Customizing My Emotional Spin Cycle:

Data Collection and Analysis

April 20, 2002

By: Mine1

Dr. Leon James, Instructor

 

    Attention Reader! Would you like to know how YOUR Emotional Spin Cycle is related to socialization, habits, appraisal and emotional intelligence? Then click here to view my report #1.

    My report #1 implies that socialization practices, interpersonal relations, stress and conflict with anyone all make an impact on us as an individual.  Whether we like to believe it or not things in or everyday life (like our culture) greatly impact how well we perceive and handle the world. 

    You see when we talk about your emotional spin cycle we're talking about  how your emotions can go on a rollercoaster day after day.  You go on these rollercoaster rides day after day because YOU allow yourself to be taken on that ride.  For example, you wake up and everything is going fine.  Until your child gives a hard time about getting up.  Then she tells you she needs lunch for a field trip.  By this time you don't have time to cook something so you hurry to the nearest bento place to snag a plate.  You rush your child to school in traffic.  You get even more mad when people don't know how to drive and you escalate to furious when you're late for work...BUT, it doesn't stop there because you don't know how to deal with your emotions you go to work with a bad attitude and because you're being mean everyone else is too.  The cycle goes on all day and you wonder to yourself "why me?".

    You see the world brings with it, it's ups and downs but it's up to you to decide how you're going to deal with it.  In today's society things are just getting worse.  People don't know how to control their emotions and it doesn't help that today's society is just getting more violent.  If we don't teach our children how to deal with their emotions the world will be full of horn honking, middle finger sticking drivers and it's just going to escalate to more deaths on the road and more violence in the streets. 

    What can be done?  Well since the school system is only now grasping the idea of teaching how to cope with emotions, the best option is to start teaching your children in the home.  Sit with them and tell them what's real on TV and explain to them that violence in cartoons should no way be emulated in real life.  When they get angry and start pointing their fists, instead of disciplining them, explain to them what they're doing wrong and ask them why they're mad in the first place.  If you teach them, at home it will rub off at school and your child will know how to deal with situations when you're not around and that knowledge is more valuable then any algebra you could teach them!

    How do you start controlling your emotions you ask?  Well to understand how to do this you need to look at your self as "Your Threefold Self".  First you need to understand that you have three general areas that you deal with everyday, which are:  habits of feeling, thinking and sensations.  You deals with these three areas everyday in your life and you can either experience them negatively or positively.  The next step is to understand that you can feel negatively and positively in these three areas about yourself or others and the world.  Here's a diagram to help you better understand. 

    Now that you've seen the chart I'm sure it's all very clear.  The final step about the threefold self is learning that you can bring yourself to think more positively by "bridging".  This technique is very useful to anyone that will take the time to understand it because you can use it anywhere.  At first I didn't think that I would be able to use it but if you just try it you find yourself being more happy and less stressed.  This idea fits into psychology very nicely because in psychology you start with your mind and this technique is all in the mind.  You don't need paper or a therapist present.  All you need is to breath and think to yourself..."is this worth ruining my day over?".  The answer will usually be no and you start to think about other things that you need to do instead of feeling sorry for yourself. 

    For report two I chose to do four types of media to observe.  The first one was the cartoon with the coyote and the roadrunner.  The second was a song by Tupac called "Hit Em Up".  The third was a case on the TV. show the forensic files and the fourth was a show called Bob the Builder.  What I did was watch the show and take notes of what was happening.  Each segment that I observed was only for about thirty seconds.  I jotted down notes and put it into two charts.  I then used the rating scale that was given and changed some of the questions so that it would fit rating a piece of media.  What I did was try and think of how each character could have use the bridge technique instead of the action that they did. 

