Emotions

Jonathan B. Marder MARDER at agri.huji.ac.il
Mon Aug 2 09:36:24 EST 1993


In article <1993Jul31.100851.1 at molbiol.ox.ac.uk> rpgrant at molbiol.ox.ac.uk writes:
>Subject: Emotions
>From: rpgrant at molbiol.ox.ac.uk
>Date: 31 Jul 93 10:08:51 BST
>In article <1993Jul30.204458.6200 at leland.Stanford.EDU>, ayermish at leland.Stanford.EDU (Aimee Yermish) writes:
>[...]
>> Crying is another way of dealing with stress -- some people get
>> angry, others dispose of the excess adrenalin in tears.  When I'm in a
>> situation where I feel trapped and helpless and frustrated, I cry,
>> and, like the others who have posted, could no more stop that from
>> happening than I could prevent the wind from blowing.  I can prevent
>> sobbing, but not tears -- they just well up and drip down my face.
>>
>[...]
>
>	I don't remember where I read this, but (gross generalization coming
>up :) in times of stress/upset men tend to swear/get angry to stop themselves
>crying, whereas women cry to stop themselves swearing.....
>	I did stress _tend_ in the above sentence.  Men and women have
>different emotional/psychological/physical make ups and have different ways of
>coping with stress - in general.  Women crying tends to be more socially
>acceptable - men crying isn't.  (Except in some circumstances, usually around
>close friends/in church, etc).
>	Both types of reaction are neither wrong nor shameful - they're just a
>means of coping. . .

I don't quite agree.  Crying or expression of anger can be appropriate
responses to (different) circumstances.  But they can also be inappriate
which is when it gets embarrasing both for the person expressing their
emotions and for the recipient.  Ever spent several minutes yelling at the
wrong person?
   This said, there are also circumstances when the emotions can be used for
manipulation.  I know that I occasionally feign indignation/anger to make a
point and I suspect that there are circumstances when crying would work
too.  As for gender differences, in our society the stereotype is for men to
get angry, women to cry.  However, a colleague who spent several months
teaching in the Middle East remarked on how common it was for a male student
to come into his office *crying* after failing an exam.
__
Jonathan B. Marder                 '
Department of Agricultural Botany  |     Internet: MARDER at AGRI.HUJI.AC.IL
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem | /\/ Bitnet:   MARDER at HUJIAGRI
Faculty of Agriculture             |/  \ Phone:    (08 or +9728) 481918
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