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Questions and Answers: Why do red and green Christmas lights make me nervous?

Questions and Answers

Why do red and green Christmas lights make me nervous?

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Question:

Have you ever heard of a person having a strange reaction to transformer lights, red or green, or certain Christmas lights, the kind that strobe and or blink very fast? Well, the Christmas season is fast approaching, and this is not good for me. A few years ago. I'd had come back to Pizza Hut after delivering some pizzas, and one of my co-workers asked me what was wrong.

I looked in the mirror and my face was red and my eyes were watering. I was VERY nervous and edgy, I told him, after thinking about it said that I had a adverse reaction to some Christmas lights. He said that he'd never seen anyone react like that. He had known earlier about my UFO experiences, and now he just kind of believed me. He said that this is very odd, and of course, I agreed.

Now, although I have had no sort of eye exam in a very long time, I do not wear glasses. Do you think this is some sort of UFO experience coming back to haunt me? Or do you think that I, like my brother, could be epileptic? In all of these cases, with me anyhow, I've just suffered with the red face, watering eyes and a very strange feeling of uneasiness. I have never to the best of my ability gone into any sort of seizure, or forgotten where I was. But it seems impossible to think of any other explanation.

One of the last times that this happened to me, I was delivering a pizza. A green light on a transformer was in this yard and I just sort of stared at it. To this day, I can't describe what it was that I felt after looking at it, except I was actually scared, and did not even know why. After that incident, I avoided that light. Although I know where it is, I get this strange feeling when I look at it, and it actually causes me some discomfort even after a few seconds.

As far as the Christmas lights go, about a year ago, I had great difficulty going up to a porch because of the chasing or strobing effect of the lights. I remember that it felt like I was moving in slow motion. As the guy on the porch looked on, I saw how he looked at me. I was thinking, "Turn off those damn lights and I'll give you your pizza." I told him that I had a "thing" about certain lights.

I don't know what I'm going to do this holiday season. I'm not saying I live in fear because of the lights, but if worse comes to worse.....I JUST don't know what I'm going to do about it. I can see me telling my manager, that I can't deliver pizzas because I'm allergic to Christmas lights. Well, that actually made me laugh! Also, if I see the ball of lights up close, I have no problem. But sometimes I see one of these balls somewhere, like at a flea market trying to attract attention, and I think, what a stupid place to hang that thing. It is so hard to avoid these things at Christmas, that it's actually become somewhat of a hindrance for me, a handicap as it were.

The people I work with say they understand, but you know what they are thinking. Although there is no way out of this, I still feel special, in a way. It so strange to think that what if it were actually true, to have actually been abducted, no ifs, ands or buts, been the big "A" word, of course, Abduction. Well, that's all for now, let me know what you think. I already know what my friends think.

Answer:

A stimulus can trigger a reaction to hidden memories. Behavioral psychologists call this a response to a discriminative stimulus. Because these lights may be associated with an actual UFO experience, behavioral psychologists call the lights a "metaphorical extension." In other words, the lights are an extension or a reminder of a past experience. The lights contain some, but not all of the "defining properties" of the real stimulus the person first encountered. Thus you experience a reaction to the stimulus, the red and greeen lights, without understanding why.

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