By surface emotion, I am referring to primary emotion versus secondary (underlying emotion). Please hear, however, that the terms primary and secondary emotions do get mixed up and written about in confusing ways, at times.

That said, this post from another site, (healthypsych explains the concept well more fully and better than I did in this post. So here you go:

"What many people don’t realize is that anger is a secondary emotion. What does this mean? Typically, one of the primary emotions, like fear or sadness, can be found underneath the anger. Fear includes things like anxiety and worry, and sadness comes from the experience of loss, disappointment or discouragement."

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