "Have you seen women my age?"
Doug Plumb Added Oct 14, 2018 - 2:27am
re "You don't have to be a Jew to be an empiricist."
 
I never said you did, but Judaism is Empirical, so is Islam.
 
re "While we may agree on certain things, like the Federal Reserve fraud, I tend to agree with Koshersalaami that Israelis and Palestinians need to learn to get along, one way or the other.  There's nothing new about people fighting each other over ideology and cultural differences.  It would be new if they learned to get over it."
 
Palestinians have had their country, heritage and future arbitrarily taken from them. Jews are just going to take more and more, even if their is a peace agreement. The last peace agreement had its supervisors strangled with pianno wire and hung from trees. Since when does Israel obey any law ? If they permit themselves to trick and keep human slaves within their border, how can you expect them to follow the rule of law? When have they done so?
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Oct 14, 2018 - 3:20am
Yet another thought provoking article. I'm becoming a fan. 
Doug Plumb Added Oct 14, 2018 - 7:30am
Did you find out that someone peed in your soup after dinner last night Jeff?
Koshersalaami Added Oct 14, 2018 - 9:12am
You conveniently ignore way too much, but that doesn’t surprise me. Given that Jews were indigenous to the area and that the way they gained property until pretty late in the independence process was by purchasing it, Jews have more of a right to be in Israel than anyone White has to be in the Western Hemisphere. 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 14, 2018 - 12:40pm
Michael B.,
I can't remember my favorite sexual position, unless it's asexuality, sad to say.  I do appreciate others coming to my defense, but your provocations offend them more than they do me.  It's one of the hazards of playing with boys.  I can't blame them if they act like boys.  There will be sexual interpretations to most everything said, as Freud (another male) claimed.  
 
Burghal,
I thought the comment about overly restrained society profound myself and didn't fully realize it until it emerged from my typing fingers.  Have you noticed that you sometimes don't know what you believe until you hear yourself say it?  It has happened to me frequently over the years.  It gives more credence to the idea that you say what you most need to hear.
 
Thanks for defending me to Michael B.  One of the reasons I have lasted on this site is I can handle the sparring.  Men do tend to be more brutal than women.  I'm not sure which should change, but women would do well to develop thicker skins.
 
Jeff Michka,
Thanks for the compliment, back-handed though it was.  
 
Ward,
I wanted to be like my father too much in the wrong ways but now appreciate more than ever the things he did right, even if unconsciously.  Possibly the best a parent can do is to be present but unimposing, especially when an adolescent is trying to "individuate."  There's always the freedom-vs.-safety issue, which must be very hard for parents.  How does a parent learn to let go without rejecting, and on what kind of schedule?
 
Since I've never been a parent, I of course know everything about parenting.  I have been a child, though, and remember wishing my parents were happier and felt more fulfilled themselves.
Michael B. Added Oct 14, 2018 - 1:01pm
@ KO - Spoken like a true lady! Thank you for not disappointing! However, if you think that was a provocation, you obviously haven't been provoked very much, lol. Thanks for the backhanded compliment, too! : )
Katharine Otto Added Oct 14, 2018 - 1:02pm
Michael B.,
Those under aged Latino hookers probably know more about sex than I do, and I hope they save their money, because if they're lucky, they will one day be your age, without the looks to earn more.
 
I'm probably at least your age and probably older, so have to resort to personality to have friends, such as it is (or they are).  And men my age seem to want nursemaids, mothers, or sugar mamas, so there you go.  Sex?  A vague memory.
 
Doug,
I have never been to the holy land and have no desire to go, but I remember Jimmy Carter's book, Palestine:  Peace Not Apartheid, which made a strong impression.  His point was that the land holy to all three monotheistic religions has been turned into a war zone, which has made a mockery of the holiness it's supposed to represent.  I was never a fan of Carter's politics, but I respect his faith and pacifist beliefs.
 
Koshersalaami,
I've been thinking lately that people can take the same facts and use them to reach opposite conclusions.  I see this most prominently with the climate change issue, but you also pointed it out here regarding liberals and conservatives.  
 
