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I think we all can agree on the statement that “feelings are subjective.” We don’t always have good reasons to feel one way or another about any given situation, or person; in that way, feelings are sometimes irrational, which I think is the reason why people can at times find themselves thinking: why do I feel this way? Know what I mean?

I’m not talking about romantic feelings here, but any kind of feeling: Joy over the birth of a relative or a friend’s baby, empathy over an acquaintance’s illness, sadness over someone’s death, and so on. I would understand if people questioned a woman’s love for a beater husband, that kind of love would be questionable, to some extent, even though psychologists have explained this kind of behavior extensively.

Being people’s feelings always subjective, to what extent can a feeling be questionable?
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Monica McGee's profile photoKeegan Ead's profile photoPeter Darley's profile photoGiovanni Ranzo's profile photo
21 comments
 
I don't think that feelings can be questionable: you experience them, they belong to your field of experience and, as such, they are. You can find an explanation for them (or often you may not...), you can even use various tecniques to change them or try to understand them better, but you cannot question them. Would be like questioning what you see or what you hear.
 
Feelings are not questionable. Is this about your iSad post?
 
Feelings aren't questionable, but often people misreport how they feel in an attempt to manipulate people in some way, so the reporting of feelings is totally questionable.
 
I don't know how I feel about this. I have had friends who seem to have no feelings at all and sum who are a ball of feelings. Feeling come on me when I lest expect it.
 
Feelings are questionable. Cognitive shrinks will tell you that feelings are merely thoughts and thus you can help the way you feel. This making feelings open to question at a certain point.
 
Yes, Dan +Daniel Galeano - the reaction to that post is what motivated this question. Mind you that my post got twenty-something re-shares, none of those posts got any reactions, or even any comments, except for someone wondering about the author of that image.
 
Then, by that token, a manic-depressive person totally can manage the way he/she feels, +Jason Gordon - I don't think so.
 
As I get older I question my feelings less. I find them much more consistent and repeatable responses to situations. And I've learned tricks for altering my mood to suit. I think feelings can grow a little more objective over time.
 
I take your point, but I think there's a difference between thoughts brought on by imbalances in brain chemistry and those that are not. Your theory would mean that we have no control whatsoever about how we feel. What happens to concepts like responsibility in that case?
 
Responsibility is not a felling, +Jason Gordon - it is a decision, a course of action. I don't love my job, but I have a responsibility to live up to. Same thing with responsibilities toward people.

Well, I don't think we really have control over our feelings, however, we do have control over the way we react to our feelings, which is what manic-depressives are devoid of, because of their chemical imbalance.
 
+Monica Monicks, I'm not saying it's one way or the other. I'm saying it's both... And probably a whole bunch of gradations in between.
 
Well, ok! Lol. I may have taken a less well thought out position at the outset.
 
Feelings are indeed subjective... but they can be influenced totally by unseen experiences, as well as unknown internal conflicts.

I have generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and intermittent impulsive rage...

I believe that:
a.) without the presence of preliminary anxiety, emotions will be to a severely less degree of intensity;
b.) outside the context of environment and experience, it is impossible to observe or define either emotion or behaviour;
c.) all emotion is reactive, and all behaviour is a function of its consequence; and
d.) logic is overruled and personally overlooked in presence of strong emotion, which can perpetuate itself without any additional outside stimulus.

Therefore, emotions may be allowed to exaggerate to the point of invalidity and insanity, although no emotion exists unprovoked, whether directly or indirectly.

How does that make you feel?
 
+Monica Monicks, as with any other of your posts and tweets, I like this one; I find it very clear and concise... however, a person who stays with a beater might as well argue for having feelings (a very strong attachment) towards the other person, because (s)he might be afraid of what could happen to the other if (s)he was to leave him/her... so who are we to judge it as irrational if it something personal?

What makes a feeling so special that it is exempt of questioning? Maybe, just maybe, having your feelings questioned makes you think about something you didn't want to, as you have accepted that feeling as your own truth.

In my opinion, everything should be open for questioning.
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A feeling is always questionable. Basically, the worst mistake one can make is accepting a feeling as some absolute fact. The common blunder there is to turn negative feelings on oneself destructively. All you have to do is apply a little patience, and use thought to withstand the temporary effects of the feeling.
 
I think the conclusion here is that logic is the only efficient path toward truth. Emotional variance is a natural evolutionary mechanism of survival and procreation: instinctive reaction toward or against stimuli. There are only true, false, efficient, and inefficient - not good, bad, right, or wrong. Society embraces and excites emotional investment, and incites emotional trends.

Is this true?
 
Yes and no. No, you can't question feelings. Questioning another's feelings is generally a way of minimizing them to one's own advantage. If I hurt my girlfriend's feelings, I might question her hurt feelings to keep from feeling so bad about what I said. But yes, of course you can question feelings. Feelings are intuitive responses; they're not magically accurate. I might get angry when I see that my daughter left the TV on, but maybe I'm really angry about something else. Our feelings evolved to feel totally legitimate, so they do, but sometimes they mislead us.
 
That's why I think we should put some reason into feelings; easier said than done, but it's better to try to minimize such misleads than just taking them as holy truths.
 
David Hume: "Nothing can oppose or retard the impulse of passion, but a contrary impulse ... Thus it appears, that the principle, which opposes our passion, cannot be the same with reason, and is only called so in an improper sense."

What this means is that feelings are a force: they move you towards or away from objects. As a force, they can't be rationalised or reasoned about. They are just an expression of the relationship between you and an object. So the only way to curb an emotion is with another (stronger) emotion.
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