How To Measures Common Emotions- Love, Anger & Fear


Suppose someone asks you what the word love means to you. You would probably have several answers. Love is one of the most abused words in our languages. No matter how you use the word, you always associate love with pleasure. There are however many kinds and degrees of love associated with various external conditions and situations.

  • Self Love – Of all forms of love, self-love is most basic and is experienced at the earliest age. This love is entirely self-centered and relates directly to the feeling of security and well-being. Thus this form of love is closely related to the instincts of self-preservation. Self-love has remained as a foundation for self-respect, ambition, and personal adult only when it remains the dominant form of love in the behavior pattern. A completely self-centered person whose love is limited to himself is childish as far as this phase of emotional development is concerned.

  • Give-and-take love – As intelligence and the capacity for reasoning become more and more controlling influences in the behavior pattern, another expression of love develops. We often refer to love at this level as give-and-take love. Early in life, a child begins to realize that to receive, he must also give. To receive affection from others, he must show consideration for them.

  • Romantic Love – With the onset of sexual maturity, sweeping mental, emotional, and personality changes accompany physiological and chemical changes in the body. The boy or girl becomes aware of interest in the opposite sex. Romantic love becomes a powerful drive and a tremendous influence on behavior. Romantic love is so strong that it may temporarily “blind” a person to the faults and shortcomings of another. This can lead to an unfortunate and unhappy marriage with resulting tragic consequences. On the other hand, controlled by reason and intelligence, romantic love can be a powerful motivating force toward a happy marriage and a wholesome family.

  • Mature Love – Mature love is a blend of all forms of love and an expression of emotional and intellectual maturity. It is the basis of family life and the basis of satisfaction and happiness. Mature love involves admiration, respect, and the pleasure of sharing and providing for others. While still self-centered from the standpoint of personal pleasure and satisfaction, mature love is far more outgoing than more basic forms. Parents strive for the happiness of their children and the happiness of others. The emotionally mature person has learned that he must have enough self-love to enjoy self-respect and personal satisfaction.

  • Altruistic Love – Ideally, there is a stage of love, which goes beyond the stages we have discussed. We refer to this type of love as altruistic love.  It may be merely other stages of love carried to the highest level and motivated by high ideals and dedication to humanity. Altruistic love is not entirely selfless as there is self-satisfaction in serving others, even if no material reward is obtained. People who feel this love devote much of their lives to serving humanity.


Anger is like a fire. Its size depends on two things – the kind of stimulus, which arouses the anger and the nature of the person who feels it. It can smolder or burst into flame; result in action or be suppressed and burn internally.

What do you do when you’re hungry? When you were young, a temper tantrum was a good outlet, as long as you could get away with it. Sometimes you may still feel like lying on the floor and kicking your heels, but you have learned that such tactics are childish.

The reasons for anger are the same today as they were when you were younger. As a child, you screamed when you couldn’t have a toy or apiece of candy. Now you may feel like doing it if your family refuses to give you the family car for an important date, or if your mother refuses to see that you get that new evening dress, which you’ll “simply die” without. Anger is a very personal thing. It arises when you feel things aren’t as you want them to be.

Suppressed anger – good or bad?

The suppression of anger may seem good for those around you. But it may be hard on you and may even make you sick. Anger prepares your body for action, much as fear does. If you don’t react to a situation, you build a fire and cut off the draft. The anger may smolder inside you for a long time. This causes tension, a condition you feel all over your body. The solution is the use of reason. Intelligence can convince you that it’s time to put out the fire.

Anger, expressed actively and without control, can get you into trouble. True, the expression of anger may solve the immediate problem facing you. But the consequences may be far worse than the original problem because friends and associates may be hurt by this kind of behavior.

Anger as a possible stimulus to constructive action

Dissatisfaction with things as they are may stimulate ambition. It may cause you to analyze a situation and consider the feelings of others toward you. Or the dissatisfaction may cause you to look inside yourself for a possible reason for the situation causing your anger.

When things don’t go well for you and you get angry, you should not blame fate, hard luck, or other people. These are negative responses. They will never solve your problem. Look for the real cause and do something constructive about it.


Fear safeguards your life in times of danger. It keys up your nervous system and speeds up your heart. It increases the flow of your blood and increases the sugar supplied to your muscles. All these prepare your body to meet danger and to respond to the fight or flee instinct. Without fear to alert these defenses, few, if any, people would live beyond childhood. They would fall victims to disasters they could have avoided if fear had warned them when danger appeared.

Primitive fear in a baby protects it before it realizes what danger is. Experience teaches you other types of fear as you grow older. You are careful in crossing streets because you fear the danger of passing vehicles. Most people don’t swim in deep water alone. They have learned of the danger of drowning if they are seized with cramps. All through life, you associate certain events with danger. You feel fear when any of these events confronts you. This is natural fear – a response to meet the danger of a threat to your life.

What are instilled fears?

A small child is instinctively startled by the noise of a clap of thunder. He is also curious about it. The mother must explain what thunder is and there is no need to fear it. Then electrical storms will hold no fear for him. Suppose, however, a mother is also afraid of storms and shows her fears to her child. Then, influenced by his mother’s response, he will associate thunder with danger. All through life, he will probably get jittery when lightning flashes and claps of thunder fill the sky.

Experience teaches you that some instilled fears are necessary parts of training in safety. However, you should be sure that these fears relate to real dangers and not prejudices. The suspicion in which many adults hold people who are different from themselves is passed on to children. Small children don’t recognize these differences. To them, all people are good.

Anxiety – Intensity fear from internal causes

If you are threatened by real danger, you can do something about it. You can defend yourself, withdraw from the danger, or adjust in some other way. This positive action relieves the tension fear has caused. This is external fear. The cause is real and outside of you. When you remove the cause, the fear disappears.

Quite different is the internal fear we classify as anxiety. No external cause for fear is present in the case of anxiety. The fear stems from impressions of past experiences, stored in the unconscious mind. These impressions were unpleasant and, no doubt, caused intense fear when they occurred. The person would like to forget then and, in many cases, it would seem that he has. Still, they remain as vivid impressions in the recesses of the unconscious mind.

Problems of anxiety

Anxiety states range from mild to extremes conditions. All of us experience anxiety to some degree at some time. When you understand the reason for the condition and, especially, how to overcome it with conscious effort and self-control, the problem becomes less terrifying.

However, some anxiety states become acute. A person suffers constant fear or guilt feeling, depending on the nature of the episode or experience in which the anxiety is rooted. Nearly everything he does relates, in some way, to the anxiety. When anxiety dominates the entire personality, we say that a person is suffering from anxiety neurosis.

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