October 17, 2019 in Dag

I’m scared of being scared

I was watching the telly the other day. Yes, I admit it. I’m old school. I still watch television on an actual television, rather than any of those new-fangled streaming devices. And, to prove how utterly old-fashioned I truly am, I actually watch television with commercials.

Anyway, there I was, sitting on my couch, watching the old telly, when I couldn’t help noticing a number of particular commercials (which actually doesn’t happen that often – even though the commercials are on, I tend to studiously ignore them – so I suppose the fact that I did notice them was in itself newsworthy).

Anyway, to get back to the point, the subjects of these commercials were a couple of soon to be released scary movies. And as I watched them (or rather, averted my eyes until they were over) I couldn’t manage to stop my brain kicking into gear.

My first thought – I had a strange feeling that these were not the first scary movie ads I’d seen (or not seen) recently. It seemed that over the last few months, there had been plenty of other scary films hitting our screens.

The second thought – people really must enjoy these scary movies. Because, obviously, if they didn’t the studios would stop producing them.

And the third thought – even if lots of people like going to the movies to get really, really scared, I really, really don’t.

I read a book a few years ago. It was titled Quiet and it was all about introverts (which all available evidence suggests I am one of) and introversion. One of the points this book made was that introverts tend to have more sensitive amygdalas – a part of the brain that plays a key role in processing emotions. It suggests that this is one of the reasons we introverts can become overwhelmed in social situations and need to take the time to get away in order to recharge.

This makes sense to me as an introvert. And it also seems to address my dislike of being scared. When most people watch a scary movie, they probably get an enjoyable thrill. But for someone highly introverted like me, my sensitive amygdala overreacts to the fright and I get really scared. Far from being an enjoyable thrill, it’s actually a really unpleasant feeling. It also explains why I’ve never particularly enjoyed thrill rides like roller coasters – though I did make a point of going on them when I was younger, just to prove I could.

So I’ll leave those scary movies to you non-introverts out there. Getting scared is definitely not for me. There are plenty of other emotions I’d much rather experience.

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