Flat-Lining The Volatile Passion

Des has stopped letting me get away with my legacy habit of making declarations of how other people should act or feel. If you find yourself doing this and then stop, you’ll quickly notice that other person or people stop impacting you very quickly. That’s important because then they weren’t impacting you in the first place.

Des mentioned that the recent evidence suggests that emotions often come before their attributed cause. Intuitively this seems backwards until you consider the impact unconscious thought processes could have on the emotional system. Given our innate need to establish order and create cause and effect understandings of things, we’re going to be very effective at finding a reason for feeling a particular feeling. It just seems like we figured it out, but all we did was throw a label on something that was there already. We might have gotten it correct but we stop searching once we find a justification and simply embrace that as the cause. Chances are we are wrong though. Rarely do we stop to think what other reason we could have for feeling a particular feeling. Try it next time you feel something, there are lots of reasons to feel happy, sad, angry, blissful, etc….

The fundamental attribution error is a powerful thing. When someone cuts me off in traffic I think things about them. If I then get to see what they look like, or if there is something about their car that stands out, that becomes the reason why they did what they did. Crappy old pick-up truck? Drunk hippy. Pretty boy / girl or a BMW, self absorbed jack ass. Soccer mom or mini van, distracted moron who thinks their life and family are better than every one else. Oh wait, I’ve had my turn signal on for the last 5 minutes. Hey, I’ve had a tough day, I’m kind of tired and the radio is too loud. You people need to chill, it’s a small thing, 99.9% of the time I don’t drive around like this. You’re acting like you know something about my character without considering the circumstances surrounding my one small error.

People have a finite amount of will power and with each decision to go without, our chances of caving on the next option increase. Will power is fueled by glucose which means it will become depleted when used and it will not recover unless the blood sugar level is normalized. If you are restricting calories and your blood sugar level drops, it gets tougher and tougher to stay on track because the part of your brain that helps you stay on track is out of fuel. Eat frequently and do not go hungry. It’s already too late once the hunger pains set in.

Sharyl mentioned that while she’ll listen to everything I have to say, the amount of faith she has in it will be inversely related to the amount of shit I talk. This gave me cause to step back and wonder what I’ve been talking crap about. Mostly what other people should do or feel. And I read a lot and form untested theories about things. She’s tested a lot of them and they don’t work. I suppose I can talk some shit so long as I accept hearing that it isn’t accurate and learn something.