value of teenage emotions

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brötchen
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value of teenage emotions

Postby brötchen » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:16 pm UTC

the other thread i started about my feeling of wasting my time on failed relationships got me thinking about how seriously i can take my emotions ... what value is there to emotions if they are generic , if just about every teenager has the same feelings ? even this line of thought is probably rather generic amongst teenagers so how do I differentiate between what is genuinely part me and what is just a generic reaction to hormones ?

Excuse my bad English, its not my native language

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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby Zohar » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:31 pm UTC

There are roughly seven billion people living on the planet. Your emotions and thoughts probably aren't too original when considering all of those, but neither is anyone else's thoughts and emotions. The originality of it has nothing to do with its value. And you still feel them, what does it matter if someone else is feeling similarly or not? Besides, a huge part of the human experience is to empathize. Why do people laugh at jokes or cry at movies? Why do people like some song or story? It's because they can relate to this. If we were all detached from each other, we wouldn't have been able to understand anything about one another.
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saus
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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby saus » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:33 am UTC

"how do I differentiate between what is genuinely part me and what is just a generic reaction to hormones"

I've thought about this a lot. My emotions very often seem to betray me and what is in my best interest. For instance having a crush on a girl when I know it won't work out and it will only result in agony. I want to think and fantasize about her, I want to think I love her, but I know it's just my body's chemistry betraying me.

This brings you to question what your identity really is. Do you consider yourself the voice in your head, operating the machinery to the best of its ability, or are you the sum of your parts, a collection of cells that gives rise to consciousness.

The fact emotions are generic isn't troubling to me. It's the fact that they aren't so much an act of will. Like the voice in your head loses control of the machinery to emotion.

Value of emotions.. what kind of emotions are we talking about. The value of good emotions is obviously that they feel good. Bad emotions.. for example irritability, besides their evolutionary reason for existence, are worthless and I think it's best to take a step back and think logically about how to get rid of the bad emotion without causing any damage to yourself or others in order to avoid future bad emotions. Or are we talking about emotionally charged ideas that teenagers commonly think of? Such as "I hate my parents." In this case I would calm down, ask myself what I don't like about my parents, see if there's any way to solve or avoid the problem, keeping in mind all future consequences, and come up with an optimal solution. Even if an idea is swamped in emotions, you can try to clear away the emotions attached to the thought to solve your problem rationally.

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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby Plasma Man » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:51 am UTC

Looking back on my teenage years, I think that the main value of my emotions at that time was their intensity. I don't think I've had feelings as intense since then. My personal hypothesis is that this is partly caused by the social pressures of moving towards adulthood, but also partly learning to handle emotions as preparation for adulthood. As a teenager, everything seemed very urgent, vital and important as I became more aware of society as a whole and began to adjust to the idea of having responsibilities within and towards it. Without that surge of input to learn to deal with, I think it would be harder to develop self-control, prioritisation and learning to accept some things that can't be changed.
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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby lowbart » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:11 pm UTC

Now if we could just figure out how to harvest teenagers' emotions as a source of renewable energy...
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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:47 pm UTC

brötchen wrote:the other thread i started about my feeling of wasting my time on failed relationships got me thinking about how seriously i can take my emotions ... what value is there to emotions if they are generic , if just about every teenager has the same feelings ? even this line of thought is probably rather generic amongst teenagers so how do I differentiate between what is genuinely part me and what is just a generic reaction to hormones ?

Excuse my bad English, its not my native language
It's important to remember that while whatever it is you're experiencing is most likely not unique, that we can probably go out and find others in similar cultures with similar background who are feeling similar things - even across time as the issues plaguing, say, a 1980s* French* teenager* are not really that dissimilar from the issues plaguing a 2010* French* teenager*...the details are different, sure, but the core problem is the same....

it's important to remember that this is YOUR first time with this issue, most likely. Or if it's a recurring thing, it's still your problem and you are dealing with it. Not the 50 year old guy who's done it before and knows exactly how to get out of the situation, not the 60 year old woman who knows how to better the situation.. you. You're dealing with it. That makes it important to you.

So yes, you should remember that whatever your problem or emotion or whatever at the time isn't unique, that doesn't make it any less important. It just means that you should always remember that there's people you can talk to about it. And while they may not be able to help, they at least can sympathize and remind you that you are not alone in whatever it is you're facing.


