View Full Version : Attraction to Fear


BellaVita
07-29-14, 10:12 PM
Disclaimer: I'm no expert in this, this is just something I did for fun and wanted to discuss. Please keep that in mind.

I've realized I have this weird sort of attraction to a certain glance.

David Archuleta in particular does this glance well, and I have posted several pictures of some examples of this "glance."

[you'll probably get it once you read the bolded sections]

http://i59.tinypic.com/2l9l0k6.png

Here he was pitchy, and his voice displayed fear response in tone. Not sure if expression is good enough to count as fear expression. Added because ties in with attraction to fear expression.
http://i58.tinypic.com/11kgti9.png

http://i62.tinypic.com/jfj9yb.png

In this one, David takes a gasping breath, where full shoulders move, same time eyes open wide and jaw drops eyebrows raise - :
http://i59.tinypic.com/4jrgwi.png
http://i57.tinypic.com/29m1sft.png
http://i59.tinypic.com/3520jdv.png

Here, David quickly glanced to the side eyes wide as he realized his band messed up for a moment[in clip, right as the facial expression occurs, you hear his voice change in pitch with a big breath and nervous/shaky vocal sound after]:
http://i62.tinypic.com/2iiilfl.png
http://i62.tinypic.com/160eywm.png

The pic below may not fit in the category, but I noticed the eyes wide thing and not sure if somehow related:
http://i59.tinypic.com/21l79zl.png

Possible break-up scene:
http://i60.tinypic.com/2urwfgo.jpg

So what do these photos seem to have in common?

I decided to look into human expression, facial expressions/Microexpressions.

description for certain expression:
-eyes wide/eyebrows raised/open/jaw dropped =

Fear

What I perceive also:

-Communicating openness*

-Vulnerability*

-Slight instability*

Lots of these pictures were scenes acted out, some genuine quick fear moments, all common in fear response expression/whatever microexpression or however it's properly termed.

[or perhaps shock/surprise/interest*]

Why does [B]it capture me, intrigue me, stop me in my tracks, burn itself into my memory?

Explanation(guess)? : My instinct to comfort, draw near, nurture, is invited by the innocent wide open eyes, uncertain swift behavior. Vulnerable moment of expression. Authentic and showing of self.

*Instability perceived by me may likely be a projection of my own mental status. Could create confidence in me to go ahead and go draw near/comfort. Uncertain topic and possible whole other thread.

So, I am attracted to fear.

I still have lots to explore in the "why" and so on, am also asking if anyone else has experienced this and knows reasons for their attractions to fear displayed in others, particularly through facial expression.

***Feel free to correct me, I may be totally wrong/off on many(all?) things so please point it out because I love to learn about this topic.

* : I have no clue and am mostly just guessing/personal opinion.
[thanks to anyone who made it through my geeky and David Archuleta covered post :D also I could just be manic]

SB_UK
07-30-14, 06:14 AM
If we assume human beings are programmed to achieve morality

- then fear (occurring as the basis to wrongdoing) needs to catch our attention (captivate us) as essential motivation in correcting it.

So - we need to have our attention captured by fear (as pointer to immorality) as essential requirement in doing something about it.

We can generate a world without fear - in fact it's within touching distance

but all that's stopping us is an irrational (that world again) fear - that people will turn into cannibals without robocop to fry our brains.

As Batman illustrates (corruption in Gotham city police force)
- embrace force to keep you in place and the world you 'get' is the world which you fear without artificial repressive force.

Embrace freedom by locking oneself away in a cell ???

someothertime
08-08-14, 07:48 AM
I believe the look you speak of Bella also implies a window of connection.

i.e. you identify with the emotion

I share a similar attraction ( different look AND PERSON OF COURSE!!! :giggle: ), on many occasion i've teetered with the notion that this expression / magnetism to it is out of both identification and coping. i.e. "i can both hide and envelop my weakness"...

anyways... i thought i'd share that in the hopes it might bring some further connection for you. These things are extremely subliminal though... which makes them quite engrained... and stubbornly hidden ( from us )... Your on the right track of matching patterns tho', and this line of inquiry is the fastest to your core. Proceed softly.

