Monday, 5 March 2012

Hard feelings

I do envy those people whose emotions are easily accessible, who know instantly if they're angry or jealous or sad or whatever.

I'm not like that at all. Sometimes my feelings are clear but at other times I have to dig them out from under a thick layer of repression, confusion and politeness.

I have to ask myself, what's going on here? What am I feeling, if anything? Am I really unruffled and unaffected, or am I quietly seething with rage or burning with resentment? What am I hiding in a dark corner somewhere?

Some people may wish they were less visibly emotional, that they weren't a constant maelstrom of violent ups and downs, but personally I'd like to bring a bit more emotion to the surface. I'd like to be a bit less of an unreadable sphinx.

Where this cool exterior somes from I don't know. Maybe it's just my personality. Maybe it's masculine conditioning. Maybe I'm afraid of exposing too much and getting hurt. Whatever it is, it's frustrating. Too often, I'm just unsure what's going on inside me.

I may imagine that by being less emotional, I'm thinking things through more clearly. But that has to be an illusion. I'm simply not aware of how my buried emotions are still affecting my thinking anyway. They'll make their presence felt somehow, whether I like it or not.

If I can just push away all the psychological sludge that's submerging my feelings, they might flow a bit more easily. I might even learn to wear my heart on my sleeve instead of behind my back.

29 comments:

John Gray said...

a psychiatrist I worked with once simply said
"YOU FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL....SIMPLE AS"

GIVING YOURSELF SPACE , TIME, and a little slack and sometimes things will just come into focus if thats what you need...

sounds as though you are bloody self aware anyhow Nick...you perhaps just need to fine tune....

talk to a good friend.... it always helps me....they are close enough not to be bullshitted by you and far enough away not to get your frustrations

take care my friend

Jenny Woolf said...

Perhaps it's a matter of practice, but also you sound to me as if you might be rather a calm person by nature. I would think that is on balance an advantage, although of course nothing is perfect.

Nick said...

John - That's another puzzle. Am I self-aware or do I just think I am? Jenny's very good at interpreting my feelings on occasion when I'm overlooking the obvious. And you're right that sometimes things just come into focus if I wait for a while....

Jenny - I seem to others to be calm, but there's a strong undercurrent of anxiety always about to burst out!

John Gray said...

nick you are self reflecting right now....
talk to a mate over a couple of jars.....
it'll get sorted

Suburbia said...

That's really interesting Nick. I find it hard to imagine not being able to access my emotions, it's hard to understand.

Grannymar said...

Finding your inner emotions is fine, but please don't become like the woman in the image above.

kylie said...

whats so good about hearts on sleeves? makes a person vulnerable

Bijoux said...

So you don't show your emotions because you are unsure of what you are feeling?

I tend to hide my emotions in public, but then come home and have an unpleasant release.

Nick said...

John - I suppose I am. I've never been one for mates down the pub, in fact I have a lot of trouble befriending other men. A glass or two of wine might help though!

Suburbia - Well, there you are, you're just the sort of person I envy! Lucky you!

Nick said...

Grannymar - No, the woman in the picture is pretty scary. But perhaps she just found out her hubby's been in someone else's bed....

Kylie - Hmmm, maybe you're right. But a little glimpse of it now and again wouldn't do any harm.

Bijoux - At least you release them and don't just bottle them up. And at least you know what emotions are swilling about.

e said...

I'm in agreement with John Grey and his psychiatrist colleague on this one, Nick. I don't advocate bottling up as it only leads to unnecessary and frightening confrontations eventually.

Nick said...

e - Bottling up emotions can be very damaging. But so can spilling them out in all directions. There are circumstances where you have to keep them under wraps because expressing them would do more harm than good.

nursemyra said...

I prefer to keep my feelings to myself in most matters. But I don't have a problem with letting others know if they are affecting me adversely.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I once had a boyfriend, a million years ago who said to me, "You live so close to your emotions." And a psychologist who commented that I cry readily without it disrupting what I need to say. So, yeah - I guess I'm one of those people! But I have worked very hard in the other direction so that now I am generally able, when I need to, to appear to have no reaction even though I am always completely aware of what I'm actually feeling. I needed to be able to learn that for work.

