Inside Out – Which emotion is taking the driver’s seat inside you?


Pixar animated film, Inside Out, just won the Golden Globe awards 2015, in its category. In this movie, the writer/director, Pete Docter, has singled out 5 emotions that are driving his main character Riley, but also each of us. Those emotions are the following: JOY, DISGUST, FEAR, ANGER AND SADNESS.

Each emotion has its benefits and disadvantages, as shown in the picture, and after watching it, I started asking myself which emotion was taking the front seat in me, when that was a good thing and when it was time to switch and let another emotion guide me.

JOY: in Pete Docter ’s movie, this emotion is the cheerleader of the team. Never tired, always upbeat, she is in control. Permanently trying to motivate the other emotions in order to preserve Riley ‘s happiness. You will think that this is the only emotion one needs to nurture in order to move ahead, but as life goes, who can always put a smile on her face? It can be exhausting to always pretend that all is well. Sometimes, all you need to feel better is just a good cry!

DISGUST: this emotion is a very funny character in the animated film, as she goes around with her nose pointed up. She owns her name! Mainly, she hates broccoli and is a little picky about what to wear, whom to hang out with… If this is your main emotion, you must be on the snobbish side and vanity is your rightful nickname! But, the bright side of this emotion is, it can make you take action against what bothers you in the world, what you cannot bear, like racism, discrimination, it can lead you to become a warrior against all kind of injustice. That is if you forget your shallowness and if you manage to keep fear at bay!

FEAR: as recalled in the film, it can be a very useful emotion as it makes you alert and permit you to avoid danger, but it can also paralyze you more often than not. That is when you need to remind yourself that you are unique, you are not worthless, no matter what, and although that life is a struggle most of the time for all of us! So, when fear is gripping you, make use of this Earl Nightingale’s quote: “The time will pass anyway, you can either spend it creating the life you want or spend it living the life you don’t want”.

ANGER: we tend to dismiss this emotion, but anger can actually be a good thing! For example, anger was a big motivator for actor, writer and movie producer, Tyler Perry. In an interview I read in an old Oprah’s magazine, Tyler Perry was explaining how it took him 8 years of failed attempts to finally succeed. He put together the same play, with his recurring character Madea, I think, 8 times, and nobody was showing up, until one day, the miracle happened, people started queuing in front of the building. All this time, he said, what kept him going was, anger. He wanted to prove wrong everybody that harmed him. Anger has vanished now, but the emotion was useful to him for a while. So I can understand this emotion: anger.

But, what about SADNESS? Why do we need to be sad, really? Throughout the film, the character that represents sadness is just a pain to deal with. Other emotions are trying to move forward, to achieve their goals, and there you have this Sadness who will be lagging behind, unwilling to move and they keep waiting for her, and rescuing her, and during all this rescuing, I am like, why don’t you leave her behind you fools, get rid of her, get rid of her! But as it turns out, sadness has a part to play too, for a life to be complete.

And to think of it, what is light without darkness? What is joy without pain? What is kindness without hatred? The Yin and the Yang. The Day and the Night. Mystery of life…

I don’t know which emotion tends to take the upper hand in you, but shake things up a bit, do not let one emotion prevent you from living your life, and use your head too!

5 thoughts on “Inside Out – Which emotion is taking the driver’s seat inside you?

  1. “And to think of it, what is light without darkness? What is joy without pain? What is kindness without hatred? The Yin and the Yang. The Day and the Night. Mystery of life…” I read that line over and over again,it;s rhythm flows like rushing waters. Hahaha…I watched that animated film, and every time Sadness touched a core memory I was always angry, and wondering why it needed to be part of ones life, until the end of the film when I realized that no matter how most people hated being sad, sometimes the heart needed to be sober to make it stronger…for me, I tend to think well when ‘m sober.


    1. Ha!Ha!Ha! Sadness was also getting on my nerves! She was moving and speaking so slowly! It was quite unbearable for me. But Joy was always so patient with her, except for a moment. There is really a lot to learn from that film. Although, I was not able to understand everything! My daughter had to explain several things to me, like the core memory you are talking about!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lolz…that’s true, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from the film especially the status of family and friendship in ones life. it’s sometimes funny when some people categorize cartoons to be meant for only children when there are lots of unimaginable beautiful happenings that go on in an animated world.


      2. Certainly. I don’t even draw a difference between animated films and other movies. Some animated films are really great. For example, Kirikou and the sorceress by Michel Ocelot, it is more for children, but I enjoy watching it. or Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian born moviemaker. In the film, she speaks about her life in Iran, going through a revolution, and it is so interesting and so funny, and tragic at times.

        Liked by 1 person

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