Wednesday, January 5, 2011

envy, guilt, jealousy.

I did not receive any comments on my Obama post. Perhaps it was too far away from my reader's reality. So let me speak of something more personal.

The question has been asked: Are guilt, jealousy and envy part of the list of emotions in Emlit training?

I have preferred to keep the list limited to anger, fear, sadness, love, joy, hope. Jealousy, envy and guilt are in the grey area of this approach to emotional awareness.

In my opinion what definitely qualifies an experience as a primary emotion is if it is visible in one of the "lower" mammals. On that basis, envy is not a primary emotion because I haven't been able to detect envy in cats or dogs or other animals. On the other hand guilt and jealousy could be said to be visible in animals. Still just because it may not be visible in the lower mammals does not prove that cannot be present in humans.

Each primary emotion has distinct bodily, hormonal correlates which generate a feeling experience (adrenalin, oxitocin, serotonin) and in my opinion there are more than five, less than ten, primary emotions. Envy in my opinion (I could be wrong) is not one of the primary emotions. .Jealousy is a complex emotion which combines (depending on the person) experiencing it a number of different primary emotions. Examples: love+sadness or love+anger+fear or any number of other forms of jealousy. About guilt I'm just not sure

I have had many discussions on the subject without definitive conclusions, My purpose is to simplify the process of awareness and differentiation. In the end I will not argue if someone says they are feeling envy or guilt. If they say that they are feeling humiliated or discounted which are definitely not emotions I will search for the primary emotion behind the experience.