VeryTired
08-08-14, 09:37 AM
Bella--

This isi a fascinating piece of self- and other-awareness. I'm impressed by your ability both to experience it, and then to break it down.

peripatetic
08-08-14, 09:46 AM
interesting.

i see what you're saying and i definitely think that the vulnerability, the emotional wariness yet glimpse of openness/wanting to trust, etc parts you describe, and why you suspect that's attractive to you (desire to nurture and so forth) make a lot of sense. i also agree with SO that there's a window of emotional connection you're attracted to. lastly, i agree with what SB is saying about the attractive yet very problematic nature of "fear" as a driving force. in fact, if i'm understanding SB's point (which i trust he'll correct me if i'm off the mark on), that i see the general idea of what's attracting you, that is precisely why i'm surprised to see you identify that *as* "fear".

in the photos you posted i wouldn't call them expressions of "fear" exactly. concern/wariness, emotionally vulnerability, uncertainty, yes yes and yes. but "fear" is something different and to be attracted to actual fear calls up a very different picture in my mind from the one you're describing.

it sounds like you have a need to be able to both be vulnerable and be trusted to be vulnerable around. the distinction i see is that fear doesn't lend itself to a mutual engagement...and equal participation in trust and emotional connection fostered together. fear lends itself to a power inequality, for the most part and, i would suspect, very unhealthy co dependence at best. in someone less kind than you, to be truly attracted to fear would be, at best, a savior complex and, at worst, manipulation/sadism (the former if you are sated by being the protector and the latter if you need to see the fear and end up creating it when you don't). that's because i see "fear" as always being in relation to a "hostile other" in the face of which you're not really seeing the person acting, but reacting. the only way to relate reciprocally there is to be, yourself, in fear in relation to the same hostile other. but the problem there is that to find similitude in the context of fear, or to find the person himself in that context alone is to find someone in a fight or flight response mode, essentially.

that doesn't sound like what you're really wanting. it seems to me that what you're attracted to is someone who appears to share your vulnerability, which maybe reassures you that they're potentially worth your trust, but also shares your desire to navigate the uncertainties and vicissitudes of emotional connection/trust. that's something that you can build a true connection on, building trust and exposing yourself. a connection built on fear...fear is something you overcome, not that you cultivate and in so doing that yields a healthy reciprocal relationship where you trust. i think you must overcome fear in order to be truly vulnerable and open to another.

as far as what experience, why thinking that on a more first person experience level, here's what i relate to if i'm understanding you correctly:

overall, when i'm generally stable, i'm an incredibly trusting person until given reason not to be with someone. and i have a very strong desire/drive to "connect" with people in a certain sense. the specifics may vary, but the idea of similitude and seeing a person as is and being seen as is (truly, not superfically or idealized) is what "attracts" me to having any type of relationship (romantic or otherwise) with persons. and something i realized not all that many years ago is that what's really "attractive", because what i perceive as genuinely "open" or...what is truly the "gift" another can give, is not to "love", in a sense me, but to expose what one is and give me the potential to "love" what they truly are. and that requires being willing to let me know/see who they truly are, which requires trust.

and i think that to merit being trusted, requires me to be trustworthy, but also to be willing to trust. and that's something that is a pattern i could say in many of my close relationships, of every sort: i extend trust and, unsure why this part exactly, very often people i instinctively (?) extend it to without reserve and consistently and end up having the strongest connections to ultimately and long term are those who are (for whatever reason, i'd say generally due to their "history"/previous experiences and the results of them) wary of trusting, but desire trusting and being trusted. a more succinct way of saying that might be that i give it on faith, of a sort, most often connecting with those who have difficulty trusting and keep giving it and almost always end up (even if over considerable time) gaining it.

and what i see in those expressions you posted isn't fear, but isolation/uncertainty that seeks connection/trust. and just as you said you project what you are/what you feel and are attracted to those expressions as a result, it's probably safe to say that in many ways, though i extend trust quite freely and without rigorous "testing" in advance of doing so, i feel isolation/uncertainty and seek connection/trust. so what's attractive is what i perceive in the other that indicates we might find that, to whatever degree and in whatever sort of interpersonal relationship, together, through and in each other. fear, in my opinion, would be what prevents that from being possible until reconciled and so wouldn't be how i'd characterize what's "attractive" that i see in the other in action/expression/speech.

prolly a bit rambly on the explanation of my thought process on this there, but hopefully that made some amount of sense/was helpful.

best to you x

mildadhd
08-08-14, 01:04 PM
I see all 7 unconditioned emotional responses, in the guy's facial expressions.

