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What causes emotional outbursts? emotions
Old 09-07-2007, 09:11 PM   #1
Evalis
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Earlier today at work, I just experienced the 'wrath' of a collegue going through some emotional outburst regarding a confliction of opinions over a work related issue. For some reason or other they felt the need to shout and stomp after me regarding it, rather than send an email to our supervisor for clarification. It is due to this 'non-logical' course of action that I am labeling the response as an outburst.

For the sake of argument we are going to assume that this person is normally (as most-hopefully-people are) calm and rational during the rest of their lives. Let's even assume that they are currently recieving pressure from other personal issues in addition to anything that may have occured..

It is my suspicion that there is something that 'kicks' in the brain that causes people to lose grip of their normal selves and act in some manner that does not directly assist in resolving the problem. I'm curious to know if this involves some bodily chemical that spreads into the brain after a certain ammount of mental pressure, causing a temporary distortion of perception and/or the discontinuation of certain cognitive functions.

Anyone have an explanation?
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:09 AM   #2
Jezebel
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I don't know the names of the chemicals involved. I do know that even a normally rational person can occasionally have emotional outbursts. I would guess in very rational people, an overflow of feelings and not knowing how to deal with them could lead to an emotional outburst. It's extremely rare for me these days, but when it has happened it has been due to too much pent frustration and stress after other solutions I tried failed. It's debatable whether or not venting helps though.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:11 AM   #3
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I would agree that as normally rational and logical people, we aren't used to dealing with large amounts of emotion and lack the ability to just "drop it". I have learned to be able to vent softly, but it requires time and if the source of my antagonization refuses (knowningly or unknowningly) to leave me alone, they may be on the receiving end of an outburst.

At the First Poster: I'm curious if the outburst came immediately in response to an action, or if it happened later. I suspect that it would be the former, but making assumptions is a bad habit.
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:34 PM   #4
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This reminds me, suddenly, of an example. A friend of mine was in the process of moving out of the home she had made with her husband and 3 kids over the course of 4 years or so, and at the time they were on the outs with each other (and now divorced). He told her he wasn't coming back to help pack/clean more the next day, and I sort of lost it. I went outside and beat a cardboard box against a telephone pole out of frustration, because I didn't understand how someone could just...be intentionally mean like that. I guess it's like using a punching bag to vent stress or as some people apparently do, break some dishes. Normally I really do let things slide, because most of the time I don't feel the need to expend energy on small stuff. But I guess I shorted out my brain or something when this situation didn't compute.
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:11 PM   #5
Evalis
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"At" the first Poster?! "AT!!" The first poster?! You're attacking me!!!

^^

Seriously I have no idea if it was a spontaneous thing or built up. It certainly wasn't built up in the sense that the two of us had multiple little tiffs that lead to it.. it was more along the lines of getting angry at doing something that was done correctly, me using sarcasm at his hostility, and then some stomping and yelling. There are potentially of course, many factors involved.. I was perhaps too personal in my post though.. as I was really just looking for a discussion over how the mind works.. and what physical or chemical reaction occurs that cuases people to lose the use of the left side (reasoning portion) of their brain.
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Old 09-14-2007, 09:06 PM   #6
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Yes, "At". And, if I was attacking, rather then making a precise use of language to direct a query at you, you would know
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In any case, I was simply curious as to the circumstances, because in that situation, essentially one of two scenarios played out. One, was when conflict (however minor/subtle) between you two broke "the calm barrier" in his head and he snapped. The second was if his emotional stability was weakened by some earlier events to the point where he lashed out at you for no current reason.

Either way, I understand your desire to not make the discussion personal.

Moving on to a more general discussion: I'm sure we've all been brought to the snapping point by life's stresses and vented on friend (or foe) with little to no provocation. It's curious to me, especially after I've done it, how in the moment we are justified (on some level) in blowing up at them when there is no reason behind it. This is very disturbing to me because I depend on reason so much.

Now if someone is pushing my buttons, well all beats are off
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though I generally try to hit them off at the pass with a controlled response.

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Old 09-15-2007, 04:51 AM   #7
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Adrenaline perhaps? The brain is somewhat complex, it's probably a whole bunch of hormones...

I doubt hormonal stress is the only factor for anger. Perhaps some perpetual dislike could just have enough force to make otherwise that person with a mild persona act out of character.

Perhaps analytical people tend to splice and store emotions; if too much of the negative builds up, it could go all awry. And becuase you're not used to that person behaving like that, you'd be shocked. If you're used to someone being "angry" all the time, then you probably would just shrug it right off...
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:55 PM   #8
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  Originally Posted by tundra
Adrenaline perhaps?

