firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
via [personal profile] jae

Artist Pei-Ying Lin, Master of Art in Design Interactions, is doing a project called "Unspeakableness." Part of the project is this infographic that takes an emotion classification map designed by W. Gerrod Parrott and overlays "untranslatable emotions in languages other than English."

I looked at the overlay and found several words that were supposedly untranslateable but I know words in English that seem to mean the same thing. For example, there's a Chinese word that is supposed to mean "A rather relaxed emotion and attitude towards everything, accept all the facts instead of worrying about it." I think a word for that in English is "equanimity." (This is a word commonly used in Buddhist studies, and it is an emotion, although some people probably don't think of it that way.) "Equanimity" doesn't appear on Parrott's map.

Other words or phrases I think translate into English well enough:
"(Hebrew) Literally means 'I'm sick on you.' It describes the feeling of obsession with someone or something." Crush? (Not on Parrott's chart) Obsession? (Not on the chart.) Infatuation? (On the chart...although it's connected to "lust" and not to "longing," which I disagree with.
"(Chinese) The feeling somewhere between sympathy and empathy, to feel the suffering of loved ones." I would call this "compassion." But Parrott has "compassion" connected to "affection" with no connection at all to "sadness" or "sympathy."
"(Japanese) The bubbly feeling of the moment of falling in love." The poly community calls something like this "new relationship energy," although that means more the first several months of falling in love, not the first instant. I'm not sure why it's different from "infatuation."

What do you think?
firecat: damiel from wings of desire tasting blood on his fingers. text "i has a flavor!" (angel flavor)
I rarely mention in public how I'm feeling emotionally. (I'll talk about it with a few close friends, if they ask.) This goes not only for negative feelings but also positive ones.

I have a lot of reasons for not talking about negative feelings in public.

But here's what just percolated into my consciousness: I really only have one reason for not talking about positive ones. I believe that if I say "I'm feeling X" and then at some later point I'm not feeling X any more, people will judgementally think I'm foolish for having talked about feeling X in the first place, or possibly for having felt X at all.

I know where that belief came from. But you know, I think I don't really believe it any more.

firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I'm reposting this because the original mistakenly quoted a friends-locked post. The post has now been made public.

My sweetie [ profile] jwermont made a really moving, compassionate post about living with chronic anxiety. Excerpt:
This was the message I took away from childhood, and it's still lurking there, in the corner of my mind, waiting to hear validation from the outside world. And, this being a macho, bravado-brandishing culture, it never has to wait long. Fear - and especially, taking care of oneself around fear - is profoundly disrespected.
I think what the disrespecters don't realize is how much energy it takes to deal with those feelings when they are constant noise in your head. If a person needs to take a rest after pushing furniture around for hours, or running a marathon, then there should be no shame in a person's taking a rest from holding chronic anxiety at bay for long enough to participate in ordinary life.
firecat: too much coffee man looking discouraged (too much coffee man)
If you're maybe noticing that you're older than you used to be, and are feeling sad/angry/confused/worried/frustrated that you haven't accomplished as much as you/other people in your present or past/annoyingly critical voices inside your head think you should have, and if you're maybe feeling something like "I'm not a real grownup like everyone else," and if you're maybe also feeling sad/angry/confused/worried/frustrated that your body isn't working the way it used to, and you're maybe thinking, "if that's true then how am I going to DO all those accomplishments that I/other people/voices in my head think I ought or want to do?", and maybe you're also wondering how are you going to dig out from under the accumulation of habit and procrastination and self-doubt to some sense of satisfaction in your life again, then post this same sentence in your journal.

Friends keep saying stuff like that where I can see it, and I've been feeling it for a while now too. One said it really well in a friends-locked post:
It's been hard for the last some-odd months, with my age catching up to me, not to feel that I've been a continual failure in school, work, and my personal life. ...

I've been trying so hard to hide from my friends -- most of them not very close, even if they were before -- the fact that I'm not in their league in any sense of the word. ...

Come to think of it, I don't do yard work because I'm afraid of being looked at/judged by passersby. I don't do artwork because I'm afraid of ill-judgment and meaningless or worthless praise. This has gotten as bad as it ever was in the worst years of my adolescence. Worse, because I don't have the energy or the twenty years ahead of me to think I have plenty of time yet to pull myself out of it.
It was a revelation to read this, especially the part about "as bad as it ever was in the worst years of my adolescence," because that's exactly what bugs me about the similar feelings I have—"WTF? I thought I was DONE with these feelings of self-consciousness. No one told me they would come back, dammit! I thought 'mid-life crisis' just meant you went out and got your virtual red sports car and had done with it."

When a whole bunch of my friends and acquaintances are having similar uncomfortable feelings, and especially when each one is having these feelings privately and feeling shame about it because it seems like no one else has them, I ask myself whether there's some kind of cultural pressure going on, and I ask myself whether maybe we would do better examining these tendencies and pressures together, so we can figure out where we stand, and which of the beliefs and tendencies to embrace, and which to say pbtpbtpbtpbt!!!! to.

I wonder how that could be accomplished.

Do you have those feelings? Could you use a way to talk about those feelings with other folks who struggle with them?
firecat: cartoon animal weeping (weeping giovanni)
I'm so inured to attacks on fat adults that they mostly only make me irritated these days, but this article in a Scottish news outlet suggesting that "parents of obese children should be prosecuted for neglect" (reported via Sandy Swarcz's JunkFoodScience blog here) makes me cry and feel frantic.

I'm not a parent and I'm not a fat child any more so why should I care? Because I imagine how much more terrified my parents would have been over my size (I was plump despite their sustained and intense efforts to make me thin) if they believed they could have had their child taken away, instead of "just" being shamed and pressured about having a fat child. Because I imagine what kind of life a fat child taken away from their family and raised in some kind of institution would have.

Although this is just some random doctor sounding off in a random news outlet, and there's no official legislation along these lines as yet, such government sanctioned kidnappings have been happening fairly regularly in the US. As a member of several fat acceptance organizations I hear about one every few months (when the parents seek help from the organization. I wonder how many parents don't seek help from the organization?). Sometimes I find out the outcome and sometimes not.
firecat: cartoon bear lying on back looking at sky (reflective pompoko)
Comments re-enabled (they were turned off by accident)

In the revised spoilage meme, or "fortunate life" meme, that I originally saw in [ profile] kightp's journal and posted about here, there were three questions labeled "Mental Sanity":
( ) Are you generally happy?
( ) Do you “enjoy” your job?
( ) Do you have time for hobbies?

It seemed to me that every single person who filled out the meme (at least the ones I saw) took a point for each of these. (This pleased me—I thought it was the most accurate measure of satisfaction in the survey.)

Also, many people who scored "low" on the meme's "fortunate" scale said they were quite satisfied with their lives and thought they were very fortunate, thank you.

[ profile] hmms_sio sent me an article, "Happiness and Public Policy" by Richard Layard, published in The Economic Journal 116 (March 2006). It has a soft science tendency of making equations out of everything, which I find annoying (it reminded me why I didn't go into sociology after all) but I thought these bits were interesting: Read more... )


firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

February 2017



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