Uncategorized 30 Dec 2019 10:17 am

Letters to my children #2

Dear kids, I want to write about “logical explanations” and “basic emotions”

You may remember that I often tried to remain calm and collected during difficult days. There have been quite a few and there may be a few more. I haven’t always managed to remain calm and collected though and, while I sometimes struggled to maintain a cool temper I always wanted a fair outcome. I hope we managed to achieve that with you and your mother on most days.

ALWAYS TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHY something has happened. There is a logical explanation for everything. Even if the behavior or outcome seems illogical, the root cause is there. Keep searching. Ask why, then ask why again and, again. You’ll get to the right answer. During these years, as I dig deeply to understand why certain things are the way they are and why certain conditions exist or why certain behaviors manifest themselves, I can’t stop wondering how you saw all these d difficult situations. Perhaps, one day you might talk to me about them.

Understanding a person’s underlying psychological process that drives an irrational behavior is not always easy. During my life, I’ve tried to learn as much about psychology as possible. I would encourage you both to study psychology at school or university, (or the university of youtube).

While the underlying psychology is key to understand, most often, it is one’s own actions over several days, weeks, months or even years that may have led to a toxic situation. I’ve often thought I can heal pretty quickly and forgive pretty quickly. I guess not everyone has the capacity to heal as fast as anyone else so try to always be aware of the things you say and do. Understand that your actions, words and behaviors may be leaving scars that are hard to heal.

Here’s a diagram of some basic emotions that we feel as people, and their follow on emotions. One of the most difficult emotions to overcome is contempt. For one to reach this level, a whole lot of bad stuff has happened and it’s almost impossible to recover from this state. I say almost, because I’m an eternal optimist and one approach to overcome the stuff from the bottom left (rage, anger, annoyance which leads to aggressiveness and, loathing, disgust, boredom, which leads to contempt) , is to pile on a whole lot of stuff from the top right. (Love, acceptance, trust, admiration, serenity, joy and ecstasy.)


In 1980 Robert Plutchik constructed a wheel-like diagram of emotions visualising eight basic emotions, plus eight derivative emotions each composed of two basic ones.
Source: Wikicommons

Basic emotions function as building blocks, with more complex emotions being blends of basic emotions. To use these basic building blocks one needs to be calm, collected and self aware.

I hope you find this useful in life and your various interactions with each other and your mates.

Much love

Dad.

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