I have learned from Dr E and Dr O that I do not feel the range of emotions that you do. I do not feel joy,I do not feel sadness, I do not become upset and I do not feel empathy. I am fully familiar with anger, rage, envy, hatred, jealousy, despair and most of all the feeling of power. Some of these feelings I had to explain and Dr O provided me with the appropriate label. This is because I began the first session on discussing feelings by explaining I knew only three ; power, anger and power again (actually the third was a terrible sense of dread but that is weak and I was not admitting that to the delicious Dr O). I found these sessions largely uncomfortable as I prefer to use my intelligence to interact with others rather than rely on the often uncontrollable sense of emotion. I do this because I am an expert in studying and reading people. Accordingly, I have learned which emotion to use to enable me to better negotiate my way to getting what I want. For instance, I have learned that when someone crows about a promotion to me, I am to smile and congratulate them. It takes a microsecond as I process what mask I need to reach for, but I a proficient at it now. Of course, behind that mask I am plotting how to criticise their good news as I can feel the envy rising inside of me, but that comes later. For now, I must smile, look happy, shake their hand and wish them well. Thus I appear the decent and pleasant man all know and admire me for.
Conversely, if someone is crying it usually means that they have had some bad news. In those instances I use a concerned face (I copied my secretary’s expressions as she is really good at looking after people) and know that I must utter useless platitudes such as “It will be alright I am sure” or “these things takes time but it will get better” or ” I am sorry for your loss” and pat them on the shoulder. I won’t hug them though. That is going too far.
It was as I began to build up my repertoire of staged responses that I hit on an excellent idea. I needed to find the experts at showing these emotions, study them and then I can replicate them brilliantly so that everyone regards me as someone who is in tune with human emotions and they will admire me for that. Thus, I went to a hospital and watched the nurses as they cared for people. I studied police officers on television when they had to impart bad news to people. I went to see a comedian at a local venue and watched the audience respond to her jokes. I attended a football match and observed the crowd (that was a very good source of a range of reactions – most instructive). But best of all, I happened on an amateur dramatics group and I volunteered to help with the lighting so I could watch the actors and listen to what the director told them. It was a goldmine. After that, it all fell into place as to how I should behave in certain situations. I observe and now know which mask I need to let fall into place.