Welcome to the BigAppleSchool podcast. My name is Ken.
And today we’re gonna talk about emotions.
Great topic! So let’s start!
Absolutely! Maria! Are you an emotional person?
Well, I guess I am. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that all people around will see my emotions, but inside I’m a very emotional person and so.. I think that this is more of a good thing, because emotions help us, help me feel alive, feel human. Not like a robot or something like that. What about you?
Well, I feel the same way, because to be emotional, you’re simply expressing how you feel at the moment. I don’t necessarily see it as something bad, although anything and everything in excess can be also not so good. So what I’m trying to say here is that it’s fine to be emotional, but there’s a place and time, I guess.
Yeah, right. And when we speak about emotional people we mean, what emotions are we speaking about? All of them? Negative and positive?
To be happy, sad, angry even.
Do you think that you can become excessively happy?
Well you could say over the moon. Especially when something great happens in your life, when you get married for instance.
And do you need to balance here?
Well, in that case because it’s positive emotions, it’s fine. But if it’s negative emotions, such as anger or sadness, then anything in excess in that case it wouldn’t be good for you.
Okay, so now you are more like a balanced person. Have you always been like this?
No. I used t be very emotional when I was angry in the past, you would really see it in my face. With my actions. Even when I’m, for example, sad, you would feel it. Or when I’m happy, well, of course, everybody was also happy for me when I was happy before, because I tend to become talkative, more, I would say, jubilant.
Now, I hate to ask this, because it is a bit stereotypical, but are women more emotional than men?
Well, maybe it sounds like a stereotype, but I would say that yes. Most commonly women are more emotional than men. And saying that they are more emotional that they reveal their emotions more.
They have this right, you know, a quotation mark, this right to express their emotions, because men are brought up that way that they need to hide their emotions. To be, like, brutal guys and tough guys. Boys don’t cry concept. I don’t know about every culture, but Western culture – yes. I’m not sure about Asian culture.
Well, it’s the same case as in my country, because men are expected to be, as you said, tough. You are not supposed to, you know, express your emotions, because men should be, you know, for a lot of societies I would say… That showing emotion is a sign of weakness.
I know that, well, some of our listeners may not agree with that statement, but unfortunately for some societies, including, you know, in the Philippines – we think that if you’re a man and if you show a lot of emotions, it’s taking away something from your manhood.
Okay. But, it’s a bit offensive. Even being a woman I find it offensive, like, you are a woman, you can behave like this. Of course, you’re a woman, that’s why you cry. That’s really offensive.
And I can totally see that, because if I were a woman, too, of course I would feel the same way. So are you telling me then, that I act this way because I’m a woman, I’m emotional – oh, come on.
Yeah, we’re all humans and I think that emotions and feelings are shared. It’s not that women feel something that men can’t.
And I know very emotional men, for example, one of my friends or peers, I know men who really are not afraid of showing their emotions, which is quite good, which makes me feel closer to them as people of course. And I’m a bit afraid of people who don’t show their emotions.
It’s even good to be emotional sometimes than people who don’t seem to show any emotions!
Yes! Because when they finally show their emotions, it’s something so scary! I can’t manage it! I know some friends, I have some friends who are very polite and well-mannered and all. But when they finally have this outburst of anger or something.
it’s so terrifying, because they were concealing, they were accumulating all this bad and negative emotions. And then, finally, outburst with anger – oh my god! It’s better to, you know, release it in portions, in doses I guess.
And speaking of men, sorry for interrupting, I have come across an idea that, I don’t know about your country, but in Russia men live… Well, women live longer than men. Maybe it’s because women are… Women have this right to show their emotions, to be emotional. And men need to conceal, to hide it. And it affects their health.
You know what? I actually agree with that, because it’s the same case as in my country – women tend to live much longer.
Yeah, maybe five to ten years longer.
Right. And I believe that emotions have something to do with that. Because if you’re the kind of person who tried to hide everything within, it’s like a volcano, it’s waiting to erupt. And I don’t think it’s really good for your mental health even to keep all that emotions to yourself.
That’s why just like what you mentioned earlier, sometimes it helps to release that in small portions. So that it’s for your own general well-being, for your state of mind, for your psyche.
And being mentally not very stable, not very healthy can affect your physical health and can affect… It can lead to heart diseases or something.
Correct. So it will manifest in your physical appearance.
That’s what I tend to believe.
Now, I wanna ask… This is a very simple question, but I’m interested to know. What makes you happy?
