The Emotion-management Essay Example

Feeling rules are present in many interactions and events along with those there is an implication that following them would be beneficial to an individual although this is not always the case. If an individual were to ignore the feeling rules, they could face a negative social outcome such as being shunned, outcasted and negatively labeled by other individuals. I use the concept of feeling rules to highlight the negative impacts and consequences they have on an individual. I showcase this by focusing on the feeling rules present at funerals and connecting it to sociological concepts such as surface and deep acting.

At a place such as a funeral feeling rules are very much present and whether or not you follow them will dictate other people’s attitudes towards you. The general demeanor of people at a funeral is very somber and mournful and such is expected from all people that are in attendance regardless of whether you knew the individual personally. There can also be a hierarchy to who is entitled to feel and express these emotions. The individuals at the top of the hierarchy would be immediate family to the deceased individual and those individuals would be expected to show their sadness more visibly through crying and a more depressed demeanor. The individuals at the bottom of the hierarchy are also expected to show sadness although it is not required to be as visible, but if visible there would be no negative consequences. If these pre-set feeling rules were to be ignored by any individual, they would likely face negative repercussions such as getting scolded by the other individuals present at the funeral as well as being shunned. Additional consequences could affect others’ impressions of you, this could result in being labeled as an immature, detached or even cold-hearted. The number of consequences along with the severity would increase the higher up the hierarchy an individual is as well as there is often an implication that the closer related by blood you are to the deceased individual the more upset you are expected to appear. It is not considered a person’s relationship with the individual prior to their passing which would greatly affect one’s emotions at an event such as a funeral. If they had been estranged from the deceased or had a toxic relationship prior to their passing they could feel more relieved rather than upset so in their mind any negative feedback from other’s in attendance at the funeral could seem unwarranted in their mind.

The impacts of not following the feeling rules can appear quite severe to many people so instead of facing any negative consequences they choose to suppress their true emotions and any feeling they might have. This could result in one of two methods to be used surface acting and deep acting both of which would hide a person’s true feelings from other’s in order to avoid any negative impact. Surface acting is when you “act the part” referring to surface level acting in order to conform to the feeling rules. While people may do this in order to just get through an event or difficult time it may still have a negative impact on their mental state. As well if a person does this too often then other’s will always expect them to act as they have in the past and if they break their “role” then this too could cause consequences for the individual. So, although surface acting may at first seem like an easy short-term solution compared to breaking the feeling rules it could have a longer impact which might result in the same consequences as before. Deep acting differs slightly to surface acting because unlike surface acting which is only superficial deep acting in when a person either suppresses or evokes certain feeling in order to follow the feeling rules. So, a person would be altering how they perceive and feel emotions in order to satisfy the feeling rules they believe others expect from them. This would also be quite detrimental to a persons mental state as they would have developed a warped sense of being where any emotion they feel is only to satisfy what is expected of them in order to match the expressions they are conveying to others. After even a short time of doing this a person can become exhausted and as time passes, they might start to lose their personal identity. The process of rediscovering yourself as an individual would end up being more damaging to themselves compared to if they had just broken the feeling rules for their given situation. 

Everything considered, it is quite evident that feeling rules often leave quite a negative impact on an individual whether it’s a social impact such as the one’s showcased at a funeral or a mental impact highlighted by the surface and deep acting. There are always consequences regardless of whether you follow or break the feeling rules. Consequences such as being scolded by individuals, being shunned, being negatively labeled by others, losing your self identity, and impacting your mental health negatively. It is hard to avoid these negative impacts when feeling rules are present in most social interactions even in daily life.



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