Dealing With Extreme Emotions, Part-IV, Sorrow and Despair

Saturday, 26 February 2022 15:30
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Do you find it difficult to deal with sad or depressed people?  Do you find it difficult to deal with your own sadness?  If so, maybe this pearl can help reduce the sadness or despair/depression experienced daily.
Welcome to Part-IV of this five-part series dealing with calming down the sadness or despair in yourself and others.  People displaying sorrow can descend into despair or depression, especially when they are disconnected from their finances or their loved connections.  People who experience a tragic loss are difficult to help, but you can at least give them support with your relator style to momentarily get them through it.  Anybody can get depressed, but genetically strong relators tend to get more depressed and genetically strong directors tend to get less depressed.
What causes Sorrow, Depression or Despair?
The left amygdala stores our sorrow memories.  Sensory input triggers these sorrow memories (in 50 ms) along with sensory memories in the sensory cortex (in 100 ms)—these sensory memories also trigger related relator memories in the left frontal cortex.  When sorrow is triggered, the amygdala wipes the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) clear of what it is presently dealing with and scans those relator memories to find the reason for the sorrow (in 500 ms).  If not found, new sensory input will re-trigger the amygdala and other relator memories to sort it out.  But if the feeling of disconnection is great, the amygdala will quickly re-trigger that sorrow before rational memories can be accessed, continuing or elevating that sorrow.  And if not firing too quickly, that sorrow can be rationally re-triggered by strong relator memories about that loss, causing despair or depression.
The evolutionary purpose of the relator style in the left frontal cortex is: to maintain our connections.  The evolutionary purpose of sorrow is: to alert us to a disconnection from our connections.  Genetically strong relators have an excitable left (sorrow) amygdala and can find disconnection in almost anything, triggering mild sorrow to despair/depression.  When sorrow is re-triggered by unresolved strong relator memories the sorrow can descend to despair/depression.  If the disconnection is from an unimportant connection the sorrow is simple to alleviate, but when disconnected from an important connection (a lost loved one, etc.) that sorrow already has descended into despair/depression, which could last for years—because they can’t reconnect with a dead person.  Some strong relators find disconnection in indifference—they erroneously think that when another person seems indifferent to them that they are disconnected.  The bottom line is that you should assure them that there is no disconnection or distract them from a real disconnection.
When someone uses their relator style their reactions are governed by the following others-serving motivations:
1) Only other’s Opinions matter (momentarily)
2) Only other’s Needs matter (momentarily)
3) Only other’s Decisions matter (momentarily)
When someone is a strong relator, these motivations control their daily reactions, their daily lives.  When the sorrowful person is a strong relator (which is typically the case) there are many relator memories to support or elevate that sorrow to despair, making it very difficult to calm them.  If the sorrowful person is genetically a weak relator there are fewer relator memories controlled by these motivations to support/elevate that sorrow, making it easier to quell—especially if that person is a strong director with totally opposite motivations.
Lifting up a Sorrowful person:
When you are not the cause of their disconnection the sorrowful person is using their relator memories and motivations to reconnect with someone/something who is not there to help them, which can cause them to descend deeper into despair/depression.  There is little you can do about this other than distract them and/or support their need to feel some kind of reconnection to something. 
When you are the cause of their disconnection, the sorrowful person is using these motivations to reconnect with you, making your needs and opinions more important then their own.  This gives you the ability to use your relator style and its motivations to reconnect with them.  Unfortunately, this is difficult to do when you are a weak relator (especially when you are a strong director with opposite motivations), which is why “stepping outside yourself” is an important tool.  Thus, when you are the cause of their disconnection it is your job to help them get back rational (PFC) control by sequentially lifting them up using the following procedure to “step outside yourself” and concentrate on their needs and opinions, not yours:

1) While looking them straight in the eye at their eye level, ask them to “please take a deep breath” as you also take a deep breath.  This distraction should calm them and you a little and reduce the physical distress from shallow breathing.

2) Clear your mind of any opinions or rational emotions about that disconnection.  Look into their eyes and carefully ask them why they are so sad and allow their PFC to find the reason for their sadness and possibly quell it.
3) Only focus on what the other person is saying to discover the cause of their sorrow.  Fully hear that person out (saying nothing) no matter how long it takes, to allow them to gain more control.
4) Wait at least five seconds after they are done speaking to support the aspects of their rational that you agree with—don’t be judgmental (stay outside of yourself).  This will calm them a little more.

5) Then, stop talking and while looking them in the eyes allow them to say anything else—without prompting or commenting on it—simply wait for them to calm down.
6) Compassionately look them in the eyes and say nothing until they calm themselves if their sorrow elevates and they won’t calm down—this may take a while so be patient.
There are a lot of steps to remember here, but most of the time you can calm then only using steps 1), 2), 3), and possibly 4).
Calming Yourself Down when in Despair—NOT easy to do—get help:
1) Take a deep breath and concentrate on that breath
2) Ask yourself why that connection was so important to you.
3) Take another deep breath.
4) Think about why you miss that connection.
5) Think about why your life might be better without that connection.
6) Treat your self to something you like.
Throughout this sequence you are allowing sorrowful people to calm down enough to release their PFC from sorrow’s control so that they can sort out and quell that sorrow and move on.  Hopefully, they will have an understanding of what causes that sorrow and can get past it in the moment and possibly forever.  This is especially true when you are the cause of that sorrow and can provide positive information to help them get past it.
I hope that Part-IV has helped you to understand how to deal with people in the grip of sorrow/depression/despair.  In Part-V we will discuss how to calm down people who are being controlled by excessive joy, which can elevate to mania and the total loss of mental and physical control.
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