Introduction to Emotions (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by MrTrizzles

Emotions get a bad rap, but that is only because people don't quite know how to think of them. Emotions are fucking great and I'll cover what they are in this very short paper. Short because the concepts are simple and quickly explained, and because I want this to stick in your head during your day.

Lesson 1: Emotions Are Reactions

Hang in there, we're almost finished. Seriously. This is the single most important aspect of emotions, and it covers most of what you need to know. An emotion is my reaction when I mentally assess some thing. That thing might exist externally, or it could be in your mind. The thing could be a person, an inanimate object, an action, even an imaginary object. The emotion is your answer, the result of your assessment. Good emotion, you think the thing is good. Bad feeling, the thing is not good.

It's crucial to note that the emotion does not indicate whether my assessment was accurate; only that it occurred. Often my assessment is correct, but it can be wrong. If I was informed that my mother had died I would feel very bad. Later I learn that she is actually alive and well. My emotions were very powerful, but they didn't make the thought that my mother was dead any more accurate. Emotions don't tell you anything about reality, they only tell you what you think about reality.

(One exception is anger. It is a derivitive emotion. Secondary, not primary. It is a feeling about a feeling, instead of a feeling about a thing. One nice thing about that is that we have more control over its coming and goings than we do primary emotions.)

Lesson 2: Emotions reveal deeply personal information about yourself

Your level of certainty of a man's opinion about some thing is never higher than when you know how he feels about it. I am probably a smidge more private than your average joe, but still open to a degree around people I trust. When it comes to revealing personal information I take the "opt in" approach: if there is a reason this person should know this thing about me then they will. (The "opt out" approach is over-sharing until your audience begs off.)

If I treat emotions like they are pieces of my personal information and apply the above principle, it means limiting my display of emotions to times when there is a specific reason I need my audience to know how I feel. Now, emotions are a major part of non-verbal communication and come and go quickly in that context and they would be a serious challenge to micro-manage. But I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about feelings regarding substantive or personal matters.

That is the end of the lessons.

Ruminate a little on those today. Are emotions reactions? Does that seem like a reasonable way to think about them? Do emotions really reveal all that about me? If they pass the smell test then begin thinking about what they mean for your life and how they might be utilized.

I didn't mention it before to avoid a big build-up, but these two principles provide the fundamental structures for both frame and stoicism. That's a BIG statement. The next piece I'll go into those and other ramifications, and show how emotion is perhaps the most efficient self-actualization tool that we have.

Like, if good emotions represent success and bad emotions failure, should we ever display negative emotion to a woman? What does the 'anger phase' look like through the lens of reactions and secondary emotions? How does one not show a really strong emotion, or have fewer emotion, period?

[–]break1ngbard 52 points53 points  (1 child)

Adding a controlled emotional expression to your toolset seems more efficient than actively molding women into your frame and likely yields the same, if not better, results because you stay that much closer to your center.

Looking forward to the rest of your series.

[–]sadshark 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Meditation puts you in the driver's seat of your emotions.

At first you hit every pothole in the road and can barely stay on the road. But at least you are aware that you're driving (aware of your emotions). Then, in time, you become better at driving, you manage to stay better on the road and move forward more smoothy (controlling your emotions/reactions to situations while moving forward).

If anyone is looking to better understand and control their emotions regardless their nature (anger, fear, compassion, etc) I strongly recommend meditation. Not for a week, not for a month, but for life.

[–]sledge2k 49 points50 points  (6 children)

Great post man, much truth!

Conciously separating my observation (what happened, objectively) from my judgement of it (good or bad, assumptions about motive, diagnoses of the other person, etc.) is what works for me every time.

I think those who have swallowed the red pill understand this more easily than the average Joe because we are in charge of our mission and how we will accomplish it. Letting outside forces determine how you feel and act yields that control to others.

And it's amazing as more time passes since I adopted TRP, how much more calm I am in the face of other people's emotions. Look bro/plate/wife, your feelings, 95% of the time, are 100% about you. I'm happy to help you through whatever it is, but if you try to make it about me then you're going to deal with it alone.

I'm married (despite most TRP recommendations, I became redpill after to actually improve my marriage) and it works out for me pretty well. The better I get at keeping frame and not biting when she tries to make her emotions about me, the more my wife admits to having acted bitchy or crazy followed by sex.

[–]Velifax 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is also taught in Stefan Molyneux's Real Time Relationships, and, to a lesser extent, Sam Harris's Lying.

