I remember growing up and I remember the extent to which it seemed that flat affect was the expected norm out of everyone, no joy, no sadness, you were meant to appear "hard" or "hardened" to pretty much all circumstances, good or bad, now I believe this is exaggerated by some social class conexts and perhaps its a response to people who have been treated badly, know they have been and probably treat others badly in turn too. Also I know NI is a "post-conflict" society too (although there's as much violent crime and shootings and probably attendent trauma in the US in some urban centres as there was in NI during the "troubles").
Still I've been talking to some professionals working with kids from a range of backgrounds, cultural and national contexts and even some from pretty rich or affluent backgrounds too, who all exhibit a similar conception of "cool" which resounds with this kind of thing, this kind of expectation.
This is really, really damaging, particularly to children in the first years of life who are developing attachments which will govern their understanding and relationships for the complete life cycle.
In the bible it says "harden not your heart" and Fromm wrote books on this whole idea, its not something people reflect on much. Or so I think. What do you guys think?