*Just make up whatever you want here. My point is that if you adjust for culture (which slowly changes over time, usually) the problems affecting a person at a certain point in their life will be similar, regardless of the year. You do have to adjust for culture in some, but not all instances, as there's more similarity between a New York City teenager and an Oklahoma City teenager than there are between that New York City teenager and a Tashkent teenager.... but even then, there's problems and issues common to all three. Hell, the Tashkent and New Yorker probably have more in common than the New Yorker and a Big Sandy teen.
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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby tastelikecoke » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:27 pm UTC

lowbart wrote:Now if we could just figure out how to harvest teenagers' emotions as a source of renewable energy...

Acne vulgaris sebum as biofuel?

brötchen
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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby brötchen » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:10 pm UTC

saus wrote:This brings you to question what your identity really is. Do you consider yourself the voice in your head, operating the machinery to the best of its ability, or are you the sum of your parts, a collection of cells that gives rise to consciousness.

The fact emotions are generic isn't troubling to me. It's the fact that they aren't so much an act of will. Like the voice in your head loses control of the machinery to emotion.


well I don't really believe in free will anyway . The idea just seems stupid , its an obviously true statement (at least thats how it seems to me correct me if I'm wrong) that every microscopic process is either random (quantum processes) or deterministic (just about everything else), its a bit like saying every number is either smaller,larger or equal to 0 and even though the sum of those random and deterministic processes may show emergent behavior there is still no element that isn't either random or deterministic and therefore not controlled by freewill therefore freewill either doesn't exist or can, by definition, do absolutely nothing.

So I guess my identity is the hunk of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and all that other stuff that is typing this right now but the thing is that I think there is a difference between my identity and what defines me. Basically if you could transform a person into a data set the complete dataset would be their identity but the part of the dataset that would be left after compression would be what defies them. For example while it is part of my identity that I have to arms this fact has only a tiny imact on what defines me because almost every human has two arms.

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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby BoomFrog » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:52 am UTC

Understanding how your emotions effect you and using them positively is a skill. A skill that is practiced by living in society. Playing the piano is a skill too. And just because everyone learns to play simple songs first doesn't mean that they aren't important songs to learn. Yes everyone more experienced can say, "Oh i remember when I learned to play Mary had a Little Lamb", but just because they did it already doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. You need the practice, don't be afraid to fail.

Your emotions may not be unique but it's important to have them, and understand them. After all, if you had no emotion or instinct, you'd have no motivation, and you wouldn't have any interest to do anything but sit at home and starve to death.
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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby saus » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:26 pm UTC

brötchen wrote:well I don't really believe in free will anyway . The idea just seems stupid , its an obviously true statement (at least thats how it seems to me correct me if I'm wrong) that every microscopic process is either random (quantum processes) or deterministic (just about everything else), its a bit like saying every number is either smaller,larger or equal to 0 and even though the sum of those random and deterministic processes may show emergent behavior there is still no element that isn't either random or deterministic and therefore not controlled by freewill therefore freewill either doesn't exist or can, by definition, do absolutely nothing.

So I guess my identity is the hunk of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and all that other stuff that is typing this right now but the thing is that I think there is a difference between my identity and what defines me. Basically if you could transform a person into a data set the complete dataset would be their identity but the part of the dataset that would be left after compression would be what defies them. For example while it is part of my identity that I have to arms this fact has only a tiny imact on what defines me because almost every human has two arms.


Oh yeah, I suppose I meant things that you verify are logically sound and in your best interest (making a decision) instead of a nondeterministic free will.

You admit that you consider all of your fleshy mass to be who you are. Then your emotions and such are also who you are. If we still ask what the value of your emotions is, we're asking what your value is.

The value of teenage emotions in defining someone is very little. I think a lot of our experiences are common. Everyone struggles with alienation, self doubt, etc. But it all has a personal flavor. I remember when I was little, I couldn't have the same favorites as my brothers. I liked the fire bionicle and then my brother said he wanted one and I got all upset. I defined myself by what I liked. Even today, there are distinct pillars of my life that I devote myself to. For instance I love to run. If I lost my legs, would I lose what defines me? I think it's important to think this stuff over to be prepared for anything life throws at you. I'd like to think that I could go on living happily without my legs, if what I define myself by remains. I think I define myself by my approach to life. Always analyzing things to see reality as clearly as possible. Many others are probably the same way. Am I okay with being mass produced by my own definition of myself? I think there are enough differences between us all due to chance and environment that we're all different enough.