What makes me happy? Okay. I have this perspective, this angle of being a teacher, and as a teacher I’m really happy to see my students’ achievements, it’s not just words. That’s who I am and that’s what makes me happy, that’s why I work as a teacher. And speaking of some…
Speaking of just my life, my personal life, it can be something very simple like when I… Remember this childhood feeling of being happy without any particular reason? Which doesn’t last for a long time, but it’s so precious.
You can just look at the clouds for example, and feel this happiness inside. Clouds or nature or music – that’s what can make me feel happy for a while.
I can totally relate, because… Well, you mentioned about childhood, I just remember daydreaming, looking up the sky, you know. Wishing to fly like a superhero.
And all your life is like ahead of you.
Exactly. And the fact that children in general – they don’t have much to worry about yet. Cause all they wanna do is to play, to sleep maybe. Maybe not even sleep because most kids don’t want to sleep, they just want to play.
And children like festivals and holidays.
And that’s what makes them happy. Now as an adult, I don’t feel so happy during the holidays anymore, which is unfortunate.
As you grow older I guess the more responsibilities that come your way, the less happy you become.
Yes, right. But still, some simple things can make me feel happy for a while. Like I said, the nature or sounds of some music. Because it releases your emotions. You feel maybe more innocent, more careless and so on.
Well, in my case, what makes me happy. Dark chocolate, a bar of dark chocolate.
I love it. Coffee, a cup of coffee in the morning. And I don’t want to sound cheesy, but being with my friends and when I hang out with them.
Of course, a good conversation can really make you feel happy and content and full of energy.
And just like you, being close to nature. Every time I go to the forest maybe lakes, rivers, because there’s some fresh air and for me it clears my mind. And therefore it makes me happy.
I can sometimes just observe, you know, just watch. Look at the sky, watch the trees, that’s why I liked to live at my previous flat, because I had a great view to the forest.
And one more thing – listening to good songs. Especially ones that really make me want to dance. Of course.
Can you listen to the same song again and again and again?
Oh my god. That has been my life. Whenever I like one song, I download it and I can listen to it, just one song, all day all week.
I know that you like singing, right?
It makes me happy! Unfortunately I have not been given the talent of singing. As I always tell my students as a joke – when God was, you know, pouring different talents, I wasn’t awake when he showered…
You hadn’t had your coffee yet.
Yeah! When he showered the talent of singing, I wasn’t there.
I think that you can be taught, you know, to develop your ear to music. I believe that like we develop our students’ English talent, you also can develop your talent of voice. Hidden talent maybe.
Okay. What makes you sad?
Well, the opposite end of the spectrum. I hate to admit it, but sometimes the weather affects me.
I don’t like it when it’s too cloudy, cold, windy outside. For some reason it just affects me. But of course I try to fight it off. Yeah, that’s one. What else? Sad news, depending on what type. Any sad news – not just about me, but people that I care about. So, for example, the passing of a family member.
Or, what else? If somebody failed to achieve whatever, goals that he or she may have. For example, a friend who wanted to move to another country, but wasn’t able to do so. Then, of course I feel sad for him.
So it means that you share this person’s emotions, right?
Okay. So is sadness necessarily a bad feeling?
I don’t think so. Sadness if one of those human emotions that we naturally feel. Just like happiness and anger. Sadness – so long as… Because it is normal, it is natural for us to feel sad, but it’s the way you deal with sadness that will determine if it’s going to be bad or not.
Because, you know, I can be sad, but if I know how to deal with it, how to cope with it, then I don’t think it will result into anything that’s even worse. Because for some people they’re too sad. Like, depression. Then they commit suicide. Then, in that case, that is bad.
So we need to see this line, which is quite a thin one. This line between being just sad and being depressed, and you need to ask for help, for professional help.
And speaking of sadness, how do you deal with it?
Well, I just let myself be sad for some time. You know, speaking of so-called negative emotions, I don’t believe that they are bad, because if you feel it, and you need it. And you need to let yourself cope with it, but in a way that is not, you know, that is not bad for other people.
Yeah, not destructive way. If I feel angry, I just let myself be angry, but inside and I try to catch this emotion and understand. So, now I’m angry, and to understand why, to analyze it.
And you need to release this emotion, but of course you don’t need to harm, you can’t harm your friends or your family members. That’s why you maybe just need to pause and not to overreact.
Well, on that note I wanna ask do people know how you feel by looking at your face?
Well, sometimes I guess or maybe most of the time… People cannot, because for example as a teacher I can’t be very dependent on my mood when I come to class. I can’t show my depression, anger, sadness, melancholy – anything. I’m a teacher. For this…
You’re supposed to be professional.
