Originally Posted by Ravenesque
I've heard the "choosing" to feel or not feel position before. It is unrealistic. Based on this premise of being able to choose what we feel, we can choose to love one person and we can choose not to feel sorrow when those closest to us die. What we control are our actions, not our emotions.
This is an old debate that occurs between those who have learned to control their emotions and those who haven't. Those who have know from first hand experience that you can do it. Those who haven't can't imagine how it could possibly be done. I've been on both sides of the argument at different points in my life.
Before I learned some techniques to control my emotions, I completely agreed with you. I even chose it as a topic for my term paper in first year philosophy. I had all sorts of eloquent arguments about how even if you could choose how you feel about something, you can't choose to choose and so on. I had a boyfriend at the time who told me you actually could change the way you feel, using the fact that he had done it as his evidence. At the time, I said he was full of it.
But there most definitely are techniques you can learn to choose to feel a certain way. It's definitely not easy, it doesn't come overnight or without a lot of practice and careful self-examination. You have to constantly monitor your thoughts. But I know it can be done, because I've learned to do it.
I know that the internet is full of real people, and I try to respect this. But I find that when I'm coping with how other
people behave online, it's much easier to think of them as strangers with whom I have no vested interest. That way I don't take their words personally unless specifically adressed to me by name. And if someone does attack me personally by name, I prefer to treat them as a dumb jerk trying to prove some stupid point rather than to get all offended and hurt.