When Riley’s mum goes up to Riley’s room and asks her to be happy for her father’s sake. The flip side of this request is saying that Riley cannot show how sad she is about her world being turned upside down through the big move. She has to pretend that she is happy so that she doesn’t let her parents down. And this is how limiting beliefs can be born – Boom – “I always have to be happy for my parents, because I will upset them if I am sad”. And this gives Joy further incentive to keep Sadness locked away within the Circle of Sadness.
While Joy & Sadness are stuck in long term memory trying to get back to headquarters, Anger, Fear and Disgust try to maintain the status quo. They also believe that Riley needs to have happy “core memories” so they believe that they can make some new ones if they just go back to Minnesota. So they hatch a run-away plan. By the time that Riley hops onto the bus, she is so shut off from her emotions that she becomes apathetic. And if we stay in apathy too long it can lead to depression.
Meanwhile, back in long term memory, Joy accuses Sadness of hurting Riley. Stating that Riley needs to be happy. So she tries to ditch Sadness and get back to headquarters through the recall tube. This leads her to fall into discarded memories. It is down here that Joy discovers the importance of Sadness, through the memory of the play offs back in Minnesota. Joy realises that Riley’s parents and team came to support her and cheer her up after the hockey game. And that wouldn’t have happened if Riley wasn’t sad.