Emotions? What is that?

(a book review of ‘In Simple Words’ by Ilya Poludyonny and Mark Livin)

The book can be described as a textbook in psychology that briefly describes emotions. So! This book is dedicated to the palette of emotions!

How often do you think about what kind of emotion you are feeling? Can you name it one hundred percent? Emotions are often superimposed in layers, where another is disguised under an unexpected one. Shame and guilt, humiliation and pride, anger and hatred, doubt and powerlessness… Sometimes it is difficult to immediately determine who is who. And it is worse when you do not distinguish them and even cannot feel any of them, I feel some flurry but I do not know where this solid load came from… Why does it happen?

Unfortunately, all this is a consequence of our upbringing, which was a consequence of the historical time in the Soviet Union. At that time, you were not allowed to feel any anger, no pride, no doubt – because in their opinion it was all ‘bad’ emotions. Only those who were comfortable for the government were accepted: guilty, shame, joy and that`s the end of the list. Everything that didn’t fit was forbidden. The Soviet black-and-white time passed, but the habit of suppressing emotions remained. Under such conditions and because of the upbringing imitation, despite the change of times, we have received people just insensitive to themselves. What do you want? It is a kind of the genetic heritage!

But not everything is so bad, because now it is the era of finding and understanding yourself. Fortunately, now authors such as Ilya Poludyonny and Mark Livin appear to finally explain what we really feel. Their book allows you to understand what emotions exist, what their function is, and most importantly — there are no bad emotions because they are all needed, they play important roles in our body and protect us. Because if I’m angry — my boundaries are violated, I’m jealous — I’m missing something, and in solitude, I can feel my true self and feel that I have to change for the better. The book is not an antidote to bad mood or anger or envy. But it shows that it is normal to feel a smorgasbord of emotions. And it doesn’t matter what. The peculiarity of this book is that it seemed to me that I was sitting with two close friends telling tales about life — about undivided love, about the affected dignity, about terrible neighbors. And in this conversation, they helped me to experience certain situations differently, gaining maturity and wisdom.

Another plus is how it is all described and structured. The structure of the book is very cool — one chapter for one emotion, slice-of-life cases from the authors’ own activities, their short conversations, and exercises for work. From the first pages, you can feel the lightness and friendly atmosphere.

I will definitely return to this book later and will advise everyone to read.

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