3 Minute Monday – Emotions, Nipples & Cats

Hi friend,

I had a conversation this week with a friend about emotions, specifically jealousy, frustration and anger.

About how they hijack even the most cerebral, cognitively sophisticated person.

It’s highly annoying.

You spend all this time trying to be a rational, agentic beast.

Then a thing happens that disrupts your emotional state and you turn into a petulant toddler.

He explained that when he finds himself getting carried away by jealousy, frustration or anger he asks a few questions:

First – “out of all the emotions you could have chosen, why did you choose that one?”

You have this huge library of emotions to tap into, why did that one get activated?

What is it about you, your desires, your assumptions about the world and your patterns that caused that emotion to rise to the surface so quickly?

It’s not strictly true that you CHOSE it, your mind and body just delivered it to you, but I love this language and framing for retaking agency over our emotions.

Second – “and how’s that working out for you?”

What has been the outcome of that emotion arising?

Has it made your life, relationships, quality of mind better or worse?

I love this language again because it creates distance between you and your feelings, plus it assumes that you chose it, giving you a sense of power.

Third “do you want to be right or to be loved?”

Often when we feel emotions like jealousy or frustration and anger it’s because we feel like a boundary has been crossed.

Someone should have known that we would have felt this way if they did that thing, and they didn’t, so we need to get them realise their transgression.

In our less gracious moments, we hope to achieve this through mistreatment, passive aggression, mean comments or distancing.

In our more gracious moments, it’s done through a calm, honest and open explanation of why something made us feel the way we did without accusing the other person of doing it on purpose.

“Unspoken expectations are premeditated resentments.” — Neil Strauss

We assume the best of others.

We assume that our friend or partner wouldn’t ever MEAN to make us upset, that the impact their actions had on our psyche was done through ignorance, not negligence or malice.

Maybe their behaviour does warrant the silent treatment, maybe we are righteous in our indignation, maybe they should have known better.

You may even be in the right for reacting in this way.

But do you want to be right, or do you want to be loved?

Because your petulance in response to a situation you wish hadn’t happened is unlikely to create more love.

And if your partner or friend is incapable of hearing you gently and frankly explaining why you feel bad, then you have a good indicator that your interlocutor has bigger problems than just their behaviour.

MODERN WISDOM

I do a podcast which has had 500 million+ downloads. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This week’s upcoming episodes:

Monday.
Dr K HealthyGamer – the first episode from our huge Volume LED wall series. Outstanding insights about dealing with emotions, staying calm, mastering your mind and our relationships with technology.

Thursday.
Dr Shanna Swan – why are men’s sperm counts declining so rapidly? What is happening to testosterone levels? Just how bad are microplastics? Must listen.

Saturday.
David Brooks – why do we not truly connect with other people? How can we be better friends? How can we understand our emotions, be seen and see others more deeply. Another total banger.

THINGS I’VE LEARNED

1.
Women with nipple erections are perceived badly.

Men and women perceived women with nipple erections as less intelligent, less moral, and more likely to engage in sexual behaviours.

If nipple erection signals/is a cue to sexual interest or arousal, we would expect that women with nipple erection would be sexualised: having a presumed higher sexual arousal and promiscuity and lower mental abilities and morality.

To examine this, 234 participants rated pictures of women with and without salient nipple erection.

Nipple erection is a cue that triggers sexualization and objectification of women; women with nipple erection are thought of as less intelligent, less moral, and more promiscuous by both men and women.

Women reported that women with erect nipples had more male sex partners, lost their virginity at a younger age, and had lower quality relationships.

Women cannot control their nipple erection, yet these data show that it is used by men and women to make presumptions about women’s character and behaviour.

Nipple erection, which is an uncontrollable reflex, triggers sexualization and objectification by both men and women who observe it. — h/t Rolf Degen

2.
Don’t look for shortcuts before you solve the easy fixes.

“You can’t cold plunge your way out of a half-bottle of Jack Daniels per night.” — Evan Hafer

3.
The Persians were very clever, and mean to cats.

When the Persians finally met the Egyptians in battle, they did so with cats pinned to their shields.

This effectively stopped their opponents’ archers in their tracks as cats were sacred in Egypt.

LIFE HACK

Open your eyes to calm down.

One of my favourite cues to downregulate yourself if you’re feeling a bit stressed is to take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, focus on the peripherals of your vision.

Widening your gaze seems to make everything feel less intense and serious.

Highly recommended.

Big love,
Chris x

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PS
Thank you for all the kind words about the Behind The Scenes vlog last week

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