Spring in Manchester, England – Understanding People´s Emotions and Behavior

I had an opportunity to feed my brain in Manchester, England. My program was about Mastering Emotion and Deception Skills. I was staying in the city for almost half a month. I remember Dalai Lama’s quote “Once a year go some place you’ve never been before. Interesting quote and yes, I always try my best to go to a new place at least once a year. So, hello Manchester! Here I am. What can you offer me?

The first time I landed in this city and waiting for my luggage at the airport, I was feeling warm already. The airports luggage sign was really eye catching and it made me smile. A couple of tourists standing beside me even asked my help to took pictures of them with the luggage sign.

A second good impression I got of the city Manchester came from the taxi driver. A friendly guy who made me feel convenient when I am sitting in the car, offered me his charger if I need to charge my mobile phone and the drinking water in the bottle. He did not even bother me with questions. Friendly and professional. In Asian countries, this type of service is readily available everywhere, unlike in many countries in Europe. Well, he is smart to represent Manchester.

I am staying at Modern Millerbrook Services Apartment in the heart of the city area of Northern Quarter, which is only few minutes walking to the city center. I right away explored location after put all my luggage and found myself sitting in the coffee shop nearby. My agenda was, other than focus on my course program, also to do cafe crawling and enjoy people during my time here.

So, after finished my program at the evening I always went out, walked around in the city, cafe crawling, tried different kind of local food and meeting new people. I called it human to human relationship. It was interesting as I was meeting, talking and had some serious discussion with all of them. And practice directly what I have learnt from my program.

When I was enter one of Fish and Chips restaurant, I found an empty seat. With my happy smile I passed by a person beside me then I sat. It´s my personality, always sending out the message ‘Happy and Smiley’ then spread it out to people. After my food came, I immediately ate because I was so hungry. But then a man with a nice shirt and tie sitting beside me started to initiate a conversation “Hey happy lady, I can see that you really enjoyed our food!” I was smiling to him and I responded “Yes, I do, I am always curious to try local food, this food tastes delicious, especially when sitting beside a friendly and happy person like you” We both then laughed with each other and continued to the next interesting topic while we were finishing our food. Obviously, this happened automatically. We both sent the same emotional message: Happiness. It is one of 7th Emotion according to works of Dr. Paul Ekman.

Who is Dr. Paul Ekman? He was born in February 15, 1934 is an American psychologist and professor emeritus at the University of California, San Fransisco who is a pioneer in the study of emotions and their relation to facial expressions.

On my own experience during my conversation above, Facial expression on Happiness shown like this; Outer eye tighten (crows feet), Cheeks are raise, Lip corners pulled up towards temples. Universal trigger: Pleasure. Function: Social signal of friendliness, I am no threat to you, discourage other persons actions. Posture; Elevated. Sensation: Warmth. Vocal signal: Exhale, laughter. So, we both shown our normal behavior ~ emotions and behavior work together.

Emotion and Behavior. Within the field of psychology, there exists a strict division between disciplines that focus on “normal” vs “dysfunctional” behavior. 
The way we act is often influenced by the way we feel. But how, exactly, do emotions and behavior work together? How emotions affect behavior?

Emotion (see Paul Ekman’s books on facial expression and emotions) is what you feel. Emotion is inside of you. Sometimes the effects of the emotions are visible to others, and sometimes in a big way and sometimes in subtle ways. Frequently emotions drive behavior, and too frequently, there is too little thought between the feeling of an emotion and action: for example, I’m angry so I scream at someone or hit someone.

Behavior is what you do and is almost always visible to others as it usually involves activity. But it is more than just the activity as it also encompasses attitude, which frequently involves emotions. Sometimes when it is described, it involves judgement on the part of the person describing it. He behaved admirably (or poorly) is an expression of someone’s opinion, and what I consider admirable behavior, another might not.

I noticed too within 1/25th second when people shown other Emotion and Micro Expression in different episode. Such as Anger, when they have to waiting long for their food in the restaurant and missed the buss. Contempt, when a couple had fight on the street. Disgust, when someone smelling something in the park. Surprise, when I meet someone in the bar and asked where I came from and how many languages I speak. Fear, When I saw a mother angry to her boy and this boy shown his emotion of fear and sadness at the same time.

A wonderful time after almost half a month staying in this city. I enjoyed all of Manchester has to offer; knowledge, fantastic lectures at Emotional Intelligence Academy (EIA), an international colleagues, new friends, local food, busy city, friendly local people, quality time with an old friends, unpredictable weather.. Indeed, an unforgetable Spring ever.

Endang Suprapti

Founder, CEO of UpstairsBlue AB

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