4 emotions that keep us from falling off the deep end
Politics serves needs. Emotions serve needs. Political differences are actually emotionally driven differences in experiencing needs. Specifically around four key emotions that guard your psychosocial wellbeing.
Psychosocial emotion guardians
Psychosocial wellness prefers a balance between self-support and other-support. We feel a tension when we experience more of one than the other. We will experience fear or anger, guilt or depression, or perhaps all four.
On the one hand, I will wonder how I might be able to handle every situation on my own. The more a triggered need gets left up to me, without hope of receiving any help, the more anxious I likely feel.
Anxiety, as a degree of fear, serves as a messenger of need. It warns me that I am facing something I do not believe I can adequately handle. I trust I could handle it better if I did not have to handle it alone.
This sits South in our psychosocial cycle, at the outward social focus quadrant.
On the other hand, I expect to be able to freely deal with some situations fully on my own. The more others try to help where I can provide amply for myself, the more irritation I likely feel.
Irritation, as a degree of anger, serves as a messenger of need. It warns me that I am facing something I do not believe I can reasonably accept. I trust I could accept it better if I was left alone to solve such needs on my own.
This sits North in our psychosocial cycle, at the inward self focus quadrant.
When serving a self need at the expense of a social need, awareness to my social needs may trigger feelings of guilt.
Guilt, in whatever degree, serves as a messenger of psychosocial need. It warns me of incongruity between my self-serving actions and my social-serving values. I risk losing social resources unless I change.
This sits East in our psychosocial cycle, at the outward social focus quadrant.
When serving a social need at the expense of a self need, awareness to my social needs may trigger feelings of depression.
Depression, as a kind of gloom, serves as a messenger of psychosocial need. It warns me of incongruity between my people-pleasing actions and neglected self. My depression denies me energy until I change direction.
This intuitive redirection sits West in our psychosocial cycle, at the outward social focus quadrant.
Emotions convey needs
Each of these emotions conveys some need. Each need reports a need to return to an optimal level of functioning, and together they report the need to balance sufficient self-supports with social supports.
A tension builds when we don’t get it. One way we fill that tension is with politics. Politics get easily emotional because politics attempts to forge agreements around self-supports and social supports.
For some, social supports are best served at the local level. Others rely on the federal government for their social supports. Self-sufficiency can prove more available to some than others.
Agree or disagree?
Those with sufficient local supports chafe at the expansive role of government. Those relying on government to fill out their social supports chafe at the shrinking role of government. When your basic needs feel threatened,
Political differences are not mere differences of opinion. For many, politics provides the rationale for their psychosocial guardians. To avoid the pain of anger or fear. To avoid the displeasure of gloom or guilt.
You may agree or disagree with the politics of another. But their emotional needs will not submit to any debate. Neither will yours. Pain persists, couched in the language of political opinions.
Needs come first
Your psychosocial emotional guardians run the show, not any ideology. They keep you from falling off the deep end of utter despair.
You share them as political opinions to test the waters, to find others who care for your deeply felt needs. And then avoid others who don’t, all in the name of reason.
BIONOTE: Steph's eCourse delves into the role of emotions in politics. And how our continuing Westernized narrative of reason-over-emotion keeps the emotionally driven need for politics very much alive.