WIFTM: Who Controls Your Emotions?

After a week long break, I’m back to uploading videos on my YouTube channel. Today’s video is a shorter video, part of my goal of having short form videos that are only about 10 minutes long, and occasionally producing long form videos that are about 30 minutes in length. The reason why I want shorter videos is because I have to compete with a lot of other people on YouTube and so I want my videos to be easier for people to consume so they can get a sample of what my channel is about. Then also have something in longer form for the people who are interested in getting into the depth of things. Because of this shift in formatting I recorded this video no less than five times. The first version was over 20 minutes long and contained a lot of material I didn’t upload, but with each subsequent take I started to omit more, especially when it was getting overly complicated. Often the best videos examine just a single concept in precision. All the material I omitted from this video I decided to shift it into the next couple of videos in order to keep this one focused. I will probably make another video tomorrow with the material I didn’t use today. I’m pretty happy with the finished product, except after uploading it I realised I had forgotten to mention at least one really important point!

For people who believe their feelings are controlled by external factors, such as other people’s words, actions, or natural events, it seems only logical to want to try to manipulate, control, punish, and eliminate people who “make them feel bad”. However, I didn’t explicitly say that for those who believe their feelings are controlled by internal factors, that it makes no sense to try to manipulate, control, punish, and eliminate other people, because other people don’t have any real control over their feelings. This is implied of course, but I wanted to spell it out here:

If you take full responsibility for your own feelings, as your own creations, born from your beliefs, perceptions, and thoughts, then it makes no sense to try to control other people because of how you feel. Sure, if a person is lying about you, threatening you, or stealing from you, then you will probably take actions against them to contain them or limit their ability to harm you. But you do this to protect yourself against their actions, not because of how you feel. How you feel is completely irrelevant to the situation, only their actions matter.

‘WIFTM’ means “What I Forgot To Mention”

A lot of confusion arises though when people confuse words with actions. Violence for example is an action, so when people say “your words are violent” they are confusing words with an action. When people can’t make discrimination between words (ideas) and actions (in this case ‘violence’) they can use this mistake as a justification to punish or censor someone because of something they said. These might seem like trivial grammatical errors, and if you are well educated this will seem like an obvious category error. However, government schools are generally so poor in quality that most people these days graduate without even a basic level of grammar. If you ask someone to explain if an idea can’t be violent, and they can’t give you a clear explanation (i.e. “violence is an action, ideas don’t have limbs, so ideas can’t perform any violence by themselves.”) then you’re dealing with someone who is suffering from a poor quality education.

As a philosophical therapist, a lot of my job is actually about correcting grammatical errors like these that people don’t even know they have. Another one which I will make a video about one day soon will be the difference between thoughts and feelings because many people use the word “feeling” when they mean “thought”; for example “I felt that you had hostile intentions” which makes no sense unless you substitute ‘felt’ like so “I thought that you had hostile intentions”.

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