I believe the crux is discerning where reality ends and your analysis/presumptions begin. Then throw in a little humility and benefit of the doubt, and you're golden.

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 3 points4 points  (4 children)

That's interesting, splitting those up. Could you explain your process there and what it accomplishes?

[–]sledge2k 18 points19 points  (1 child)

I learned this from something call nonviolent communication by Marshall Rosenberg. You literally ask yourself what you actually observed, and realize that everything else is a story you are thinking/telling yourself that may or may not be true. Once you can separate the observation from the thinking, you can analyze it critically and check yourself.

"The highest form of intelligence is the ability to observe without evaluating." - Krishnamurti

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I looked it up. You know, I think my mom took a course in this method. Years ago my 15 yo brother did something thoughtless and rude, changed holiday after dinner plans to take off, leaving mom home and alone. Something like that. No ill intent, just wasn't thinking. Mom had been attending Bastyr, a kind of forward thinking school. Clearly she had learned something.

She expressed disappointment to my brother when she found out about the changes and desertion but didn't say much and disappeared into her bedroom. About 20m later she comes out and does a Rosenberg--describes what happened, explains how his changes ruins her plans, informs him how it impacted her emotionally, and proposed a third plan that combined both hers and his. I was duly impressed. It was very business-like lol

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

u/sledge2k has a very good response to your inquiry. I'm not as eloquent.

The rules when married literally do not change (frame; it's literally always about frame). It's simply the stakes that change.

That's it. That is literally the difference.

Pragmatically speaking, you're a fucking fool to marry. But, here we are. We unplugged late - can't unring that bell.

But if you think TRP philosophy only applies to spining and hookups then you are either actually retarded or you enjoy chaos because you are functionally retarded.

This, TRP, shit saves lives and it saves marriages.

Never, ever be afraid to leave. She must know this. Divorce rape? Bring that shit! Hold my beer. I'm a survivor, woman. Shit'll only make me stronger.

Dread game, push/pull is very much a tool despite marriage (assuming you would literally follow through - and why wouldn't you?!).

I've been doing marriage, TRP, style for well over a decade. She's better now than when it started.

She knows that I'll literally fucking eat a divorce rape in front of her; never breaking eye contact because, fuck you. She knows that I will never be a part-time dad (and I friggin love my kids) if we go splitsville. She should know it because I'm dead serious about all of it.

She knows, because it's absolutely true that I'm a survivor and I'm good at life no matter what.

In other words I DGF.

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Right on! You really shot off on a tangent topic-wise but I always like to hear about men who are killing it. Keep a firm grip on life's nutsack and godspeed.

[–]Robster25 14 points15 points  (1 child)

This is why meditation is great. You can observe your emotions and realize, that you are not your emotions. Besides you can question your emotions and why you are feeling them and why you are reacting to an event like you do.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Pretty much what I was going to say. The power of observation is key because it's better to observe the storm from a distance than within it.

[–]Preachism 1 points1 points [recovered]

Some good kernels of truth here bro. But how do you control the reactions? It’s like my emotions are a physical response first (temp change, sweat, red face etc), and only after does my brain catch up and I realize I’m being an annoying Whiny bitch. In the space between my mind and body catching up,I cause problems for myself by appearing weak or by revealing too much.

[–]br0kencircuit 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Learn to recognize when you’re being emotional (not a specific emotion) and try to understand why. Find the impetus and really think “why did X get that emotion to come out of me?” I’ve found that when I get worked up about a woman, getting in my car, driving, and talking myself off the ledge helps. Over time you start to see what causes specific emotions and prepare for them (e.g., if she does or says X, it’s likely I’ll react with Y emotion). The more aware you are, the more potential for control you have.

[–]DoneScannedIt 1 points1 points [recovered]

You're right. "Emotions" are a physical response. You are emoting.

They happen before you have a chance to think about them. When you notice, usually unconsciously, that you are experiencing emotions. your brain kicks-in, to decide how you "feel" about your emotions.

Reveling that inner dialog, that inner evaluation of things or people or situations, reveals your inner wiring. This leaves you wide open to manipulation. But, the great thing is, you don't HAVE to go around, vomitting everything that crosses your mind like an IG post.

When you do reveal, do not reveal your emotions by putting them into word or action. Think about, AND decide how you feel about something. Decide if that information weakens your frame or strengthens it. Even if it strengthens your frame short-term, it might not be in your best long-term interests.