SEEKING, FEAR, RAGE, LUST, CARE, GRIEF/PANIC, PLAY

Like Peripatetic, (please correct me), I see RAGE and FEAR, (fight or flight response), the least, in his facial expressions.


P

dvdnvwls
08-08-14, 07:29 PM
interesting.

i see what you're saying and i definitely think that the vulnerability, the emotional wariness yet glimpse of openness/wanting to trust, etc parts you describe, and why you suspect that's attractive to you (desire to nurture and so forth) make a lot of sense. i also agree with SO that there's a window of emotional connection you're attracted to. lastly, i agree with what SB is saying about the attractive yet very problematic nature of "fear" as a driving force. in fact, if i'm understanding SB's point (which i trust he'll correct me if i'm off the mark on), that i see the general idea of what's attracting you, that is precisely why i'm surprised to see you identify that *as* "fear".

...

Thank you for saying a far better and more detailed version of what I wish I had said.

I think both you and Peripheral have rightly pointed out that the expression may be more vulnerable than fearful.

dvdnvwls
08-08-14, 07:39 PM
Justifying the "fear" interpretation:
Something like "The world is a scary place; I need a safe person to count on, and you look as if you do too - are you safe?"
Sort of a very specific category of fear perhaps? Not sure at all.

BellaVita
08-08-14, 07:42 PM
Thank you so much everyone for the responses, I'm really excited about them and will respond later when I have the brains to do so. :)

***Also, I was referring to the microexpressions in Paul Ekman's books, **but** when writing the post/taking the pictures and interpreting I was in a different mental state (mixed episode) and was feeling strongly(weirdly/different level) connected to those expressions and the only thing that came to my mind based on Paul Ekman's findings (that I know of) was fear.

So yeah, I probably was/am projecting when I said it was fear.

BellaVita
08-08-14, 08:27 PM
*Something for me to keep in mind: not only am I "attracted" to the glance, but attracted(?) to the feeling that the glance itself causes in me.

And also that feeling could be acting as a distorted lense seeing the facial expressions according to how I feel about them.

Which obviously makes my view of the expression(emotion) not accurate.

(Had to write that before I forgot and before I respond to posts later)

dvdnvwls
08-08-14, 08:37 PM
Random thought: potential contrast between the facial expression (which may indeed be fear) and the viewer's interpretation of how and why that expression got there - which I think is kind of where I get my interpretation of vulnerability.

mildadhd
08-08-14, 11:11 PM
I think everyone is right about some types of vulnerability, as well.

Vocalization distress is also associated with the primary GRIEF/PANIC system (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1636861&postcount=1).

The awareness of a separate GRIEF/PANIC system, other than FEAR system is new to me.

Please leave room for learning, because I need to spend more time understanding differences between the type of anxiety involving FEAR system (fight or flight distress responses) and the type of anxiety involving the GRIEF/PANIC system. (separation/vocalization distress responses).



P

mildadhd
08-08-14, 11:57 PM
Facecinating Thread.

Fight or flight response systems, and, separation/vocalization distress response systems, involve negative (-) unconditoned emotional response systems.

These negative (-) emotional systems are required for survival.


P

mildadhd
08-09-14, 12:22 AM
Justifying the "fear" interpretation:
Something like "The world is a scary place; I need a safe person to count on, and you look as if you do too - are you safe?"
Sort of a very specific category of fear perhaps? Not sure at all.

I think you expressed it well.

I think it is possible to have more than one affective system, "on" at the same time.

Fight(RAGE) or flight(FEAR) and separation/vocalization distress(GRIEF/PANIC), are negative (-) emotion systems.

The feeling of being safe(+), or not safe(-), are determining factors.

Children (and adults) don't play when they don't feel safe.

The PLAY system is a positive (+) emotion.

(SEEKING, LUST, CARE, PLAY are positive (+) emotion systems)

I wonder if it is fair to say combinations of negative emotions "turn on" during unsafe experiences, and, combinations of positive emotions "turn on" during safe experiences?





P