Yeah, for these two hours or three hours I’m a role model in some way, in English for example. And I can’t behave like this because it’s not professional. But… And maybe this influenced my other life, my other parts of my life, because as a teenager I showed every emotion that I had and now I don’t. And sometimes people just think that I’m very even temperate and maybe even cool, you know.
You’re level-headed, yeah?
Yeah. But I’m not. Inside I have lots of everything. What about you?
I like what you said there regarding going to your class. Not bringing any burdens with you. Because at the end of the day, if we talk about teaching, students come to your class to learn. Whatever personal issues you have – you have to deal with it on your own.
You don’t have to release, you know, express it in the class. And when it comes to, you know, determining how I feel. Before, when I used to be like very expressive with my emotions, it was very easy to tell that I’m disappointed, happy.
So people could read your face.
Absolutely. And it was very difficult for me to hide it. But, you know, as you grow older, you master the art of hiding your emotions. Especially in this career, in this profession, when you have to be, of course, professional in front of your students.
So, in my case, now I’d like to believe that it’s hard to tell. So it’s just – I’m here, I’m gonna do what I’m supposed to do, and that is to teach you for example.
So well, do you remember what helped you to become the master of hiding your emotions? Did you read special books? Did you ask someone for help? So, how come?
Well, in my case, I made a conscious effort to control my emotions, because before, really, it was so easy to tell. Whenever I felt sad, angry, so there was this incident before.
So just your willpower? Okay.
There was this incident before, when I was a high school English teacher. My class – they participated in volleyball. Unfortunately, they lost the game. And I was bitterly disappointed. But I tried as best as I could to stay cool for them not to really see that I was, you know, disappointed.
But then one of the students came up to me and said – Mister Amante, are you alright? Yeah, I’m fine. And then this girl said – you look sad. I said – really? Oh my god. And after that incident I tried to practice.
So it was a turning point?
It was the turning point for me to somehow relax my face every time I feel disappointed. Because, you know, as a class teacher, I wouldn’t want to affect my students. I wouldn’t want them to think that in fact I was disappointed.
Well, sometimes children I guess also need to feel and to understand that their teacher is a person and there’s personality behind this image.
Of course. But in that case when you’re motivating them, I don’t think it would be nice to see your teacher melancholic.
Yeah, right right right. They may be feeling that you’re disappointed by them.
Exactly. And I wouldn’t want them to feel that.
Are you a sensitive person by the way?
Well, so we shall maybe distinguish emotional and sensitive people, right. As I see it, emotional person just has all this range of the spectrum of emotions, from happiness to anger and hatred and so on. And a sensitive person to me is someone who feels things around maybe and… lets things come to their heart. I am a sensitive person, yeah.
So basically you grasp your surroundings, you grasp whatever emotions or feelings there are?
Speaking of being sensitive or sensible, I’m more sensitive. What about you?
I would say that I am the same. Like, sensitive, but I’m working hard to be more sensible. Cause, you know, in life you cannot always afford to use your emotions in every decision that you make. You have to be rational, you have to use your mind.
And that’s why you have to be sensible. Although we can have a time, especially in my case, it’s hard to devoid myself of emotions, because as I’ve said earlier, I am an emotional person. But when it comes to making, I would say, really serious or important decisions, I would like to be more sensible.
So, to listen to your mind and not listen to your heart maybe?
But then again, you have to remember that, you know your heart… Sometimes it knows no boundaries, it just wants to express itself. But the mind has this logical factor in it that tries to control.
Yeah. So, s much as we want to be emotional and, you know, not stop our emotions, but at the end of the day, you… something must be done somehow to control it.
If we speak about this balance between heart and rational mind, yeah, there is such a thing as intuition. Do you believe in this? Like, feeling of intuition?
Yeah, of course. Because your intuition… Well, not all the time it’s correct. But I’d like to believe that most of the time it’s correct.
Okay. So do you think that you have it? Intuition?
Do you remember when it helped you maybe? Or when it stopped you from doing something wrong?
There’s nothing in particular that I can think of, you know, at the moment. What about you?
Yeah well, I tend to believe that I have a strong intuition, but I don’t know, because I’m always balancing between this rational thing and intuitive thing, so I need to maybe, to decide on something. But maybe I will steep keep balancing.
I understand. Do you find it easy to explain your feelings to people?
Well, you know, to those who are ready to listen to me, then yes. I find it easy to put my feelings and my emotions into words. But it’s not always that a person, even if it’s a close friend or a family member.
It’s not always that they are ready to listen to you, because people tend to devalue other people’s emotions and feelings. Oh, forget about it, it’s nothing! It’s bullshit! Why are you so worried? Why are you so anxious? It’s nothing to be worried about. But if it’s your feeling, how can you just, I don’t know, throw it out of your…
…your head. What about you? Are you good at telling other people about your feelings?