This is the WHAT AND WHY about revealing your emotions and/or feelings.

How to stop yourself?

Start catching yourself with as many situations as you can. Put a LABEL on your feelings. Happy, Sad, etc.

By putting a label on them, you switch processing your feelings away from your amygdala and move the activity to your logic centers. This takes a lot of the the emotions and converts them to thinking, rather than simply reacting. It depresses the activity of the amygdala, allowing you more control over yourself.

More reading on this, here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrasting_and_categorization_of_emotions

Using a word-list of feelings, or using visual images that represent feelings can either or both be used. People respond differently to the two modes of presentation and one may work better that the other or they may work better in tandem. Here is am image related to Shaver, who is mentioned in the previous article.


Then, practice, practice, practice. Think of it, in every way, as the mental equivalent to lifting.

[–]randomTATRP 0 points1 point  (0 children)

By putting a label on them, you switch processing your feelings away from your amygdala and move the activity to your logic centers. This takes a lot of the the emotions and converts them to thinking, rather than simply reacting. It depresses the activity of the amygdala, allowing you more control over yourself.

This. Thanks. And I think that's what makes people paranoid when high on weed.

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Most important is to examine what you are reacting to and make adjustments to your relationship with it. This could include deciding it's not as important to you now, which would result in a weaker emotional response. It could include discovering you were afraid of a specific possibility, causing you to overreact to everything in that entire area out of worry. You could discover you were mistaken about something, or didn't know enough. You could discover that your sense of proportion was out of whack and you were over-reacting.

You could dull an emotional reaction with conditioning, but that must cause more emotional damage than it fixes.

But since emotions are subconscious reactions, sometimes you just can't stop it from popping up. Here's a method I used in one such case. I guess we could call it the "Turbo Benefit of the Doubt" method.

Science has identified a handful of reasons why bad driving causes some people to lose their shit. My reactions weren't too bad, but bad enough that I came to resent the interruption to my mood, as well as the 30 minutes or so I'd lose as my anger subsided. I tried to just not care about bad driving, but I couldn't make that happen.

Instead, I started talking myself down immediately after I felt the first jolt of anger, by giving them the full benefit of the doubt. "It was just a random loss of attention, they are a good driver. They're not cutting to avoid the line, they're not from around here and didn't know where the turn lane was until they got close to it. I was in their blind spot. They have somewhere really important to be, like a wedding or hospital or job they could lose. Probably on their phone or texting."

I'd also pepper in "I've done that" here and there, as further evidence that even incredibly talented drivers make occasional mistakes. It wasn't difficult to talk myself down, because everything I was saying was true. The most likely explanation is that the driver just made a random mistake.

After doing that a while, I got to where I am now: I feel a small pang of annoyance, maybe enough to roll my eyes, then I remind myself of some facts--and then it's gone in a second, and I return to my previous thoughts. So I've basically automated the process and reduced the incident time from 30 minutes to about 3 seconds. I was pleased that my little system worked. I think a quick talk-down could work in other scenarios, too. I wonder if there's a name for it.

I don't know how well this method would scale to handle more involved situations, though.

[–]Auphor_Phaksache[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Think. Feel. Do. They are all separate yet transition into one another.

[–]BrodinsOats 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Therapy can be helpful for this. You and a therapist can work together as a team to trigger this type of emotional reaction, and carefully inspect everything you can about it. E.g. early physical warning signs of a shift in sympathetic/parasympathetic state (fight or flight), or careful inspection of the thought processes (potentially unconscious) that drive this reaction. The more you come to understand it, and the more practice you put in controlling it in the safe controlled venue of a therapy session, the better you get at managing it.

[–]Aesthetic_God__ 10 points11 points  (6 children)

The correct way to think this and question would better be "should I control my emotions when I'm with a woman?" and further more I see we should control emotions everywhere in our life.

[–]sledge2k 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Do you mean control as in surpress / not shown them, or control as in understanding where they come from so that they can be useful to you?

[–]Aesthetic_God__ 21 points22 points  (2 children)

Control in a form of not acting on the emotion on a certain context, instead focus consciously on acting on trp principles.

[–]sledge2k 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Yeah. That sums it up pretty nicely.

