The Book of Human Emotions: From Ambiguphobia to Umpty - 154 Words from Around the World for How We Feel - Tiffany Watt Smith 2016
Is any slight felt as keenly as unfairness? A smaller piece of cake, or portion of the will, can breed quietly seething resentments. The wails of “it’s unfair” that lead beleaguered parents to carefully monitor the distribution of M & M’s among siblings with the precision of physicists engaged in nuclear fission, might seem childish. But taking umbrage on discovering we’ve received less than our fair share is an all too common feature of adult life too (see also: MIFFED, a bit).
Those who live on the Pacific island of the Ifaluk are only too happy to acknowledge their feelings of righteous indignation. Song is their name for the specific feeling of anger aroused when someone breaks one of the cardinal rules of the Ifaluk value system and refuses to share properly. If a turtle hunter does not distribute the fruits of his hunt in exactly equal portions, or a woman smokes a cigarette but neglects to offer others a toke, those overlooked will make no attempt to hide their dismay, or restrain their condemnation. For those of us who live under free-market capitalist economies, feeling angry because you’ve been overlooked can seem petty, or worse, entitled (“Go and hunt your own turtle!”) (see also: DISGRUNTLEMENT). Among the Ifaluk, however, song is accepted as an entirely justifiable response—one that plays an important role in ensuring things run smoothly in a culture which, above all, relies on mutual dependency and cooperation for its day-to-day success.
See also: RESENTMENT; RIVALRY.