Elective Affinities and Uninvited Agonies

Carol D. Ryff, Burton H. Singer, Edgar Wing and Gayle Dienberg Love

in Emotion, Social Relationships, and Health

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195145410
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848201 | DOI:

Series: Series in Affective Science

Elective Affinities and                         Uninvited Agonies

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Love governed by the heart, in the context of possible dictations by society, is what Goethe calls elective affinities. While it is true that the celebration of a passionate and an immediate response to another's affection can bring forth positive feelings, these decisions have repercussions or unexpected results or what this chapter terms as uninvited agonies. This chapter discusses the emotional features, whether positive or negative, of valued relationships and their significance to health. Connection between social network and health outcomes is established through the analysis based on numerous data references. Information is mainly gathered through survey questionnaires about people's evaluation of their overall well-being in relation to the bad and good emotions associated with their affiliations. Although several inquiries are geared toward the extent of social assistance and the quality of emotional support, less attention is given to these issues. Conclusions involve the importance of facilitating emotional intelligence and promoting supportive parenting skills to long-term health and psychological benefits.

Keywords: society; emotional attachment; elective affinities; uninvited agonies; emotional intelligence; health; relationships

Chapter.  20893 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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