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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby ikrase » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:38 am UTC

What I have to say also is taht uniqueness is not the same as value.
While somewhat unique myself, I have become disillusioned with uniqueness. It seems to me like many people do not appreciate the amazing spectacle of seeing oneself, one's own loves and sorrows, repeated in infinite space. I on the other hand, am harrassed by my dreadful designs and by my wishing to charge in where angels fear to tread. But still quite valuable.

Also, you cannot take life TOO seriously.

On free will: My belief is that free will is what we call 'random'. And perhaps other mysteries lurk there as well.
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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby Auwolf » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:20 pm UTC

I have been pondering this also. What if all my emotions, when I think about them when I'm older are trivial or meaningless? As everything worked out okay in the end? At the moment I'm full of doubt, but want to prove myself that I can achieve a goal and I really really want a relationship. (but I suppose that's the hormones and that I've never had a good one)

Also I really fear dying. Not for the pain or the fear if anything comes after, but the fear of not achieving anything with my life, eg, a good job, friends, getting a good relationship. ( I really want that) But I'm wondering, is this fear caused by hormones or my own paranoia?

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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby Cloud Walker » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

brötchen wrote:...how do I differentiate between what is genuinely part me and what is just a generic reaction to hormones?


You don't. There's no difference.
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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby RabbitWho » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:22 am UTC

Deal with your teenage emotions, unless you want to still be having them when you're 24.

Feelings are always legitimate, but fortunately not always permanent!

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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby James516 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:48 am UTC

Rik Mayall from the young ones (bbc comedy from the 80's) sums it up:

Rick's Teen Anguish Poem (from the book)

oh god,
why
am I so much more sensitive than everybody else ?
why
do I feel things so much more acutely than them,
and understand so much more.
I bet I'm the first person who's ever felt as rotten as this.
could it be
that I'm going to grow up
to be a great poet and thinker, and all those other wankers in my class
are going to have to work in factories or go on the dole?
yes, I think it could.

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Re: value of teenage emotions

Postby IcedT » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:51 am UTC

brötchen wrote:
saus wrote:This brings you to question what your identity really is. Do you consider yourself the voice in your head, operating the machinery to the best of its ability, or are you the sum of your parts, a collection of cells that gives rise to consciousness.

The fact emotions are generic isn't troubling to me. It's the fact that they aren't so much an act of will. Like the voice in your head loses control of the machinery to emotion.


well I don't really believe in free will anyway . The idea just seems stupid , its an obviously true statement (at least thats how it seems to me correct me if I'm wrong) that every microscopic process is either random (quantum processes) or deterministic (just about everything else), its a bit like saying every number is either smaller,larger or equal to 0 and even though the sum of those random and deterministic processes may show emergent behavior there is still no element that isn't either random or deterministic and therefore not controlled by freewill therefore freewill either doesn't exist or can, by definition, do absolutely nothing.

So I guess my identity is the hunk of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and all that other stuff that is typing this right now but the thing is that I think there is a difference between my identity and what defines me. Basically if you could transform a person into a data set the complete dataset would be their identity but the part of the dataset that would be left after compression would be what defies them. For example while it is part of my identity that I have to arms this fact has only a tiny imact on what defines me because almost every human has two arms.
My commentary here is that, although it's possible to find inconsistencies or inaccuracies in human experience or perception, that doesn't change the fact that you still have those experiences and perceptions. So although we can say scientifically that it is unlikely there is such a thing as a "self" or a "will," it's still impossible for you as a human being NOT to have a sense of your self and your will. So while determinism is philosophically consistent, it can't really affect your behavior all that much.

A consequence of being a teenager, combining a big spurt in brain development with exposure to a lot of new ideas, is that it becomes easy to over-intellectualize. It's not necessarily a bad thing if you do it (I sure as hell did), but just always be mindful that the way you feel about something now is not necessarily what you'll believe later. If something's not working in your life don't be afraid to change. In fact, it might help to look at High School as a social mulligan, where you're free to try on new identities because EVERYBODY is still figuring themselves out.


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