The less popular emotions

July 3, 2012, 2:12 pm

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I am starting to develop a real appreciation for emotions that are more complex than the usual pleasant emotions (joy, excitement, etc.). Today I am basking in: that particular feeling of relief when you’ve gotten yourself all worked up about something that will go wrong or be a huge pain in the ass, but it turns out to go very smoothly and quickly, especially when due to the helpful actions of other people, and you feel a little embarrassed that you made such a big deal of it all, but mostly you are happy that it went ok. I’m not sure what that’s called, but perhaps there is a German word for it.

Another one of my favorites is envy – both sides of it. Yes, like most people I do enjoy being envied, though not because it makes me feel superior or anything like that. Being envied helps me remember to appreciate what I have and not to take it for granted. But I also enjoy being the envier. Lately I’ve realized that sometimes, it is more pleasurable to want something than it is to actually have it.

One I need to work on: relaxation, a feeling I’ve never been very good at. It often gets quickly replaced with boredom, restlessness, agitation, the worry that I should be doing something.

One I need to enjoy a little less: anger. And perhaps schadenfreude. It can feel really good to have negative emotions sometimes, but it’s probably not usually a good thing.

What about you?

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