Filipinos are too emotional for their own good

Another global survey has confirmed what some of us have been suspecting all along: Filipinos are a very emotional people. American pollster company Gallup conducted a survey covering over 140 countries to compare how people feel about their lives and the Philippines came up as the most emotional of the lot. As usual, some Filipinos thought that this piece of news is a good thing. They probably thought that topping the ranking and bagging the title “emotional people” is something we should celebrate.

The Drama Queen of drama junkies
Being too emotional is actually a bad thing. It is worse than being emotionless. When someone is emotional, that person cannot think straight. An emotional person’s decisions are more often than not determined by his or her emotion rather than reason. It’s bad enough having to deal with an emotional individual, it’s even worse when majority of the members of a society are mostly emotional. I mean have you ever had to deal with someone who is full of drama? They can be quite annoying. They are either in a state of extreme high or extreme low. There is nothing in between. No wonder the Philippines is considered a basketcase. Most of us are emotional wrecks.

Some might say that Filipinos are much better off than Singaporeans who were ranked as the most emotionless people in the world but I’d say that’s just typical sourgraping. To be sure, anything in extreme is bad. Singaporeans are known for being too serious and very business like in dealing with the international community and even among themselves. However, their approach to life has actually resulted in something they can be proud of. They have built an intelligent megacity and they are among the wealthiest people in the world. Meanwhile, for all the “fun” we have been having, Filipinos have nothing to show but abject poverty and dismal infrastructure.

When people are too emotional, they can be irrational. They often make bad and hasty decisions based on how they are feeling at the moment. They tend to act without thinking of the consequences of their actions. An example of this was when Filipinos thought it was a good idea to push then Senator Noynoy Aquino to run as a presidential candidate immediately after his mother, Cory Aquino died in 2009.

Because Cory was such a beloved figure, most Filipinos who were distraught when she passed away did not even think twice about showing their support for her only son who they thought could be the one person who can save the country from corruption. Aquino supporters then were too emotional and showed too much arrogance when some rational people attempted to try and talk them out of what was obviously a huge mistake. Some reasoned that Noynoy did not have any accomplishment to speak of even while in Congress and would be bad for the economy but alas; the number of men and women who charged ahead without using their heads outnumbered those who did, hence the country is now stuck with a president who is said to be lazy, weak and cannot even work beyond a nine-to-five schedule.

Yes, being too emotional is really bad for our society because most of us get stuck with emoting — giving too much emphasis to how we feel. Some of us end up putting too much meaning to something trivial. Some even make a big deal whenever they hear another person raising their voice and quickly assume that that person is being nasty even if they do not know the whole story. We can be too sensitive for our own good.

Emotional people also do not know how to deal with down time. They always want to be having a good time. This is not surprising considering Filipinos pride themselves for being a “happy-go-lucky” society.

I’ll reiterate some things I wrote in my previous article

Filipinos in general are preoccupied with the desire to be on a permanent state of euphoria or at least with being perceived to be a “happy-go-lucky” society no matter what circumstances they are in. Unfortunately, this national obsession with being “happy” or having a good time instead actually leads the Filipino people to a permanent state of misery because their pursuit of happiness is shallow and misguided.

Because of our obsession with being perceived as a “happy-go-lucky” people, we unfortunately also come across as a people who do not take things too seriously even in times of crisis; which is why our social ills stay unresolved. In fact, Filipinos in general don’t even realize that our national psyche needs to be rehabilitated. Most Filipinos are of the belief that our corrupt public officials are solely to blame for the sad state of our nation. This is funny because the Filipino people are free to choose their public servants. And yet they prefer to choose someone incompetent ”” which is why they get the government they deserve.

The country remains Asia’s laggard perhaps partly because most Filipinos don’t have their priorities right. Most of us would rather pursue activities that cater to instant gratification because most of us want to be “masaya” all the time. We get instant gratification when we engage in activities that give us fleeting moments of happiness. Most often these are activities that are not well thought through and may even be impulsive. It could also involve being on a fiesta or celebratory mode more often than necessary even when we don’t deserve it. This also includes not participating in the running of the country and letting our public servants wreak havoc using public funds. Instead of being serious and more assertive about national issues, we dismiss topics pertaining to politics as something that we cannot do anything about or is none of our business.

