Your home emotion is the way you often feel when alone with no input from anyone else. When you are relaxing, do you often find yourself feeling one particular emotion like happy or anxious for no apparent reason? This may be your home emotion. While everyone may not have a home emotion, you probably know people who seem worried, angry, calm, or some other emotion most of the time. There is no right or wrong home emotion. It can depend on how safe and comfortable you feel and can change between days, in different situations, and over the years as you age.
We often continually return to our home emotion and it can act like a circle of feelings where we are most comfortable. Knowing a home emotion can help you interpret how you or someone else will respond to things that occur. If someone’s home emotion is around anger, they may become enraged with little warning since on the color wheel, they are already close to that feeling. If someone’s home emotion is around happy they may very rarely get angry and never reach enraged.
Understanding a situation from your home emotion
Below is a story of two people who have different home emotions but experienced the same situation. Notice how their feelings varied even though the actions around them did not.
Story actions: Someone was driving home in the middle of the night from another city. It started raining. The person got tired and stopped for coffee at a gas station. He took a nap in the car in the parking lot of the gas station. Someone woke him up by knocking on the car window to see if he was OK.
Dave's home emotion is anxious. Here's his version of the story:
“I was driving home from Charlotte in the middle of the night still feeling some excitement from the day’s events. The thought of the drive home made me anxious, but it was still over-shadowed by excitement. As I was about to leave it begun to rain; at that point my emotions turned to anxiety and apprehension.
While I was driving the rain started to come down so hard I couldn’t see the road. This brought on feelings of concern, worry and fear. Every once in a while I would hydroplane, causing moments of terror. The possibility of hydroplaning again kept me at afraid, worried and stressed.
By the time the rain stopped I was excruciatingly tired and I was trying to find a safe place to sleep. All the places I saw made me apprehensive and nervous. When I wasn’t finding anywhere I got distressed and that quickly led to frustration. I calmed down after a few minutes and settled back into anxiety, concern and worry. I was relieved to find a well-lit gas station.
After drinking coffee I settled down for a quick nap to wait for the coffee to take effect. I was already anxious and apprehensive about sleeping in the parking lot and the coffee only intensified it, but I got to sleep. I got startled by someone knocking on my window; unaware of their intensions and unable to think clearly because of the sleepy haze, the startle turned to terror.
When I realized he was not a threat I became confused because I didn’t understand what he wanted. When I realized he was making sure I was ok I became relieved and embarrassed. “
Sam's home emotion is calm. Here's his version of the story:
“I do fairly well with driving at night, there is no one else around and it is a chance to relax.
As I started driving it began to rain. It was kind of bothersome because it made it difficult to see, but at the same time the sound of rain hitting the windshield was calming.
I started to get tired so I looked for a place to rest. I found a well lit gas station that seemed as good a place as any. I went to sleep for a few minutes and was awaken by a knock on my window.
I was surprised and then alert. I was intrigued to see why this man was knocking on my window in the middle of the night. He explained that he was making sure everything was ok, I said yes and we went our separate ways.”