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The objective isn't to get good at managing one's emotions. The goal is to have an organized mind in sync with a structured life and avoid the mental conflicts that cause the poor reactions (emotions) in the first place. This kind of enlightenment takes some time. Each mental conflict must be reviewed and resolved, hopefully by making adjustments to you or it, but by tossing it aside completely if the two of you can't coexist peacefully. That's the mental piece. On the practical side, life needs to be carefully structured to avoid exposure to the people and scenarios and behaviour that cause bad feelings.

Sounds like a lot, but the actual process is simple. It's not easy--it takes a lot of time, concentration, and change--but neither is there anything hard to figure out. Maybe the hardest thing is being honest with ourselves. We lie to ourselves sooooo fucking much, it's amazing. Literally all day, every day, and everyone. That's okay, it's natural and just how our minds evolved. But when you see it, it takes a while to unsee.

Unfortunately this can be a life-long effort if surrounded by conflict that is outside of one's direct control, such as a bad marriage or a bad turn in the career, or a war, say.

But when the work has been put in and the necessary adjustments made... well, that's a life worth having. You can do your best work there, for everything is set to your liking, distractions are rare, and you don't have to think about any of this shit we're discussing but largely just be in the moment. I've said about frame, "If you're thinking about frame you've already lost it." Same with feelings. I don't want to have to think about what I'm feeling, I just want to enjoy what I'm feeling.

And your emotions are the key to it all. Using emotion to save you from emotion. And it's insanely simple.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I debate women with facts, then follow that up with emotional appeal relating to whatever fact I had mentioned. Make those facts translate into how that would make her feel. This works great, because women are hard wired to think emotionally.

I'm very selective of what feelings I show women.

[–]Pelmaleon 3 points4 points  (2 children)

To play devil's advocate, stifling your emotions through this calculated method may easily damage your confidence and frame in the long run as you are convincing your own body it's not good enough to speak up and represent itself, instead of living deeply in the moment. I think it's very important to balance this calculated lifestyle with an increase in confidence-boosting activities and habits if you want it to work.

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

You might take another shot at it. I believe you are describing a man with enough of a mastery of communication that he is able to reveal about himself only those things he chooses as “stifling” his emotions, but I don’t think you meant to.

[–]Pelmaleon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not every part of one's identity and being is conscious choice though - the subconscious plays a huge role in who we are and what we become.

[–]AndrejPiren 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Emotions are what makes us human, just don't share them with women

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

No? What about letting out a little excitement, or triumph? Lust might want to stretch its legs, too.

You don't want your girl to be so emotional, you say? What about joy, romance, and awe?

Emotions don't get no respect, no respect at all.

[–]RedPill_Swinger -1 points0 points  (0 children)

What about she flakes and show being angry or butthurt? What's the end result?You'll be left off playing with your monkey and she'll gleefully jump on another cock. It's not about being emotional, it's about selecting the right ones to succeed

[–]magx01 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Emotions are what makes us human

Nonsense. Plenty of species express emotion. Dogs have emotions. Are they human?

What "makes us human" is biological differentiation and a specific phenotype.

[–]trppr 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Emotions can be reactions, but can also arise from yourself. The way your post is framed it seems like emotions only reactions to other people or situations.

Emotions that stem from your own curiousness to explore life and express just whatever happens to be is really a big part of frame IMO. You are forcing people to acknowledge the primacy of your emotional expression that stems from you VS a reaction.

Anyhow, I still liked the post, but just thought it was a bit dismissive.

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I added a bit of clarifying language that differentiates between external and internal sources, but I'm not sure we agree on the distinction.

In my telling, emotion is generated when one considers any thing of value, be the source internal or external, physical or mental or somewhere in between.

Amusement is amusement whether it's a private chuckle miles from the closest human or on-stage in front of miles of faces hanging on your every word.

[–]trppr 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Is 'Will' an emotion in your schema?

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I don't think it's an emotion, but I've never thought up a list or anything.

Closest might be... resolute? Determined? Crave?

[–]Senior Contributordr_warlock 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Great post. Should have just lumped it together into one.

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I was hoping brevity might begat retention. It might yet.

[–]NormalAndy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Crosses the language barrier in global society.

[–]rad_dynamic 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Well written post and I agree with the points made, but nothing original has been stated, all a little clichéd.

[–]MrTrizzles[S] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I left it to the reader to consider these principles in action and their potential affects.

For instance... #2 brings clarity to the admonition about not mixing work and pleasure. If I talk about my personal life at work, not only do people learn some details about me, but if I do not guard my emotions I can leak out a lot of very private info I might not want to--like how well the marriage is going, or how good of a father I think I am.