Because Filipinos love a good time more than anything else, we don’t bother learning a new skill on our spare time. Most Filipinos don’t like the idea of working harder to elevate our status to one of being among the first-class nations in the world; we would rather wait for someone to do it for us. Unfortunately, because our society has become anti-intellectual, the intellectuals are driven to leave the country. The brain drain reduces our chances of competing with other nations whose aim is to be the best at what they do and excel at every endeavor.

What is a healthier outlook in life then? Humans have different set of moods. Normal people have a baseline or set point of happiness. We bounce up and down from that baseline in response to short-term events depending on the situation, like when we hear some bad news or good news. Most people normally return to their baseline after some time. Unfortunately, some of us think that we have to be above the normal baseline all the time to be considered to be a “happy” person, which is quite an impossible state to achieve because it means that in order to be “high” all the time, the natural tendency to be down after a high needs to be continuously overcome. And if we keep soaring higher, the longer the fall that is sure to come sooner or later.

We have to learn to accept that being sad or being in a state of melancholy some of the time is OK. In fact it is part of being a human being.

In the book Against Happiness, author Eric Wilson emphasized that he finds it odd that sadness is seen as not a normal part of life but as a weakness, something to be eradicated.

“You should really embrace those dark parts of your life. They are natural. They are normal. It seems to me those darker sides of experience, those times when we are sad or sorrowful, we often learn things about ourselves that we would not learn had we simply remained content.”

So no, bagging the title “most emotional people” is not something we should be celebrating. We should aim for something in the middle — knowing how to be serious when the situation calls for it and knowing how to have fun after getting the job done.

[Photo courtesy Yahoo! OMG!.]

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Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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137 Comments on "Filipinos are too emotional for their own good"

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PHguy
Guest

“The Drama Queen of drama junkies” LOL

Aside from that, many Pinoys find being the most affordable English teachers as a source of “pride” again. IDK why it’s always supposed to be a single-edged sword that speaks of everything good to them. What do Filipinos think of this? Hmmm

MidwayHaven
Guest

Emotions ultimately have to be tempered with reason. When one becomes too emotional, their faculties for critical thinking become diminished.

What Filipinos need to learn is self-control, and the ability to balance out what one feels with what one analyzes.

Or actually, for Filipinos, there is a very URGENT need for critical analysis to have a higher priority than emotions.)

Michelle
Guest
You know I find it funny to continue to be too emotionally attached to the Jeepney driver’s rights, and myself I count as amongst, no denying. But our not knowing the damage the jeepney bring, an environmental malice as much as destroyer of our lungs brings to mind the word meaning ’emotional’ as being careless and unmindful, uncaring. Oligarchs, they just love us whenever they create wars, farm out government funds distribute them from among choice investment banks while not expanding business for them to create more jobs for the common man living in squalid existence. I think that we’re… Read more »
Gogs
Member

For those who have never heard of Jim Rohn try to check out his website or audio files or books. He said to welcome all experiences . He also said to appreciate an orchestra is to appreciate life. An orchestra can not just play happy little high notes all the time. Like I have said many times about Noynoy where has he succeeded or failed ? Where has he been challenged or sought out challenge? No wonder he has to resort to bullying by manipulating the different branches and makes wheel chair jokes. He never earned anything.

ChinoF
Member

Our culture generally places too much value on emotions, since after all, we never developed an indigenous intellectual culture. Nearly everything intellectual is imported. Remove everything “imported,” we go back to the Stone Age. Then we are even faced with TV shows and movies that further encourage lack of emotional control. I believe that if Filipinos do not learn to appreciate brain use more, the country will stay in the pits that it is in.