A related aside - my boyfriend now is absolutely sphinx-like in writing, so I've finally learned to talk about important things with him only in person. He is much, more more open (less guarded?) in person and I can tell how he feels about what we're tlaing about.

Nick said...

Myra - That seems like a sensible compromise. Though objecting to what someone else has said can be a hard thing to do unless you're in the habit of it - or it's someone you know very well.

Agent - Yes, someone else I envy then! But it's useful to be able to not betray anything if necessary.

I'm just reading about Vera Brittain, who had an opposite relationship with one boyfriend. They were extremely intimate in letters but very shy and tongue-tied in the flesh!

Wisewebwoman said...

Bloody hell Nick, I left a comment yesterday which was vapourized, weird.
I am similar to you in that I had to learn to label my emotions both in group discussion and therapy. Suppression and repression tamped down nicely with alcohol had been my modus operandi for years and years.
Still have some difficulty today but far more cogniscent of what I am feeling. My only trouble being I tend to talk about it inappropriately and need to stfu.
XO
WWW
PS Have you given thought to allowing maybe 4 days before capcha kicks in? I had to do that. Spammers need about a week to become a nuisance on a post.
Yesterday I had 4 attempts at reading the capcha so that could have caused the vaporization.
I tend to only visit blogs without this complication as it takes so much time.

Nick said...

www - Funny, I always thought you were the emotionally-fluid type. Interesting that you're more like me. Nobody would ever have a problem shutting me up, more a question of getting me going!

I can't find any setting for delayed word-check. How do I do that?

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

I tend to hide my emotions, too. Not always from myself, but certainly from other people. I'm too afraid, I think, to let them see my anger, resentment, etc. I suppose it's really only the negative emotions I hide, and (like you) I really wish I could get them out there, because I think they're choking me. But I can't!

Wisewebwoman said...

Hi Nick:
Go to:
Settings
Comments
Comment Moderation
"Only posts_____I set mine at 4 days and no problems.
These new capchas are nearly impossible to read.
XO
WWW

Nick said...

Jay - I sometimes have difficulty expressing the positive emotions too. If I'm happy for someone, I don't want to be too gushing or overwhelming in my pleasure! Choking is about right, I think.

Nick said...

www - I wondered if you meant comment moderation. Ideally I don't want spam comments to reach me at all, but I'll try that and see how it goes.

Rummuser said...

As you perhaps know by now, I practice a form of meditation that enables me to be in touch with everything physical and mental that goes on inside me. Since I started that non denominational practice, I have rarely been out of control with my emotions as, when one emerges, be it anger or sorrow or whatever, I become aware of it and am able to monitor the reaction to it and adapt my actions accordingly.

This does not mean that positive and negative emotions do not affect me, but just that I become aware of that almost instantaneously.

I think that there can never be a situation for any human being when emotions do not bubble up.

Nick said...

Ramana - That form of meditation sounds very a very useful way of being in touch with your feelings and reacting to them appropriately. I agree emotions will bubble up in most situations, the trick is to be aware of them and not unconsciously repress them.

blackwatertown said...

Good thoughts from John Gray.
Fresh air helps too. (I realise that may sound fairly superficial, but hey... it sometimes works for me.)

Nick said...

Blackwater - I get plenty of fresh air but it doesn't do much for emotional release. It's good for my imagination though.

Ruby said...

coming from the greener grass on the otherside, i definitely wish i had fewer emotions. i'm predicting you lack debt resulting from emotion fuelled impulse buying.

Nick said...

Ruby - You're right about the lack of debt. Not just because I don't go in for impulse buying but because I also loathe shopping. I only shop for absolute necessities.

speccy said...

Oh, I'd like to be a Sphinx type. I'm better at managing the appearance of anger and annoyance than I am at hdidng sadness, joy or confusion. I think I'm very easily read, and obviously on the blog I just burble away!

Nick said...

Speccy - Being easily read must be a real problem, especially if your feelings are wholly negative!