Side #1: Thoughts Control Emotions

We sat there, bored to death in period two A on a bitter spring morning. Instead of learning about the Cold War and JFK, “Emotional Intelligence Lesson #2” played on YouTube. While I didn’t pay attention for the majority of the 20 minutes our social workers and not-best actors moved across the screen, one moment caught my eye. The “Meta-Moment” brought to us by Broadway’s next star Dean Grosch. As we sat there learning about how to properly handle emotions, the two minute scene told us to take a break, breathe, and think it through. Wait…we have to think… to control our emotions… the thing that ISN’T thought-based? 


Sure, this is an exaggeration of the scene, but think about your whole life. When does high emotion situations end? When you “think it through.” How do you get over a heart break or the opposite? You “sleep on it.” It’s crazy that part of our normal “emotional” lingo tells us to do it’s contradiction. This presents side #1, thoughts control your emotions. 


To investigate this side to start, since this is defense #1 of however many I decide, let’s look at a huge part of just about everyone’s lives. To cover this, I’m gonna investigate two songs on the opposite side of the spectrum. Those will be the happy “The Way Life Goes” by Lil Uzi Vert matching up against the depressed anthem of our generation, “Marvin’s Room” by Drake. TWLG has been looked at as a “banger” or “happy song.” Marvin’s is looked at as the song everyone under 20 looks out the window and almost calls their ex over. Knowing I had to do this blog, I put this into a test. Is it emotions that are tied to this song, making it’s happy nature uncontrollable, like emotions. Or is it the situation and thought surrounding it. 


The Observational Study: Play both songs in one situation, but not consecutively. Blocking is used on subjects. Sample size is 4 in first two, while final is approx. 35. 


Situation 1: Neutral (Control) 

Friday, October 13th. We sit in my living room listening to music and playing on our phones.

Song #1: The Way Life Goes

  • A couple head nods, few shrieks of a hormone infested teenager attempting to use falsetto. Overall good vibe: pointing towards emotion, yet not a very a big difference compared to my neutral songs.

Song #2: Marvin’s Room

  • Takes a minute for any reaction, a couple fake sniffles and imitation crying voice blurting “I MISS HER.” The vibe is as neutral as the neutral set. Pulls the set into thought. Could go either way.


Situation 2: Sad

Saturday, October 14th. 2 AM. We sit in my car on a rainy night of deep talking. Banter remains somewhat equal through both songs.

Song #1: The Way Life Goes

  • As the packed car moves down the slick road, the entire 3:27 plays without a single notice or note sung. Not expected at all from a song deemed “banger.” Same 4 people, no head nods or shrieks. 

Song #2: Marvin’s Room

  • Noticed almost immediately. Entire car sings chorus but not intentionally, nor loud enough. More to themselves. the two girls drop a tear. Entire car peers out windows in agony. The song did it’s job.


Situation 3: Happy

Saturday, October 28th. 35 people together for a Halloween Party.

Song #1: The Way Life Goes

  • As soon as the signature beat drops, entire party bobs head more aggressively that situation 1. Entire song sung by 2/3 of party with entire garage pointing and dancing with at least one person. The “Banger” Effect took over and as soon as song end, another “lit” song is requested. The happiness in full effect.

Song #2: Marvin’s Room

  • While song gets noticed by few who exclaim “WHO THE F**K PUTS THIS ON AT A PARTY”, the depressing song slides under most ears and creates ZERO reaction. 


NOW WHAT DOES THIS DO FOR ANYONE. Well, compare the two. In the sad situation, the depressing song takes over. In the happy, the banger. In the neutral, they remain such. Well, for some that’s “obvious.” But in this debate, all signs point towards thought. The happy song wins because they are in a happy situation that they are able to tie the happy song into. They are thinking they are happy, and this is a happy song so emotions overflow. Place that same mentality on the sad. But the key is the neutral. Neither had a huge impact because neither had enough of the situation our minds were able to think a tie out of. In fact, for me, “Marvin’s Room” isn’t even sad because I do not have an ex so I cannot think about the lyrics he says. So the song is neutral. Yet, if the song was emotionally sad, the lyrics should be able to alter me with or without connection. In this situation, thought trumps emotions.