JO-JO HOBO
Guest

turn the TV, AKA ‘idiot-box’ off,no one is forcing you to watch it.Try reading,things like: Dostoeyevsky’s “The Possessed” or Tolstoy’s “Ressurection”.If you comprehend them,they will change the way you think,and maybe your life.Instead of getting that daily electro-magnetic lobotomy.Seriously,try reading.

ChinoF
Member

I love that advice.

Ali Ali-ali
Guest

Thank you sir for your input!

JO-JO HOBO
Guest
I did not read the whole article but what I did read is correct.Filipino’s are the most ‘SENSITIVE” people I have ever met.As a KANO,living in the area…I see it constantly.When I was growing up in the worlds toughest city,if I had been a sensitive child,the beatings would have never stopped! A kid had to show how tough he was by not being sensitive to name calling,be-littling and all other cruelties inflicted by the bullies AND be willing to fight back,at all costs, just to be left alone…so I did.I come here and see how sensitive people are and how… Read more »
Jeorgg
Guest

Hey! Knucklehead go back to your ghetto. your just there to take advantage of those poor people and now you think that your have an opinion about social malaizes in that country that count. Get a life. I wont be a surprise if your one of those westerner pedophiles that go to third world countries so you can get offed!

Trosp
Guest

Jeorgg,

You really can read between the lines. His comment is mostly about himself.

Jo Jo HOBO
Guest

You are just WRONG!

Trosp
Guest
@Jo Jo I’m correct. You can’t even comprehend what you’re commenting. “When I was growing up in the worlds toughest city,if I had been a sensitive child,the beatings would have never stopped! A kid had to show how tough he was by not being sensitive to name calling,be-littling and all other cruelties inflicted by the bullies AND be willing to fight back,at all costs, just to be left alone…so I did.I come here and see how sensitive people are and how easily they are offended and I think a few things(You may not like it but try taking the rest… Read more »
Jo Jo HOBO
Guest
I take advantage of no one and pay for everything I do in the Philippines.There are over 250,000 USA citizens in the Philippines and we and the OFW’s are helping to prop up 20% (that is correct 20%) of your economy.I ask for nothing free and I pay for every single thing I do.I do not think my opinion counts BUT apparently you do as you waste your time being a nasty host,and feel free to comment on everything USA.I have met the likes of you and you are a nothing but a nazzy-ass fart -in-the-wind to me. YOU should… Read more »
annilita
Guest

From one American expat to another, could you please shut up?
Maybe shift this energy into doing something productive, like, going out and being kind to people instead of pounding your chest on an online forum and asserting that you are somehow greater than others because of where you happened to be born.
Go out and make friends with the local people instead of sitting back and passing judgement and complaining.
You sound like a spoiled little turd and you’re making us all look bad.

Michael
Guest
There’s a few things I agree with you on, but you are being extremely arrogant. This article was about Filipino’s being too emotional (which is true) yet you yourself is doing the same. I also am an American who has been here for 4 years. I’ve experienced hardships. But don’t sit there and act as if you’re talking on the behalf of all Americans. Sooooo….Filipino’s do need to lighten up though. It’s like everything here is a pissing contest. I truly feel that when I meet somebody, they instantly compare themselves with me. Instead of looking for good things in… Read more »
domo
Guest

Oh no he’ss not the knucklehead living in a ghetto. YOU ARE bastos na utak squatter. I mean look at you acting like a nigga being very hostile to foreigners only because of your pathetic mentality that foreigners and elites are evil. You are such a cancer of this country traposakal. Now go back on eating your pagpag and get lost dahil iyan ang bagay sa mga utak squatter na katulad mo.

Hyden Toro
Guest

If you use your emotion, more than your brain….you will end up with lousy decisions. We are Wowoowwee people. We love “giling-giling” dancing. These are our tools to get away from our realities that: (1) our political leaders , we elected are incompetent. (2) Our national fund is being ransacked and stolen by these people. (3) We are going to the “bangin” in our ” matuwid na daan”. We are like Ostriches, who bury its head in a hole in the ground, to escape realities of its danger…

The Philippine Guild
Guest

Cory Aquino’s regime was not at all revolutionary. It was emotional. Too emotional that they changed the two-party system to multi-party. Came 2010, nabasag votes ng anti-yellow machine and the united vote of the yellow machine led to the 40%-vote presidency of Noynoy.

benign0
Admin

Ano emo people get the president they deserve. As I pointed out in my previous article

His only claim to the presidency was his popularity and not much else; which, to be fair, is what one gets in a country where presidents are elected by popular vote.