    The bridge technique would have been very useful in any of these situations.  To me the bridge technique is very useful in any situation.  You use it when every you need to take control of your feelings.  So when you're angry, frustrated, or depressed you can use the technique to get yourself out of that negative zone so that you can go on with the rest of your day.  So if you think about it the bridge technique is a very useful tool for anyone to have.  It could save your whole day, week or month!  If you think you can't use this technique because it takes up too much time to learn you're wrong.  I didn't always know about the bridge technique and after I learned about it I wasn't aware that I was even using it until one of my classmates pointed it out to me!!  Now I use the bridge technique without even thinking about it, without being aware that I'm doing it.  When ever I find myself in a negative situation I automatically talk myself through it without realizing what I'm doing till later. 

    So we've learned why the bridge technique is so useful and that we use it on our emotional spin cycle but let me explain to you why we call it the daily emotional spin cycle.  The "daily emotions" part is self explanatory but the word spin is used to refer to your emotions at any given time.  For example, if you're feeling negative about yourself and you're feeling negative about others and the world you have no where to go.  You spin one way and you're angry about other people.  You turn around (spin) and you're feeling negative about yourself.  You keep yourself in the negative zone!  It's like a no win situation and because you had a bad day yesterday, you'll expect a bad day today and you'll keep yourself in the "cycle" of  having these negative emotions.  Women probably have more issues with their feelings then men just because women are more emotionally intelligent then men are but that's not to say that a man can't have an extremely bad day also.  It all depends on a person's personality.  If you're the kind of person that automatically thinks of good things that's great, but if you're more on the pessimistic side finding things to be happy about starts to get hard when you feel hurt and frustrated.  I know what you're thinking!  You'll never be able to do this...but you're wrong! Changing your habits (or the way you do things) is not as easy as you think.  Just as long as you know when to look for those habits.  When someone makes you angry in traffic and you know you're about to stick your hand out the window (you'll know it because it's a habit) stop yourself and change your habit.  Ask yourself..."What am I doing?" , or "I don't know the other person's situation."  You'll be amazed at how fast you'll learn to change your habits! 

    The rating scale that I was given to use was originally for the self-monitoring project but instead of throwing the whole thing out I used most of the questions and just changed them to fit my media observation project.  If you would like to see my rating chart click here.  For the questions that were appropriate I used a rating scale from 1-10.  1 being very poor while 10 being outstanding.  The scale and it's rating is purely based on my opinion and to me it rates the amount of emotional intelligence that was used.  I then proceed to shortly say how in each situation the bridge technique could have been used if only they had taken the time out to sit down for a minute.  I think this rating scale is the best that I could have used because (again) the ratings are purely based on my opinion of the type of media that I observed. 

Here are some examples of my data sheets:  The first one is of my data from observing the media and the second is a chart that I made for explaining more how the four options were used in each cartoon.

What action was wrong?

The fact that the coyote had to find a way to get even by hurting the roadrunner.

He promotes violence and anger publicly with no shame.

He went to confront the lover while he was mad and under the influence.

Nothing.  The problem was handled very well.

How could it have been handled better?

The coyote should have realized that just because someone made fun of one of his inventions, itís no reason to cry over it or try and hurt the other person.

There is no way to cope with this.  Itís not illegal because itís freedom of speech, I just wish he wouldnít promote so much violence.

He should have gone to a friendís house and stayed the night and talked to the lover after a day or two of cooling off.

Nothing.  The characters talked it through together and the cement maker just fixed the tire and realized it was nothing to get even about.

What was the overall stress of characterís situation from my point of view?

(scale of 1-10)

 

2

10

8

2

 

Negative or Positive feeling

Negative

Negative

Negative

Negative

Feeling is for self or others and world.

