Is love an emotion

Learn to control emotions - this is how it works!

Controlling feelings: This way we can better control our feelings for others

Is love a force of nature? Or can we very well influence our feelings? The book author and initiator Vivian Dittmar can explain how feelings arise and how people can steer them in a desired direction.

emotion.de: Ms. Dittmar, do you think attraction can be controlled?

Vivian Dittmar: Yes, attraction can be controlled, even if not directly. Whether we find a person attractive or not has a lot to do with the images, longings and unlived parts that each of us carries around with us in the depths of our psyche. If our own relationship to these unconscious or semi-conscious parts changes, our attraction also changes.

Can feelings be explained rationally? Keyword: romance!

First of all, it is important to take a differentiated look at the term "feeling", because: Not everything that a person feels is a feeling. Many sensations, which we commonly refer to as feelings, are strictly speaking biological programming - including the famous being in love. This is important because feelings and biological programming arise very differently, have different functions and require a different approach. In contrast to feelings, biological programming does not arise through interpretations, but is triggered directly by stimuli. Then that's the famous "love at first sight" - it got us before our minds even knew what was going on. That means: So-called romantic feelings are irrational, but that does not mean that they are illogical.


Yes, attraction can be controlled, even if not directly.

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How can a feeling arise about a person?

It really depends on what feeling we are talking about. Whether we are caught in love or not has a lot to do with the famous "booty scheme" - that is what makes me jump out personally. It differs from person to person, can change in the course of life and there can also be several prey schemes. This prey scheme is a mirror of our soul world. The more unclear, blurred and suppressed the images of our soul world, the more they lie in the dark, the more distorted are the images according to which our prey scheme functions. This explains, for example, why very independent and self-determined women often choose the "wrong" men: Since there is often no positive reference to their own vulnerable, needy and therefore wonderfully tender parts, they look for a way into a distorted prey scheme. The men selected in this way make the hidden longing for being content and security vibrate, but they are not able to fulfill them positively.

Are there different ways to develop feelings for a person?

Absolutely. Many cultures find our idea that romantic attraction can form a good foundation for relationships completely absurd. In cultures where arranged marriages are common, one relies much more on the ability of both partners to develop long-term love for one another. This has the advantage that the expectations are completely different than when you go to the altar in the intoxication of being in love. Of course, this is not meant to be a plea for arranged marriages. However, we can learn from this that, even in romantically inspired relationships, sooner or later we cannot avoid working on our ability to love. According to scientific studies, the hormone rush subsides after about 18 months - and here we are talking about the really violent falls in love.

Can feelings be consciously reinforced? If yes how?

Our thoughts are the control center of our feelings - especially those feelings that I call social forces. In contrast to biological programming, these are not primarily assigned to our reproductive instinct, but are intended to help us regulate our relationships, and not just private ones. I can use my thoughts to strengthen my appreciation for a person by repeatedly calling out their positive aspects to myself. All too often we forget that and take the good sides of our partner for granted after the first infatuation rush. Studies have shown, however, that happy couples assess each other better than their circle of friends, while unhappy couples criticize each other more than those around them.

So can we consciously decide how we feel about a person?

We can control our sensations through our thoughts and through what we direct our perception to. However, this does not give us complete control over our sensations as there are too many unconscious or even biological factors at play.

When does love not stand a chance in your eyes? Are there exclusion criteria for positive feelings?

Yes there is. Love has no chance if there is a lack of respect. Unconditional respect is the foundation of a healthy partnership - and any other healthy relationship. Love is particularly easy when we lay a nice carpet of appreciation on the floor of respect. In contrast to respect, appreciation is not unconditional - this is about articulating what we personally value in others, i.e. what is valuable to us. Conversely, positive feelings are made very difficult if there is a lack of respect and appreciation.


About Vivian Dittmar: Vivian Dittmar is an author, initiator and expert on emotions. She has been internationally active since she was 22 and makes her knowledge available in seminars, training courses, articles and individual sessions. In addition, as a management consultant, she accompanies entrepreneurs and executives in processes of change towards an emotionally and socially competent culture. Vivian Dittmar spent her childhood on three continents in very different cultures. This sharpened her awareness of basic human issues. Vivian Dittmar lives with her family in South Tyrol and South Germany. More about Vivian Dittmar at www.viviandittmar.net.