[…]

Filipinos had the chance to do it right the first time in 2010 by electing a seasoned and qualified candidate to the most powerful office of the land. Instead, they voted BS Aquino.

T4Man
Guest

When I saw the survey I immediately knew it was true. When I saw the comparison with Singapore I thought people should ask “Which is the more successful society”? Come to find out Filipinos think they are better people for being so emotional instead of wondering if it might be a bad thing. So sadly typical.
Kanos are regularly accused of being ‘di masaya because they don’t put on the phony “happy face” all the time. There is no understanding of “a time and a place for everything”.

trackback

[…] to being the proud reigning top emo country of the world, Filipinos have consistently exhibited an aversion to rational thought. Instead, Filipinos have […]

eezychair
Guest

Add religion (particularly the one where majority belong to) to the equation, and it gets even worse.

“By religion I mean a set of beliefs held as dogmas, dominating the conduct of life, going beyond or contrary to evidence, and inculcated by methods which are emotional or authoritarian, not intellectual”
Bertrand Russell

People should realize even Christ was/is against religion, and I am just seeing exactly why in the Philippines and with the Filipinos.

Johnny Saint
Guest
eezychair, Please get your facts right. Both Jesus the religious leader and the historical Jesus were never against his religion. He was against the establishment. His ministry opposed prevailing religious practices at the time which he believed emphasized the letter of Jewish law but had come to neglect the spirit of the law. He maintained that as a result, the law had become a burden to the people and advocated a different interpretation of Jewish law. He also opposed the political/religious bureaucracy, characterizing it as harmful and oppressive and preached several times against its leaders. Christ’s movement offered an alternative… Read more »
Jay
Guest

Maybe I shouldn’t have qouted Russell, but you just explained how Christ is against religion. He is no religious leader, he is Christ. Amen?

Johnny Saint
Guest
I don’t understand how you came to that conclusion. I stated that the objective of Christ’s ministry was to REFORM his Jewish religion; to correct problems that he and his followers perceived were deeply rooted in the religious and political establishment at the time. It WAS NOT specifically aimed at starting a NEW religion. At most it would have been classified as a sect of Judaism. All the events in his ministry as described by the Bible and other contemporary sources indicate an attempt to fulfill prophecies that had been taught to the Jews for centuries; everything he did was… Read more »
Michael
Guest

Your capability of comprehension is rusty. The person who replied to you said no such thing.

Johnny Saint
Guest
Ilda, Every time I see that picture I get the urge to slap her upside the head. 😉 I agree with your article. Filipinos revel in getting “caught up in the moment.” But talking to the guy down the street, you’ll get the impression that Filipinos admire people from other countries who can step back, assess the situation, and decide on an issue with certainty. No ifs, ands or buts. But that rarely translates into change. In fact, being an “emotional people” causes us to have a distorted notion of our world. We look at our society and recognize that… Read more »
Jo Jo HOBO
Guest

In order to replace “them” you are going to need more than an election.Good Luck with that.

Johnny Saint
Guest

I think you misinterpreted the comment. Replacing corrupt leaders or stopping “them” from stealing isn’t the answer I was looking for. Its symptomatic of a distorted world view brought on by being “too emotional.” The challenge is building a proper society brick by brick, with a foundation of good education, the rule of law, innovation, etc. The competent bureaucrats and practical politicians will eventually follow.

trackback

[…] GRP writer Ilda nailed it quite succinctly: Filipinos are overly emotional. Emotions are known to drive people irrational things, and Filipinos are no exception to this rule. […]

gina wenceslao
Guest

will appreciate it if you can support your statements and conclusions with research. it will more interesting to read.