You know, when I was younger, I used to be like that. I would tell people exactly what’s on my mind and how I feel at the moment, but then again, as you grow older you understand that you have to select the people.
You cannot say it to everyone.
Yeah, and people are… Well, we are all adults, we are all busy. And our friends, even if they are very close friends, they’re busy with their concerns and their stuff, they families, children, money matters and so on. That’ why it’s not always easy to share.
Exactly. And, well, having said that - in my case sometimes it’s difficult for me to express my emotions or to, you know, to let other people know. The truth is that sometimes I just don’t want to explain. I don’t know if I’m just too lazy to do that,
but in some way or somehow I feel like you need to know how I feel. Are you that… Are you devoid of empathy that you don’t’ understand how I feel? You did something wrong – should I make you figure it out? You should figure it out yourself.
If they did something wrong, then maybe yes, I would also expect that they would guess.
Do you need to explain, because in my case if it’s obvious, come on, do I have to tell them how I feel right now when you know that you did something wrong? Then you should be apologizing to me.
Yeah. That’s what I used to feel and to think, but now I’m really trying hard to believe, to understand and to adopt this understanding that people feel differently. And all people are very different.
So, men and women, children, teenagers grown-ups, older people. Well, even if we are of the same gender and the same age, same background – still we are very different and I try to…
I totally agree, because, you know, there are times when you expect people to understand you, and then you realize – ah, okay. He didn’t get it, she didn’t get it. And that is sometimes I would say disappointing.
So you sometimes don’t want to waste your time explaining.
Yeah. And that’s why I just leave it to, you know, whatever happens, happens.
If you don’t share your feelings, do you still have this sense of maybe disappointment – do you keep it inside of you? Or do you release and forget about it?
Well, depending on how I feel about the person – if the person is important enough to me, then I would care to eventually open up to him or her and explain how I felt in the past. But if it’s somebody who I think…
I’m not gonna lose anything if we’re no longer speak to each other. I know it’s so bad for me to say that, but, you know, I wouldn’t want our listeners as well to experience that, but.. Such is the life.
Sometimes you’re gonna let go of some people who are not sensitive enough to understand you. Because if you are really a true friend, or a member of the family. You should take initiative sometimes to understand the person.
Yeah, I agree, I agree. We need to… It’s hard work, I mean, relationship. Not hard, but work let’s say. And speaking of you, can you always tell how other people are feeling?
You know, I seem to have this talent I like to call it – to be able to tell if or how people feel at the moment. I am a very sensitive person. I.. Just for some reason I can tell – okay, she’s happy right now or he doesn’t seem to be so jubilant today, maybe something went wrong.
Really this is not only true with the people that are close to me, my family and friends – including in my class. So I can tell if for example the students are feeling tired. So in that case what I would do is to try to crack a joke just to break the ice and make everybody feel comfortable.
And it’s interesting how we, as teachers, can influence the mood in the classroom. So and maybe they all come tired and even exhausted but then, by the end of the lesson, they feel more energetic and they say thank you for the lesson which also gives us energy.
Absolutely. That’s why I have so much respect for the teachers that I had in the past who were able to bring that out of us. Because you know, there are a lot of factors that will always affect how we feel, how we think.
And when you enter the class it’s not just sometimes the knowledge that you can get out of it, but how you feel at the end of, for example, the class. If the teacher is a careful and someone who truly understands, you know, his or her students, he or she should be able to wipe away whatever negative emotions his or her students have.
Yeah, right, right, right. So we are not only teachers, we’re also like therapists a bit.
Yeah, and there’s some psychology involved there. So it’s not just, you know, passing about knowledge, but more importantly it’s to…
Yeah, we are actors, we are mentors, we re therapists, we are everything.
Brothers and sisters, we’re like family to them sometimes. It goes beyond, you know, just teaching them.
And that’s why it’s a hard job, I mean, to balance between… To.. Not to cross the boundary or something, not to be very attached to your students, especially I guess when it comes to kids. I don’t teach kids now, but I think you can be easily involved in their emotions, feelings, problems and so on.
So, and do you think that this is a useful ability to be able to read other people’s feelings?
Absolutely. By possessing this ability you create an environment that’s more, I would say, positive at the same time, an environment that makes each member of the community or whatever environment you’re in – this spirit of being one and what else… Just to look out for each other, because we have to show care for one another.
Right. I couldn’t agree more.
So I guess that’s all the time that we have for today. This has been BigApple podcast. Thanks for listening to our topic today – emotions. And we’ll see you again next time.