I suddenly remembered one afternoon an idiom about crying, crying and laughing. It made me very curious, it seems that in my perception, crying and laughing are a pair of antonyms, are there times when these two emotions are expressed at the same time?
Have you ever had such an experience? Laughing when you are in tears of pain, or shedding tears when you are extremely happy and joyful.
Crying and laughing at the same time …
Whether crying uncontrollably or laughing wantonly, the purpose is to regulate in order to adapt to the internal senses and the needs of the environment.
Psychologists have pondered the relationship between behavioral responses and emotions, and have argued that each underlying emotion has a unique circuit. For example, when something we hope to accomplish ultimately fails, we experience the anticipation of sadness, and this emotion activates a series of neural structures that create substantial sadness in the limbic system, which then continues along the circuit to produce several responses in the face and trunk, i.e., pouting/crying/and body curling. This is consistent with common sense. However, the only possible explanation for the situation of laughing while extremely sad is that there is a temporary psychological abnormality that interferes with the normal emotional response circuitry.
This abnormal reaction is mentioned in the paper by Oriana R. Aragón et al. (2015). To paraphrase my words, there is no direct causal link between the kind of emotion that appears in the face of the event and the behavioral response, both laughing and crying are part of the regulation, and the meaning of the behavioral response is an effective regulation to reconcile the internal and external environment.
Oriana R. Aragón, Margaret S. Clark, Rebecca L. Dyer, and John A. Bargh 2015: Dimorphous Expressions of Positive Emotion: Displays of Both Care and Aggression in Response to Cute Stimuli, in: Psychological Science, Vol. 26(3), pp. 259–273, DOI: 10.1177/0956797614561044, https://clarkrelationshiplab.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Psychological%20Science-2015-Arag%C3%B3n-259-73.pdf