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 that 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?

Also, I really don't think this could be true, but is a belief a form of feeling?

I originally posted this question on Google Plus, here is the link if you want to read the comments, but I think you guys might have a better insight on this subject.

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Thank you, Morgan. ♥

By "questionable" do you mean, should I be having this feeling? Is it a rational reaction?


I think often times people react to things first before that rationally can think about what they are reacting to and why. We are very emotionally driven creatures. So for many people, emotions and feelings, trump logic as a first reaction.  Some of this is programmed, flight or fight, and some of this an aspect of one's personality trait.  Some can also be learned. 


The way many people deal with understanding if a feeling I have is questionable is through something called mindful meditation. In essence the practice entails becoming very aware of how you your physical body adjust to certain things and how that is followed by or accompanied by an emotional reaction. By doing this, we can learn to control questionable feelings to the point where we can question them before they are, for the lack of a better word, "released".  To give a personal example, sometimes because of my own life circumstances, I've lost patience with my children. After I have admonished them, that is followed by guilt as I realize that my reaction, my feeling, had nothing to do with their actions but rather my own immediate state of being. If I learn to catch myself before I react, then these feeling can be questioned and analyzed. That is the essence of mindfulness, becoming aware.


In summary, yes, feelings can be and should be questionable however every feeling is valid for one reason or another and the validity of a feeling should not be questioned.

No, Robert - questionable as in, do people have the right to assess if it is right for another person to feel one way or the other? THAT kind of questionable. I thought it was implied in the post.(?)

there are some situations where, yes, they should and MUST be questioned. If you got into an argument with someone and they punched you because the had "feelings" of great enough rage to punch you, would you not question that feeling? Are you not entitled to question it as that person has infringed on your own right to safety? People who seek out anger management, therapy, AA are all people who question their feelings or have had their feelings questioned. feelings of rage, feelings of addiction or dependence. They seek it out because the recognize these feelings are inappropriate and dangerous and want to correct the way they react to their environment in seeking out appropriate solutions. 

Well, Sharon, I think it would be good to point out that, regardless of its being right or wrong, punching another person in the face is the reaction to the feeling, not the feeling itself.

That's an important differentiation in this case, and is exactly what my question is about. Not the reaction -- the feeling.

I agree with you to an extent. Yes its the result, but the result of what? Blind, unhindered rage. Some people become extremely angry and throw things, scream, cry, or break things when they hold feelings in too long. I think that might be because that feeling has increased to a point that MAKES their brain unable to react in the manner they normally would. I guess i mean there are different degrees of feeling that affect the reaction. 

You can't really correct someone's reaction to a feeling. They will react the way they do because of how they feel. In order to change the way they react they must change the way they feel about what ever it is that angered them. Like with pedophiles. They must be made to change the way they FEEL. Their feelings must be questioned and they must be made to feel disgusted with what they think rather than aroused in order to correct their behavoir.

I'm not really too sure how clear i'm being but as far as my opinion goes, i think feelings can be questioned when they're inappropriate or dangerous, and doing so would only then allow a person to change their reactions. 


Again, Sharon, I am not telling you that your argument is faulty, what I'm saying is that THAT is not my question. My question is about the right, moral ground, or knowledge other people have to tell you that your feeling about ANYTHING, about a person, or an event is right/rational or wrong/irrational. 

You keep responding to a question I didn't ask. Regarding your approach, thankfully, I have had strong feelings about many things in my life, but have always been able to react moderately, according to the circumstances so, no, your reaction is not something you cannot control, unless you have a chemical imbalance, which would make you a candidate for psychiatric evaluation.

Sorry, I thought I was answering it. I think its difficult for me to communicate what I mean regarding this question. Let me try again.

The question is whether people have a right to question the feelings of others, correct? Well, what I'm saying is that it depends on the situation. Some feelings are irrational, exactly like the example you gave of the abused wife loving her husband. Or another example could be desensitization to violence. If someone doesn't feel disturbed or saddened after witnessing horrific violence then should that not be questioned? One of the profiles of a sociopath is that they do not experience emotions as someone "normally" would. They get extremely angry at small things and feel nothing at something that would normally bother them. I do recognize that people can feel different degrees of an emotion or different emotions to certain things depending on their experiences, but I think that there is a line at a certain point where some things should affect people the same way. If there were a starving, orphaned child on the street I would hope people in their right mind would feel sad about that. Some may be moved to tears, some may not show anything outwardly but at least they should should all feel some sadness. I really hope I answered it this time. If not I give up, I just dont seem to be getting it.


As far as controlling one's reactions, I agree that reactions can be controlled but I don't think chemical imbalances are the only things that can prevent someone from reacting appropriately. Environmental influences can definitely play a part in shaping one's reactions. Someone raised by people with short-tempers will usually have one as well. In order to be able to control that response they must first acknowledge that its a problem , otherwise they will never be able to control it.  

In the same way as one person can truly never quite understand what another is feeling, but can come close, this too can apply to what you are describing. We can all empathize an approximation of what someone else is feeling, but to actually be in that persons shoes?  Human experience is singular to that individual...to judge them would be wrong unless you could, in essence ...BE them.

That is exactly my feeling, Steve. (Pun intended.)

I sincerely doubt that we choose how we feel about something.  I have had feelings which, given the option, I would have preferred not to have had.  I occasionally have feelings that surprise me.  So, by what criteria may someone allege that another's feelings are wrong? 


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