Rather, it seems many people's conclusions are pre-formed, with facts selectively chosen to support them.  I'm wondering if it's dangerous to form conclusions, because it tends to close people's minds to anything that doesn't fit the framework.  In fact, if you see life as a process without final answers, it can make for more open-mindedness and willingness to learn.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 14, 2018 - 1:02pm
Jeffrey Gilbert,
I somehow skipped over your much appreciated compliment.  What thoughts has this provoked?
Katharine Otto Added Oct 14, 2018 - 1:04pm
And Doug,
It's probably okay if someone pees in your soup after dinner. :)  It makes the compost better.
George N Romey Added Oct 14, 2018 - 1:10pm
The nice thing when you hit your 50s and 60s you realize all the wasted time and energy in getting sex which often wasn’t all that good to begin with. Age has a way of stopping most of us from wasting our time and energy. Maybe because we realize time is starting to get short.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 14, 2018 - 1:41pm
George,
Lately I've been cultivating lazy.  I used to think it was important to get "value for time," but then I wondered if the idea of "do something, even if it's wrong," led to doing a lot of "wrong" things that had to be undone, which took more time.  As time gets shorter, it seems more and more important to appreciate the now.  "Manana" is soon enough to do the things I don't like doing.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 14, 2018 - 2:02pm
Katherine, 
It is not dangerous to form conclusions but it is dangerous to form immutable conclusions. The possibility exists that any conclusion we reach is wrong. Where honesty comes in is in the willingness to face that when it happens. Not just honesty but guts because it’s embarrassing to be proven wrong. Personally, I’m more afraid of being wrong than of looking wrong, but I know an awful lot of people for whom that is not true. 
 
I don’t think one has any business being in any discussion if one isn’t open to the possibility of being wrong. A court case, perhaps, because you’re paid to see one side prevail regardless of its merits to you, but past that, talking to someone who isn’t open is the functional equivalent of talking to an animated billboard. (Actually, due to technology, a lot of billboards are now animated. It’s called Digital Signage.) Those conversations don’t interest me. I’m afraid a lot of conversations here won’t interest me for exactly that reason. Sometimes people are kind enough to tell you up front. One obvious sign is if you read the phrase “dark state.” What makes this place more confusing is that not everyone who is a billboard is a billboard about everything. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 14, 2018 - 3:05pm
Last I heard Michael B was taking a shine to Filipinos....that right Mikey?
 
You're a good sport KO. I generally do not pretend to intervene in these situations, as I am confidently assured that you will most ably deal with these in your own way. I am also often guilty of a ribald tongue, but I figure if it's your thread you are due the respect. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 14, 2018 - 3:06pm
and if I forgot to say already.... fabulous article.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 14, 2018 - 5:25pm
re "You conveniently ignore way too much, but that doesn’t surprise me. Given that Jews were indigenous to the area and that the way they gained property until pretty late in the independence process was by purchasing it, Jews have more of a right to be in Israel than anyone White has to be in the Western Hemisphere."
 
No one "rightfully" has land the way you say it. I do not understand why Palestini9ans do not have a right to the land. Or does Jewish right trump everyone else's because of Jewish Supremism?
Doug Plumb Added Oct 14, 2018 - 5:27pm
Good one Katharine.
Michael B. Added Oct 14, 2018 - 6:16pm
@ TBH - I have no idea how you arrived at that. Flips are strong contenders for the title of World's Ugliest People, and in any case, I'm totally free of yellow fever. I got a fantastic blow job from a Korean hooker once, and a went out with a Vietnamese chick for a while, but that's the extent of my cumming into or onto Asians. The hooker actually got a good shot in her right eye, lol.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 14, 2018 - 6:20pm
Well, if you live in the United States, does your right to the land trump that of Native Americans because of White supremism? 
 
Israel wasn’t started from Jewish supremism. It was started by buying a whole lot of land. I can’t think of another nation in history founded like that, but I can think of a whole lot of them founded by migrations of one tribe pushing out another. There are Jewish supremists in Israel now, particularly among the ultra-Orthodox and their allies (not a crowd I like and that’s the main reason why) but that’s not why Israel was founded. Israel was founded because Jews finally realized that after two thousand years of being minorities in other peoples’ countries, that model wasn’t tenable. It got us persecuted and killed in too many places. The original Zionist movement didn’t even have a location in mind, just somewhere where Jews could have a majority so we couldn’t be persecuted or kicked out. Anywhere would have created the same difficulty. It was religious Zionists who said Why don’t we just go home?
 
Palestine at that point was a backwater that was too arid to support much of a population, particularly in the South, and which had at least some indigenous Jewish population, including a neighborhood that had had Jews for at least a thousand years called the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem, incidentally in East Jerusalem adjacent to the Wall. (That neighborhood wasn’t Jewish for nineteen years out of the last thousand, and that’s according to the Jordanian commander who drove the Jews out in 1948 by destroying all the housing in the area.) I’m not sure that “homeland” even meant independent nation at that point. After all, Britain still had loads of colonies in 1920. 
 