Eng?
Guest
Ummm, everyday interaction and encounters with Filipinos “emotional” activities already support’s whatever Ilda mentions in the article. We just need to look closely at ourselves, our neighbors, our friends, our families, our culture eventually. Ironically, last Sunday, this was what me and my friends were talking about and how us Pinoys in SG were being perceived by the locals there through interaction with us. That the locals here say we are loud, emotional, always complaining, argumentative, “palaban”, etc unlike the other ASEAN neighbors like the Vietnamese, Thailanders, Malaysians, Indonesians. Adding research to what she said just adds “icing” to the… Read more »
Michael
Guest

“Thailanders”, huh? Please tell me that was only a joke.

johndoenymous@gmail.com
Guest
johndoenymous@gmail.com

Thailanders, immortal, have the blood of kings, have no rivals.

trackback

[…] Fellow GRP writer Ilda had nailed it. In her recent article, she said: Being too emotional is actually a bad thing. It is worse than being emotionless. When someone is emotional, that person cannot think straight. An emotional person’s decisions are more often than not determined by his or her emotion rather than reason. It’s bad enough having to deal with an emotional individual, it’s even worse when majority of the members of a society are mostly emotional. […]

pinoyabroad
Guest

I will never forget the common misunderstanding that some Filipinos have when it comes to nominations. Somebody says “I move that the nomination be closed” and the correct follow-up to this is “I second the motion”. Most Pinoys say “I second emotion” which is in a way typical for their emotional frame of mind.

Trosp
Guest

Ilda,

“The country remains Asia’s laggard perhaps partly because most Filipinos don’t have their priorities right.”

We may also add the “sense of urgency” and “time consciousness”.

Cossacks
Guest

Being emotional distorts judgement, being proud about it can be fatal

Decloedt
Guest

Filipinos thinking straight has long left the station. Look at the quality of government and the people Filipinos elect. Pacquiao is a great boxer but what does that guy know in running a city????

Look at the length of these posts!!!

Ali Ali-ali
Guest

LLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLL so true!!! hahahaha!

Noysucks
Guest

Sometimes, I just think that this country is already “damaged beyond repair,” and the only way to “repair” it is to go back in time with a time machine with an intellectual someone and start an intellectual culture amongst the people…….

Trosp
Guest

The first 3 or 4 months of martial law inculcate discipline to Filipinos.

That means it is makeable.

What has happened after that period?

The implementor became more corrupt and everything was back to square one again.

Johnny Saint
Guest
Trosp, That wasn’t discipline. It was out of fear that the populace succumbed to the implementation of Martial Law. Marcos and his cronies were corrupt from the beginning. The 1969 presidential election was characterized by fraud and violence. There is evidence that Marcos used millions from the treasury to secure his victory. Make no mistake. There was no altruistic intent to make the Philippines “better.” The objective was to keep a hold on political power in the face of growing civil unrest. Soon enough, Marcos and his cronies shifted their priorities to reallocating control of the country’s resources and industries… Read more »
Trosp
Guest

Perhaps Marcos intention was what you are saying. I can agree with you with that one and actually, my belief during that time.

But then, definition of discipline from the online dictionary:

a. Control obtained by enforcing compliance or order.
b. A systematic method to obtain obedience: a military discipline.
c. A state of order based on submission to rules and authority: a teacher who demanded discipline in the classroom.

Those are the definitions of discipline that I’m applying in my comment.

And fear – it is the greatest motivator as they’re saying.

Johnny Saint
Guest

Trosp,

Would that it were that simple.

I actually prefer the definition “A state of order based on submission to rules and authority.” It is related to the definition of “self-discipline” — the ability to maintain a sense of order and/or the ability to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotional state.

If Filipinos learned to inculcate this among themselves, we would not need a strongman to enforce compliance. Nor would there be a deep resentment of the ruling class.

Noysucks
Guest

Oh well, guess we can just let the emotions of these emo Flips be their demise………..

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