On Day 260, I wrote a post wondering why I get so friggin’ anxious about people getting angry at me.
Read that post, please, so I don’t have to repeat myself.
Something in this post, already, reminds me of one of the many ridiculous things that feed into my dread of anger.
If somebody writes me an e-mail and asks me to do something, using the word “please,” I can interpret THAT as conveying annoyance.
Isn’t that absurd?
Now, to defend my absurdity, it is true that interpreting email is difficult, because important cues are missing. Like tone of voice and facial expressions.
At this point in my post, I am consulting my old friend, Google Images, typing in “emotions chart”. And this is the first thing that came up:
You know, I was hoping that the Google Images Buffet would offer up the emotions/facial expressions chart I used with my son, about 15 years ago. But, I don’t see it anywhere. I guess the above (which I found at Momma’s Time) will do.
Google Images also offered up some charts using actual people (which I don’t remember seeing when my son was a baby).
I couldn’t find a chart with actual people, this morning, that labeled the feelings, but thanks to emotional-intelligence-education.com, for the image above.
Anyway, where was I?
Oh,yes. How difficult it can be to interpret the emotions in email.
I guess that is why emoticons were invented, huh? They help us interpret people’s feelings during communications that lack certain important human signals. Like voice tone and facial expression.
Sometimes, when I’m writing, I think about my favorite authors from the 18th and 19th century, like Jane Austen, Henry Fielding, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot.
They didn’t need emoticons to convey complex human emotions. Why do we?
Well, I guess I know the answer to that.
They were friggin’ geniuses, people!
Also, perhaps they had more time on their hands than we do, today. (I just wrote THAT sentence because I’m pressed for time, and I’m not sure I’m conveying the emotions I would like, in this blog post.)
Oh, my goodness. I have digressed so far away from my original topic, how can I find my way back? Perhaps, like Hansel and Gretel, I have left a trail of breadcrumbs that I can follow.
Of course, that path was eaten by the birds and they got lost in the woods.
However, I think I can find my way back, just fine.
Here’s what I want to say, before I conclude this blog post:
- Emotions can be difficult to read.
- When I write a post that has a lot of digressions and evokes fairy tales, that’s probably a signal that I’m writing about something that is very old, in me.
- No matter how I developed my dread of others’ anger (or displeasure), I can choose, as an adult, to let go of it.
Which I do, right now!
Thanks to Hansel and Gretel, story-tellers everywhere, people who show and read emotions, and to you — of course — for visiting today.
* Thanks to Lisa Loves Linguistics, for that image.