In the twentieth century, more Jews were driven out of Arab countries than Arabs left Israel, keeping in mind that not all the Arabs that left in 1948 were driven out but were instead following the directions of surrounding Arab governments who told them to get out of the way of the fighting so they could return after the Arab armies had driven the Jews into the Mediterranean. What happened next shows a major difference: Arab refugees were kept in refugee camps by the Jordanians and Egyptians for nineteen years. Jews would never leave our own in camps anywhere in the world voluntarily. Even as recently as Soviet Jewish immigration, Jews who came to the United States were set up by local Jewish communities because priority #1 is the welfare of the people, not the integrity of the territory. When given an opportunity for peace, the guys who founded Netanyahu’s political party signed away the Sinai peninsula, containing what was at that time Israel’s only oil well. 
 
I should stop now because I could easily make this comment three times as long. 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 15, 2018 - 12:59am
Koshersalaami,
If you don't form conclusions, there's no danger of being wrong.  It is terribly embarrassing to be proven wrong if you have dug your heels in.  On the other hand, I sometimes wonder if anything I've learned over the years is really "right" or just a matter of the times and the perspective.
 
I don't know enough about the history of Israel to comment on that.  I've heard lots of things, 
 
Burghal,
Appreciate the compliment.  I think Mikey likes to (try to) shock me, but I'm too jaded to be easily offended.  
 
And Michael B.,
Sounds like there's nothing new in the world of fun and games.  Does the world need to know about your exploits with hookers, Asian or otherwise?
 
Doug and Koshersalaami,
The clashes of cultures you refer to seem related to evolving ideas about land and property over time.  Regarding Native Americans and Europeans, the European idea of property rights, involved courthouses and political lines in the sand, a concept unheard of among the Natives.  While there were contests over land, burial and hunting grounds, the Natives tended to be nomadic.
 
The whole notion of property rights seems flawed to me, but I don't have a better idea, yet.  I don't know who has a right to sell land, because can it really be owned?
opher goodwin Added Oct 15, 2018 - 8:17am
I agree with you Katharine. We are truly a mixture of emotion and intellect and it is best when they work in harmony.
John Howard Added Oct 15, 2018 - 12:12pm
Doug Plumb announces that Judaism and Islam are empirical.
 
No they aren't. They are theisms based on an imaginary supreme being.
John Howard Added Oct 15, 2018 - 12:21pm
The relationship of thought to emotion is that of current thought to previous thought.  Emotions are remembered conclusions.  When they conflict with current thoughts, it tells us that we need to choose between old and new thinking. 
 
In an emergency, when there is no time to think, our remembered conclusions tell us what to do. The occasional struggle between emotion and thought is merely a struggle between old and new thinking.  There is no rule that can tell us which is valid.  We just know it is time to re-think the issue.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 15, 2018 - 3:06pm
Opher,
Best, too, if we recognize the complex nature of our thinking.  It seems the people who pride themselves most in their rationality are in the most denial about their emotions.  My father may have been one of them, because he was capable of violent rages, although they were extremely rare.  He did die at 59 of a heart attack, though.
George N Romey Added Oct 15, 2018 - 3:10pm
Remember back in the late 60s/early70s the mantra "was to let it all hang out."  Gone were the days of stoic resolve and pretending all was well.  We as a society could not have handled truths (like JFK and his sexual compulsions that were preverted).  So we eventually found out the emperor had no clothes but we haven't figured out what does he look like naked. 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 15, 2018 - 3:19pm
John Howard,
It's hard to find objective evidence for any religion, but there's lots of evidence for what believers will do in the names of their gods.  
 
I'm trying to imagine an example of the conflict between thought and emotion that you describe.  One of my sources says that emotions are the result of beliefs, which may be what you're referring to.  If, for instance, you believe in man's evil intent, you will be more easily offended by actions that may have other motives.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Oct 16, 2018 - 1:27am
What thoughts has this provoked?
 
How I strived so hard to create a work place with as little conflict as possible so, in retrospect, I could avoid the Irish in me rearing it's ugly head. 
 
Doug Plumb Added Oct 16, 2018 - 5:55am
John Howard re "Doug Plumb announces that Judaism and Islam are empirical."
 
  Judaism worships Lucifer, the God of this world. Its a fact. Look into it. They worship from the Babylonian Talmud. What is "the good" is defined as what is good for Jewish people.
  Islam worships the ways of Moahommed, he is the example for all to follow. Mohommed was a real person.
  Christianity defines the good as the universal good, the common law.
 
