„Inside Out”: emotions + a different perspective

The “Inside Out” (Intors pe dos) movie has as protagonist a girl (Riley), from the moment she is born until the age of 11 and focuses on the 5 main emotions she experiences: joy, sadness, disgust, anger, fear. Each emotion is represented through an animated character and can influence her via a control center (Headquarters).

When she was born, this headquarters only had one button. Over time, it became more and more complex, being placed in a sort of a sophisticated “bubble”, situated above an abyss, surrounded by endless shelves of “globes” (colored according to the emotions experienced), a sort of a storage place of long-term memories. Radiating from the outside and connected to the “control center” (headquarters) over some glass tubes are located the “Islands of Personality” (the Main Values – Family, Honesty, Friendship, Imagination, Goof ball), “floating”, too, above the abyss. They resist thanks to the main memories which are sent from the “center”. These memories are so powerful and profound, that they shape the personality of the girl.

The intrigue of the movie is represented by the girl*s family relocation, event which will generate for her an avalanche of emotions, moods, feelings (disappointment, sadness, nostalgia over the nice memories, loneliness, the separation from her best friend, the attempt to run away from home to get back where she lived before etc.), as a process of trying to adapt to the new situation. This kind of discomfort is always present whenever a change or new stage of life happens. Any challenge can cause it. The events that occur.


Inside Out offers plenty of „material” for various approaches.

We will stop for the moment at the 5 emotions, suggesting an alternative to the standard-perception of them.

Fear is important so that we may be safe. It is felt when we perceive a dangerous situation or a threat. Were it not present, we might take risky or even reckless/foolish decisions. When used properly, we take the necessary precautions.

Fear from a different perspective:

Keep in mind: when your faith is consistent, genuine and so is your love for God, you can do anything and feel no fear; but if they are not, then you are fearful even to do good.” (Father Gavriil, Corfu)


Anger happens when we perceive an injustice and we consider that we or someone we care about were or was treated incorrectly by another person in a situation or by life itself. Anger motivates us to find justice, to set things right, so that the offender(s) may be punished.

Anger from a different perspective:

The kindness of the soul of the improved (spiritual) man, means overcoming anger, taming fury and not looking for revenge when someone else bothers him, even if he can; allowing another to insult him without insulting back. Kindness means not hurting someone either by word, behavior, or by dictates, but winning anyone over and touching his/her heart by your way of being.” ( Father Serafim Alexiev)


Sadness (sufferingis felt when we experience loss. When we lose someone or something, when we fail an exam or miss an opportunity, for instance. Its role is to motivate us into recovering the loss (if that is possible) or prevent it from happening again. When we lose a friend or a family member, we will get back to the memories we have together and/or will try “to fill the emptiness” through someone else.

From a different perspective: hope

The unfaithful is very unhappy, because he lacks genuine hope, which is the companion necessary during one*s lifetime. He is unhappy because he does not love his neighbor (as he loves himself) and is deprived of the beauty of the Creator*s icon revealed by faith.” (St. Nectarie of Eghina)

Disgust is a kind of “filter” which prevents contact or contamination with something harmful. The brain is programmed to react with disgust towards things or substances that may harm one*s health. We can equally feel disgusted by behaviors we consider potentially harmful socially, emotionally or physically. From this perspective, disgust is similar to fear because it protects us, being a derived emotion (not a primary one).

Joy….. does not need many words; or a presentation.

Joy cannot be reached by „chasing happiness”; it is a „by-product” of another good deed and is the emotion motivating us to look for and do good.

Complete, genuine joy from the only perspective possible:

“Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth.

It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.” (St. Apostle Paul)

Find out: Psychological clues and Secrets of your brain

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