I can agree with that!^

It takes a tremendous amount of stress for me to "explode". I once had a really bad outburst, the feeling that overcame me was un-describable.

I was returning home with the wife, things were said and I lost it. So as I was entering the driveway and suddenly accelerated into my other car,(like the pit maneuver the cops use)pushing it 5-6 feet onto the lawn before I realized what I had done. I caused 1500 dollars damage to my car(I got pics)and 150 dollars damage to my van, and f***ed up my lawn. Needless to say, I have a bad temper. It did feel good to have a release though.

I rarely ever express my internal feelings.

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Old 09-17-2007, 09:01 PM   #9
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Perhaps. It does kinda fill like you are being pushed into a box and your only choices are Fight or Flight.
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Old 09-18-2007, 03:08 AM   #10
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@Jack S:

Sounds like someone I know, but not the car and lawn :-/

I get into heated arguments with people while smiling a few minutes before. Maybe it's just INTJ-ish to store it and build up the pressure, then suddenly let it out?
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Old 09-22-2007, 03:18 PM   #11
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For me outbursts occur when the intensity of a situation grow to a point where rational thought and being cool, calm, collective just won't do the trick any longer. At this point a threshold is basically crossed where an emotional outburst occurs.

Very rarely does this happen to me, but I can remember one time in the past few years where I experienced this very thing.

My girlfriend and I were on the zipper and she was having a negative reaction to it. Probably a result of hyperventilation, but she lost the ability to move her fingers and she could no longer speak correctly. Or to put it bluntly, she was panicking so hard that she was losing control of her body/passing out. Obviously you can't just be as calm and rational as normal at this point, so the threshold is crossed, a booming voice of profanities storms outward, and the entire ride is stopped.


For others (probably non INTJs) things are a little bit different. It seems that anything and everything can set some people off. I suppose it's a matter of discipline really. Some people take things as a bigger deal than others do, and some people are able to control/deal with their emotions better than others. If someone spills some milk, I know someone who would flip out about it, as opposed to myself of some of you who would just clean it up and move on.
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Old 09-23-2007, 04:20 AM   #12
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I've always had a bit of an anger 'problem' we'll say... but it's never really been a problem. The most that has ever happened to date is me getting upset and venting to a friend about it. Logically, it makes no sense to get mad at someone when they don't deserve it. Although I find it hard at times, I've stayed true to this. I had an INFJ as a mother, who would frequently have emotional outburst attacks directed at me (or worse...) if she was having a bad day or what not. I know the pain of being treated irrationally, so I refuse to do it to others.
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:08 PM   #13
The Rose
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  Originally Posted by Evalis
Earlier today at work, I just experienced the 'wrath' of a collegue going through some emotional outburst regarding a confliction of opinions over a work related issue. For some reason or other they felt the need to shout and stomp after me regarding it, rather than send an email to our supervisor for clarification. It is due to this 'non-logical' course of action that I am labeling the response as an outburst.

For the sake of argument we are going to assume that this person is normally (as most-hopefully-people are) calm and rational during the rest of their lives. Let's even assume that they are currently recieving pressure from other personal issues in addition to anything that may have occured..

It is my suspicion that there is something that 'kicks' in the brain that causes people to lose grip of their normal selves and act in some manner that does not directly assist in resolving the problem. I'm curious to know if this involves some bodily chemical that spreads into the brain after a certain ammount of mental pressure, causing a temporary distortion of perception and/or the discontinuation of certain cognitive functions.

Anyone have an explanation?

You might enjoy a great book I have called Beside Ourselves by Naomi L. Quenk.
This book explains why people "lose it" and can also predict how people will lose it - based on their type.
Thankfully, it also suggests ways for each type to gain their equilibrium back.
It's a rather technical book but after reading the beginning 3 times, I finally grasped what she was saying.
It's very useful as a reference.
Last year, I used it when my 12 year old had a melt down at school.
I looked up the ways that would help him get back to his normal self.
Taking in new information was something that was supposed to be helpful,
so I took him to see The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe and he was fine thereafter!

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Old 09-23-2007, 08:30 PM   #14
Evalis
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Thank you rose. I shall do that
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:38 PM   #15
Tarrick
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  Originally Posted by The Rose
Anyone have an explanation?

You might enjoy a great book I have called Beside Ourselves by Naomi L. Quenk.
This book explains why people "lose it" and can also predict how people will lose it - based on their type.

[/quote]

NEAT! I think at least some of us should read this.

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