When you want someone to stay calm and collected, you tell them to keep a cool head. When someone has a fierce mean streak we call them hot tempered. As a society, we naturally make associations between being emotional and heat, and being rational with cold. Now, as it happens, there is some scientific backing to that generalization. A study published in Acta Psychologica (that I read about on Women’s Health The Scoop) found that when people experienced exposure to cool temperatures, they were more able to understand other’s point of view. Being cool physically allowed the study participants to place themselves in another person’s shoes, imagining how they would feel in the situation. Other research has shown that warm temperatures are linked with feeling friendly and similar to those who you share the space with (think sitting around a fire with friends). This may make you feel connected while simultaneously allowing you to project your feelings onto others, imagining they are feeling the same way you are. Physical coolness emphasizes the distance between you and another person, which can limit this reaction, and let you more fully observe their feelings without the interference of your own.
Tag Archives: Emotions
Fake it til you Make it
We’ve all faked an emotion at one point or another to make the social situation we’re in a little bit more comfortable- laughing at a joke we don’t find particularly funny, smiling at someone you don’t like in greeting- yet some emotions (particularly fear and sadness) are more difficult to imitate. An article in Popular Science explains that it’s because these emotions are usually based on an internal struggle that results in a complex facial reaction. Wanting to cry, but at the same time, wanting to control your emotions can lead to a quivering lip. The stress of fear can be combined with other feelings, making it harder to pretend. However, they say your best bet when pretending to feel a certain way is to blend in with the emotions of everyone around you. People naturally project their own feelings onto others, so if you’re with a group of happy people, they’re more likely to take your fake smile at face value than notice you’re not genuinely grinning. Or, if all else fails, use physical cues that will draw attention away from your face. Think putting your head in your hands, or throwing up your arms in surprise.