Just because it says "nutritious and delicious" on the bottle, box or can, doesn't mean that it actually is either of those things.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 16, 2018 - 6:54am
“Look into it.” I’ve spent a long time looking into it, and your assessment is way off. By the way, in case you start quoting Talmud, the first thing to understand about Talmud is that it includes minority opinion. Also understand that Jews have spent way longer worrying about survival than either Christians or Muslims, which is going to affect what some rabbis say at any given time.. Because they seek converts and we don’t, they have much higher numbers. No one will ever attempt to wipe out a billion and a half Muslims or two billion Christians, in addition to which there have been large areas where they have been in the majority since a few centuries after their inception, or sooner. We spent two thousand years not having a majority in any country. That leaves a population very vulnerable, and that’’s been a constant issue. 
 
It also ignores American politics. Per capita, Jews spend way more effort worrying about the welfare of people who are not us than either Christians or Muslims. That concern originates with religion. That’s why the civil rights movement was so heavily Jewish. It’s why rabbis marched with Dr. King and it’s why a rabbi addressed the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 immediately before King’s I Have A Dream speech. 
Michael B. Added Oct 17, 2018 - 12:26am
@ KO - "And Michael B.,
Sounds like there's nothing new in the world of fun and games. Does the world need to know about your exploits with hookers, Asian or otherwise?"
 
And all along, I thought I was being "emotionally honest". If you think I'm bad, you should read some of EXPAT's earlier works here, lol. You're an astounding shrink there, KO...how does the saying go, "A psychiatrist is a cult leader in a two-person cult."
Jeff Michka Added Oct 18, 2018 - 5:43pm
Michael B is running from the spotlight.  MB was well known here for his "hooker" articles, touting his virtues with paid for sex.  He loathes Hispanics, even down to them complaining how they take "his parking places," but has no problems screwing underage hispanic hookers as a matter of simple economics.  Michael can't afford white hookers.   But Michael has been "rehabilitated" on WB.  So now he's the pinnacle of righteous behavior.
Michael B. Added Oct 19, 2018 - 11:13pm
@ Bitchka - LOOOL! Your rabies is definitely showing itself! Do you realize how much you sound like two of your favorite buddies, Mr. Messano and Mr. Purcell? Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!
Mustafa Kemal Added Oct 21, 2018 - 2:31pm
Katharine, you have touched on something I have had three decades to study:
 
The Tyranny of Anger

IMO, The issue is not whether to have emotions or not, it has to do with who is running the show.
 
We were never instructed as  you, and Im not sure I really see the validity of the stereotype.  More on this below. However, it was made clear to us the dangers of
1) saying something you cannot take back
2) doing something in a fit of anger which you will later regret.

We were also taught 
3) if you dont have anying good to say, dont say anything
4) regarding how your siblings are treated, life is not fair, better get used to it.
 
 
The emotionality/rationality dichotomy is a false dichotomy.  I dont need to be rational to avoid being owned by my emotions. I just need to calm down.
 
Indeed, being controlled by our emotions is  a sickness according to the Buddhists for this very reason. If you are being run by your  emotions, you are
"out of your mind" 
 
Having raised three daughters, I have experienced a family life of high drama, moral outrage, hurt feelings, and alot of self-created unhappiness.  Being raised in a family of boys, this was quite the opposite of how I grew up.  The consequence of this is that they miss out on alot of life that is there just for the living. They all find their emotionality superior yet none of them can connect their emotionality with the unhappinesses that they both experience and inflict. 
 
Having lived through this, I have come to the conclusion that these people dont truly understand why they are so angry. I think they think they are angry because they have been violated, but  IMO, much of their anger is a device for manipulation, Or their anger is caused by their frustrations at manipulations.
 
I cant count the number of times Ive heard "Dad, your gonna make mom mad."( Fear and trembling generally follow this remark)    I also have to worry about making all my daughters mad. None of them worry about making me mad, I suppose because I dont throw a fit when they do something abusive.
 
As I said i cant really say anything regarding that stereotype. I suspect it has a seed of truth, but maybe only a seed. I know many men that dont behave rationally. I can tell you about a few cars i have bought, or how some of us have selected our mates, lol. In fact. regarding the selection of mates, the stereotype that women behave more rationally and men behave more emotionally I think has more than a seed of truth. 
 
 I have never said anything to my wife  in anger that I regret. When that anger rises, I tend to keep my mouth shut. I suspect that has alot to do with the fact that we are still together. 
 
Mustafa
Katharine Otto Added Oct 21, 2018 - 4:16pm
Michael B., 
Pardon my assuming the privilege of interpreting your "emotional honesty" without getting paid for it, but the most honest part of it seems to be that you like provoking people and drawing fire for it.  I read it as a manipulation, a bid for attention, and indicative of basic insecurity.  The shock value is gratifying, like a drug, but also like a drug, it is ultimately unsatisfying.
 
