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Emotions

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Emotions that we feel and express define us as individuals in a society. People’s opinion about each other mostly depends on the way one shows own emotions in a certain situation. Every human behaves and feels differently from others and this builds up our personality. Yet, not all emotions that we express are inborn. They are also influenced by a set of external factors like social environment (culture, religion), gender of a person, and social status.

Social environment is, probably, the most decisive element which shapes our emotional expression.  It is wide known, that American people emphasize happiness which is “a highly desirable emotion in the American cultural context” and constantly promote various contexts and situations where the emotion of happiness may occur (B. Mesquita, R. Walker 780). Religion also affects feelings and behavior of people. This is especially noticeable among the Muslims which tend to feel less negative emotions because of the philosophy of patience prescribed by Quran.

Another decisive factor for emotional behavior is gender of a person. Females usually express much more emotions than males. This attitude is formed in the early childhood. Little boys are often asked not to cry because they are “men” and as “men” they should be strong and do not show their emotions.

Social status also constrains our emotional expression. For example, a married woman or man is expected to behave less emotional and more calm as marriage provides couple with the higher social status of adult persons. The same refers to a job position. The higher status in a company one holds, the less emotion he should show at least when communicating colleagues.

So, every person feels and expresses various emotions which make us being individuals. As parts of a society, we need to conform to its rules and values. That is why differences in culture, religion, gender and social status highly influence emotional expression of people.

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