This is a non-biased thought about why there were such extreme emotions following this month’s presidential election.
I once took a 6-week commercial acting class (designed specifically for acting in TV commercials). One of the few things I recall from that class was about reactions in relation to expectations. For example:
If I’m going to take a bite of a something familiar to me (let’s say roast chicken), I have an expectation of how that chicken is going to taste. Depending on how it was cooked, it might end up tasting a little better or a little worse than I’m anticipating, but still close to what I was expecting. In that case, my reaction to the experience would be rather mild because my expectation was basically met.
If I bite into the chicken and it tastes fantastic, I’m going to have a heightened, positive reaction; everything about my demeanor is going to light up with joy. My eyes widen and twinkle, and my body language is animated with delight. Conversely, if the chicken tastes terrible, I would frown, loudly announce my displeasure, and possibly even spit out the chicken.
Regardless of who people wanted to win the election (red or blue), if blue had won, people would likely have experienced a middle-range bandwidth intensity of emotions – because what was expected had occurred. Because red unexpectedly won, most people experienced one extreme or another – joy or despair.
I find it interesting to note these reactions in everyday life, too. I learn a good deal about myself and others, regardless of whether our reactions to a circumstance are similar or disparate.
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