Others and the world

Others and the world

Others and the world

self

 

 

 

 

    If you would like to see the two charts in full please click here.  Records.html

    What I did for this project was make out the chart before hand so that I could answer every question as I was watching or listening to the particular media.  That way I could be as accurate as possible with ratings as opposed to rating it a week later after watching or listening to the media.  This way I could rate the media more accurately because it's fresh in my mind.  I choose the four types on media knowing what to expect from all of them.  I knew that the first three would not have any bridging techniques at all and I knew that Bob the Builder was going to be rated better because I had prior experience with all the media before.  For the first media ( the coyote and the roadrunner) if he would have just thought about it for a minute instead of reacting with his first emotions he would have realized that he hadn't made the invention for the roadrunner.  He had made it for himself, so regardless of what the roadrunner thought his own opinion ( the coyotes) was all that mattered.  For the second media that I chose ( the song by tupac) you have to know what the song is about first.  Tupac is a "gangsta rapper" and one of his biggest rivals is "biggy".  A rap artist from the record label bad boys.  He directs the song directly to "biggy" and his associates at bad boy records very bluntly and tells them things like "punk ass nigga you deserve to die".  The whole song is about how "biggy" tried to kill him with sixteen bullet shots to the chest (which happened in real life) that tupac survived.  He then tells them how they all are going to die.    I think that tupac has the right to say what ever it is that's on his mind and I admit that it's very hard to get over someone trying to kill you and getting that close but I don't think the lyrics to this song should have been so....profane and vulgar.  You can tell that he's very mad just by listening to this song.  You don't have a doubt in your mind when listening to this song the emotions that are going through him. You can hear the anger and hatred that he is feeling.  I do think though that if he were to deal with his feelings that this song would have never been put on a cd.  The third type of media is from the forensic files based on real life stories.  In this particular situation a man finds out that his wife is cheating on him and goes to confront the man while he is still very angry and he is under the influence of alcohol.  What was supposed to be a talk ended up in murder.  If he had just calmed himself down and taken a minute to realize what he was doing he would have realized that he shouldn't go over to confront the man right away because of the state of mind that he was in.  If he would have calmed down what would have started as a talk might have only escalated into a fight.  The fourth type of media was Bob the Builder.  This show is based on a man named bob that has construction machines that are alive.  In this episode the cement maker got mad/hurt because he she a flat tire and one the other machines made fun of her.  The cement maker was about to play a nasty trick on the machine when bob's assistant talked her out of it.  The assistant asked her why she was mad?, and why she should be mad about a remark like that.  The cement maker said that she was doing the nasty trick to get back at the machine because "that's what your supposed to do".  The assistant then said that just because other people do it doesn't mean that she has to do it also.  In the end the cement maker realized she wasn't all that mad anyway and that she was just hurt.  She confronted the other machine and it said sorry and that was the end of it! 

    I think that people react to situations negatively because it's easier to do then to react positively about a situation.  I mean if you want to think positively about someone making fun of you.  You would have to take the time out to talk to yourself but if you just respond negatively it's way easier because you don't have to think.  You just need to yell or hit or do what every your habits tell you you're supposed to do. 

    I've realized that I react to situations negatively because it's what I've seen my mother and people around me do time after time.  It's already in my habits list of what to do.  If I just make a habits list for positive things I can change the way I react to different situations.  If I just use those positive things enough it will replace my negative habits list.  I will continue to use the bridging technique after this class is over because I've realized that it is only in my best interests that I use it.  I also realize that I can make a difference in my baby cousins, my friends and my family.  I just have to show them how effortless it is to think positively and show them the positive outcomes that happen.  I think then that the people around me would be motivated to change their habits so that they don't get a cycle of negative emotions.  I don't think I'll need to show them diagrams though.  Just by seeing examples of myself should be enough to explain to them what they need to do to change.  I hope that one day emotional intelligence is taken into more serious account and is taught in schools.  That way we can drill it into children's brains that violence is not the only way to handle situations. 

Reaction to G15/16 Past Forum discussions

    After reading the discussions I have one thing to say....They didn't use the bridge technique at all.  They didn't follow the forum discussion rules and all they did was complain.  They didn't try and help themselves at all.  They didn't bridge in any of the forum discussions that I read.  I don't think they learned how to bridge at all. 

 

References

-Forum discussions from G15, http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy16/forum-copy-g15.html

-Emotional Intelligence in Everyday Life by Joseph Ciarrochi, Joseph P. Forgas, and John D. Mayer

 

 

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