Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feeling, Emotion and…?

I’ve seen this distinction drawn between feeling and emotion: feeling is inside; emotion is what you show. I think it’s a valid distinction: “emote” means “from the inside out.” Actors “emote.”

You don’t necessarily show your feelings. What you feel and what you show may be two different things. Generally, though, they are pretty close.

There is one thing missing from this equation: from the outside in. I am familiar with no word to describe this. I think “intromotion” might be a good one. “Inmotion” would never be understood.

I have a dog, a pug. He’s a rescue pug, taken away from his original owners because they abused and starved him. He was one-third underweight.

For the first six months he was food crazy. If I went anywhere near him when he was eating he’d growl and even snap at me. He bit me for various reasons at least six times. He would not roll over on his back, which is a sign of submission in dogs.

For six months I petted him and scratched him and fed him lots of food, as much as he wanted. Now, he’s a good dog. He no longer bites, he will even let me take food from him, and he willingly rolls on his back. Why?

Because what I did to him was from the outside in. If you want to tame a dog it has to be from the outside in. You have to “handle” them, and it’s best to start when they’re puppies.

The same thing applies to people. It’s best to start when they’re babies. You have to treat them correctly from the outside in. “Intromotion,” for what of a better word.

Society spends enormous sums of money trying to fix broken adults. Usually it doesn’t work. Lots of them end up in prison.

It’s clear because of “intromotion” people have influence, indeed some control, over other people. And, most especially, over children. What we do to other people “goes inside” of them and affects their feelings, and, after that, their behavior. The study of this is what some psychology is about.

Or, for that matter, some economics and political science. If the public is abused by the government – which seems to always happen – what is the end result? Humiliated people seek revenge. I consider that a law, whether it’s in personal relationships or group ones.

Why has a word to describe “from the outside in” never existed as far as I can tell? Everyone knows about it. I am mystified

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