“Are you incapable of talking about anything except your own life?
You must have some feelings.”
– Two Weeks Notice
Introverts like me just want to avoid all the noise that has taken over this country. You know, the one where abysmally immature social media personas shout that such and such is THE BEST or THE WORST.
- OMG THIS NEW CAR/FOOD PLACE/PHONE IS AWESOME!
- HOW DARE THIS COMPANY SUPPORT MORAL STANDARDS?!
- ED SHEERAN IS BRILLIANT & I WANT HIM TO MARRY ME!
- WHY IS THIS SHOW CANCELLED, I DEMAND YOU BRING IT BACK!
- OUR PRESIDENT IS A – aaand I’ll stop there.
We get it, you’re in love with your opinion and want attention. In general I wish people would calm down and instead display rational educated opinions/ reactions (on obscure blogs, maybe?). It’s so unproductive to rant and rave publicly over trivial matters. I have only a few ranges of feeling. I try to lean towards this:
Emotions are messy pesky hindrances. As children we may show our delight, fury, or sadness plainly. Then into adulthood we learn to curb our impulsive responses and quit indulging in care free behavior. Most people know how to play into their proper roles and go through each day with an appropriate mask. Some stay in their young state without thought to others like Marianne Dashwood, reacting and displaying their wild love and hate loosely. It’s immature and unattractive to me, even while I admire her freedom and passion. I can relate so much to the older sister Elinor with the burden of responsibility and cutting off her attachments (bye, pet horse!). Her aloof exterior covered her disappointments. She avoided the trouble of going through the up and down extremes, expected nothing but dealt with what was in front of her. That is more ladylike even though being numb to everything is not the best way to handle things.
Mostly I don’t bother to examine what I’m feeling since it’s confusing and unpleasant. The only time I’m certainly jubilant or clearly upset is over fictional characters. Investing emotions into dramas isn’t as risky and there is no pressure or maintenance involved. When out with people I’m usually taking too much time processing to function. My default mode is to downplay everything which makes me poor company indeed. It doesn’t help that my preference is to be staying home in the first place. I just need my friends found in books and movies Why bother with real relationships when they’re all going to fail and hurt you sooner or later? Who cares if they accept you or not? I’m just minding my own business and they should do the same. Let’s not trouble ourselves to find out what’s beneath the surfaces we display to the world.
Men especially are told to keep their feelings inside. It’s not okay to rage, worry, or break down in tears, only girls or sissies. Also noteworthy in British and Asian culture it’s expected to swallow any sorrows and put on a show of strength rather than succumbing to distress as it is improper. Be a good girl or boy. What constitutes “good”? Don’t rock the boat, keep your head down, behave in a quiet collected manner. Those who fall short of it may have trouble fitting in. Repression, though, over the years will demand a price. Maybe through compulsive behavior or obsessive disorders. In some cases it may even drive a pretender to suicide.
All the fear, elation, depression, and guilt. You can choose to let it all in. Or turn it all off. I wish I could just flip the switch on my humanity and stop feeling anything to avoid pain. I told someone I’d rather cut away all of my emotions off and they brought up The Giver dystopia as a result. I said a world where there is complete order lacking no necessities sounds lovely, even though the government would control who lives and dies at will. It’s easier to shut people out like Queen Elsa. Walls protect you from being hurt but they will also keep out rewards and actualization. I know that a well developed individual shows brokenness on dark days and joy when there are favorable circumstances (with degrees of self control). An extremely detached person is an unhealthy person. Avoiding risk and potential disappointment does not help a person to grow. What does?
Belonging. In life we take risks in intimacy, lose jobs, hear important medical news, these moments go on and on. There is pain and rejection we go through every day. I am still so insecure and afraid of losing people to others or death. I may be slow to recognize love when it’s there since I’m not prone to reading into words or actions past what is conventionally polite. Also, I don’t expose my thoughts easily to just anyone, I not only have to trust them but usually respect them as well. So it seems I interact conditionally with those close to me and there’s no apparent strategy to fix it.
I know absolutely I am loved by God and think highly of myself enough to receive it from those who care about me. I know we are weak and should readily admit it. We can hide and stay crippled in a locked up cell of our own making. Or walk into freedom and enjoy its benefits while becoming stronger through accepting pain (thank you Xavier, from Days of Future Past). It’s our choice to keep our burden or give it to God and hold onto faith, hope, and love. It’s not easy to surrender, but it is required for healing, so I have to keep asking God to give me a heart of flesh and to remove my apathy.