This section deals with how strongly Michael reacted to different emotional experiences depending on how important the situation or challenge was to him. For example, if Michael's living was dependent on the growth of crops and a swarm of locusts devoured everything he'd toiled so hard to grow, we would expect him to react quite emotionally. However, if he were traveling to church in his horse and buggy and the wheel fell off, we would not expect him to be quite as upset as in the previous example. Most people have more than one way of responding, again depending on the importance of the situation, so you will see several types of emotional responses for Michael.
Michael was primarily a highly responsive person. There were many times that he reacted spontaneously basing what he did on the feelings of the moment. He made no bones about what he liked or disliked whether it concerned people, places or things and often these likes and dislikes were quite strong. It was not unlikely for him to jump to conclusions or to form strong prejudices as he could not wait until all the facts were in before deciding what he believed was true. Moods came upon him for which he had no explanation.
At times, Michael's emotions could be even stronger. At these times, he struggled against over-expressing, impulsiveness, and allowing his emotions to dominate him. Everything he did at these times was influenced by his feelings and everything he encountered became an emotional experience. The force of these emotions could be likened to the fury of a tornado. Due to their tremendous force, Michael may have reacted outwardly with an intense display of feeling, or they may have rendered him virtually immovable and speechless.
Situations that carried less impact allowed Michael to bring in a little less emotion and more objectivity. There were even times when he appeared composed and calm, though others may have thought he was being callous and uncaring as they would have been accustomed to his more emotional side.
There were a few traits in Michael's personality that helped him to a small degree to control his natural responsiveness. In certain situations he determined it wise to appear to accept the customary concepts and beliefs of those around him. By doing this, Michael did not appear to be acting out of the norm. Occasionally he could say yes or no decisively so that others did not encroach completely on his time or attention. Not wanting him to appear at a disadvantage, Michael's dignity stepped in now and then to keep his emotions in check, and there were times he would even seem poised under stress. At most times, Michael did not seem overly concerned about what others thought about him or his behavior, but on rare occasions it did matter to him. On these occasions he took great pains to show others what he was capable of.
A quick note here. With Michael's emotional responsiveness so strong, the traits to help him control them (mentioned above) were quite weak. Usually the stronger the emotional responsiveness, the stronger the control traits need to be. It may have been better for him to have had stronger control traits.
After an emotionally charged event, Michael sometimes had a difficult time releasing the feelings brought about by the experience and these would stay with him for quite a long time. Other situations, however, stayed with him a much shorter period of time and he could eventually shrug his shoulders over them because they no longer affected him.