People know to guard their thoughts and actions but sometime forget about emotions, not realizing how much information they broadcast.

[–]ElXToro 0 points1 point  (8 children)

where/how would apathy come into this picture ?

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 1 point2 points  (7 children)

What a peculiar question. As it happens, apathy doesn't fit into any picture, and it wants to leave any picture it finds itself in. It's a black hole of steadily declining interest in its surroundings. Apathy doesn't give a shit about emotions.

[–]ElXToro 0 points1 point  (6 children)

So if apathy hits & you're devoid of emotions, purpose & whatnot. Does that mean that it's the end ? I wonder what's trp's point of view or way of bringing a man back from apathy to this world.

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

When I was a teenager, do you know what I used to do when I got sick? I would go play tennis. My reasoning was that my body needed to be in high gear to pump out those extra T lymphocytes, so working up a sweat would do the trick. Utterly wrong, but you gotta admire the discipline. (Pro Tip: vomit is corrosive and if left on a tennis court will eat into the surface and discolor it, leaving a puke shadow. With multiple puke shadows you can make simple designs.)

Turns out I had the right idea. A high number of studies over the years have shown that even mild exercise brings a torrent of health benefits, including reducing the chance of mental health issues such as depression and dementia--and that a lot of inaction greatly increases your chance of those, and a lot more.

You know what it takes to have a full, interesting life? Work. You know who women are attracted to? Doers.

So I ask you: how much exercise have you been getting? How much inaction have you been getting a day?

[–]ElXToro 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Wow, didn't expect you to come up with such a detailed response. Thanks a lot for that. You made me think about this. I guess that apart from occasional games of footie once a week & pushups/situps at home I don't really do that much. Gotta get my schedule right & get that in daily.

P.S. Thanks for sharing with me your discovery of puke qualities.

P.S.S. by work do you mean finding a way to earn money by doing sth you like as opposed to being a modern corporate slave ?

For me it's difficult to find sth that I would like and what others would need/want. But I'm still working on it.

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Eh, you sound fine. I was concerned you were overly sedentary.

I've not dealt with apathy, at least in regards to something I should expect to care about. Or perhaps I've felt apathetic for a short period but discipline carried me through until I was back in the sun.

What have you tried? What has worked before? Glancing at the literature I see that emotional suppression is mentioned as a possible cause. Sounds more like the effect but okay. Do you think you suppress any kinds of emotions?

[–]ElXToro 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Thanks for your concerns. Sorry for the late response. Was out of reddit for a while. My apathy would appear when I wouldn't be able to find a deeper meaning/purpose in existing & in what I would be doing at the time & the overall end goal(s). If sth doesn't have a deeper purpose it's very difficult for me to do it. I start losing interest when that purpose seems too pointless. But then I manage to remember what & why & how & etc. If there's a need I pause, rethink everything & move on. Reading philosophy also helps.

[–]MrTrizzles[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yeah, I got nothing. Would you say you know what your life’s work is? Your mission? Introspecting, everything flows from that. It gives everything else context as to what I should feel about it. It’s relevance. If I began feeling apathetic about my main driver I’m not sure what I’d do. Pick up another I suppose.

[–]ElXToro 0 points1 point  (0 children)

More or less. I just have to constantly remind myself why I do sth, why I'm driven to achieve this or that. Otherwise it is easy to get lost in all of the distractions. We all have the same goal in the end. Get what is the best for ourselves & enjoy having it. In other words the state of constantly working on your happiness, well being.

[–]Didiathon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good post. That being said, I think the type of emotion described here is a subset of emotion in general, and that it’s important to understand and accept all aspects of it.

Emotion is like a combination of fuel and navigational tools, and logic/rationality are like an engine that harnesses energy to direct it towards a destination.

The phenomenon you described is like when an engine received an unexpected burst of fuel, or your gps starts telling you to turn around. It’s crucial to pay attention to those signals without letting the engine explode or letting your gps drive you around in circles.

But the fuel and gps are important beyond their ability to signal information about what’s going on in the car. They are a quintessential part of a vehicle that you must embrace and understand to get the most out of driving. Similarly, the key to a good life is to increase and harness all of your emotional energy using logic and rationality to direct it towards your goals with as little waste as possible.

[–]magx01 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Emotions are for women, children and sporting events.