II. Emotion affects communication between others in many ways.
A. Almost everything we say, think or do is affected by our emotions (Myers, 2004).
1. Emotion is a conscious mental reaction subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body(“Emotion”).
a. There are many types of emotions.
i. There are joyful and affectionate emotions such as happiness, love, passion and liking (Floyd, 2012). ii. There are hostile emotions such as anger, disgust, contempt, jealousy and envy (Floyd, 2012). iii. There are sad and anxious emotions such as sadness, depression, grief, fear and social anxiety (Floyd, 2012)
b. Mood is different than emotion.
i. Mood is a state or quality of feeling at a particular time (Myers, 2004).
2. Emotions influence behavior in several ways (Stewart & Bennett, 1991).
a. Emotions appear in the form of feelings and desire (Stewart & Bennett, 1991).
b. The personal and emotional aspect of the American self -concept is based on the awareness of equality of everyone (Stewart & Bennett, 1991).
i. Sympathizing with someone is a feeling of support or it can also be a state in which different people share the same interests or opinions (Floyd, 2012).
c. Empathy relies on the ability to temporarily set aside one’s own perception of the world and see it in a different perspective (Stewart & Bennett, 1991)
i. Empathy is in fact the ability to think and feel the way others do (Myers, 2004).
B. There are many factors that affect the way we express and convey emotion.
1. Variables such as cultural background, technology, gender, emotional contagion and even one’s emotional intelligence can affect emotion (Floyd, 2012).
a. Cultural background influence emotional expression.
i. The American style of communication is broken down into expression, persuasive, referential and phatic functions (Stewart & Bennett, 1991).
b. Technology influences emotional expression in three different ways.
i. The first being text-based communication, which doesn’t allow us to see or hear signals of emotions from others (Floyd, 2012).
Things can easily be misconstrued; so great stress is placed on developing the skill to say exactly what you mean (Stewart & Bennett, 1991). ii. The second is that technology increases opportunities for sharing emotion; whether positive or negative (Floyd, 2012) iii. The internet provides many opportunities to share emotions and feelings with one another and to discuss similar experiences (Floyd, 2004).
c. Gender affects emotions.
i. For instance research shows that men are more likely to express anger when they feel it, than women are (Floyd, 2012).
d. Emotional contagion is the tendency to feel and express emotions influenced by others (Myers, 2004).