I like you anyway.  You have spunk, and I do hope you one day you'll find a sexual partner you don't have to pay.
 
Jeff Michka,
There you go reading other people's minds again.  I like you, too, but you've never tried to read my mind.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 21, 2018 - 4:32pm
Mustafa,
Where have you been?  You have not been commenting on anyone's threads lately, or so it seems.  Thanks for the above thoughtful and thought-provoking observation.  
 
I've been thinking a lot about anger, and completely agree that many people seem to use anger as a manipulative technique.  I do believe women tend to use it more.  They also manipulate by hurt feelings.  Both men and women can justify dishonesty by fear of making someone else mad or fear of hurting their feelings.  And, I think both men and women are capable of holding grudges  based on what someone else said or did in anger. 
 
There's a lot to be said for holding one's tongue in the throes of rage, which is why I'm a big fan of time-outs.  Not only do people say things they don't mean, when they are mad, but they hear things that weren't intended and seem determined to misunderstand or over-read what the other person is saying (or not saying).  When I get flustered, for instance, nothing seems to come out right.
 
I once knew a man who claimed he liked being angry.  Later, I wondered if some people need to feel anger in order to feel anything at all.  For a "macho" man, anger is more acceptable than the gentler emotions. 
Mustafa Kemal Added Oct 21, 2018 - 4:49pm
Katharine,
This working for a living is getting in the way of a few things. But I am nearing the completion of a big project ( a book) and when that is done I will take a long break.  I will spend alot of time with the birds and my wife.  Indeed, I have also missed a few WBers.
 
I think we are in full agreeement. If emotional honesty does not mean expressing your emotions while in their throws but instead is the proper assessment of where they came from and what actions to take for their proper resolutions. 

I know quite a few people like that man who claimed to like being angry. They indeed identify themselves with that emotion. I know people who behave that way with respect to sadness.
 
I also have a brother with whom we have never exchanged words in anger.  We certainly dont agree on everything, but we do agree that we would rather enjoy each others company than "argue". To this day, we enjoy every minute of our time together. What a joy.  If only my children could experience it.
 
 
Indeed, the genders are different. I suspect if one looked at it objectively, the question of the (mis)use of emotions has more to do with what one is focussing on than the gender.  Moreover, there may be a simple lesson regarding your father here. If he grew up in my family of females, or had raised them, one may understand where his view may come from.  As I said, i can see the seed of a truth there, but it is not the full truth. As a young man, I often let the little head rule my reasoning processes, and I certainly dont think one would call that rational, lol.
 
Mustafa
Jeff Michka Added Oct 21, 2018 - 7:02pm
Is there a reason for me to "read your mind," KO?  I don't think there is.  You've been pretty direct here. 
George N Romey Added Oct 21, 2018 - 7:24pm
Katharine you have a great way of putting people in their place. Talk about emotional honesty.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 23, 2018 - 12:59am
Mustafa,
Emotional honesty is not the same as "acting out" one's emotions, as you point out.  And how nice you have a brother who understands.  I do believe my father felt overwhelmed in a house full of women, but he also liked to argue and knew which buttons to push.  If he succeeded in making me mad, he won, so I learned to clamp down on my anger, and possibly didn't recognize it myself.  I suspect many people fall prey to that (thus one aspect of emotional dishonesty).
 
I was an adult before realizing I didn't have to fight.  The realization came when someone asked if I liked it, and I realized I don't.  I don't like competition in any variety, including competitive games, but we live in a world in which it is considered necessary and a virtue.  It leads to people's constantly comparing themselves with other people and not concentrating on their own inner standards.
 
Interesting what you say about sadness.  I've been feeling a lot of that, lately, seeing where the world is headed.  For me it comes from frustration that so many people seem to like fighting for its own sake.  Seems like few really want solutions, just perpetual conflict without resolution.
 
Good for you, finishing a book.  Have you given any hints here about what it's about?  I don't remember seeing anything.   
 
 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 23, 2018 - 1:07am
Jeff Michka,
Thank you for the compliment.  I do try to be direct, but it's surprising how many people try to second guess me, as though I'm lying.  I (try to) make a habit of speaking only for myself, and even that is not always clear.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 23, 2018 - 1:16am
George,
I think the key is respect.  If you respect someone's basic human dignity, you can say almost anything to them, I've found, given the right place and time.  Also, I try to say things I would appreciate hearing (the Golden Rule principle).  I think honesty is a sign of respect.  I don't like being lied to, so don't want to be a liar.

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