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Thread: Aversion to emotions

  1. #1
    NC-17 Delilah's Avatar
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    Question Aversion to emotions

    I have always noticed my propensity to crack jokes in negatively charged emotional situations , and I believed that it was in an effort to neutralize the situation, but in recent years I have noticed that, more and more, I actively avoid any and all situations that cause even a moderate emotional response in me. I have always hated "chich-flicks" (not going to apologize for that, they suck) but I realized recently that it is not only the epic amount of suckage that so many of them possess, it's also because they make me incredibly uncomfortable, nearly ill. Not just the heartbreak and boo-fucking-hooing, but the mushy, happy love shit too. They make me equally uncomfortable, as uncomfortable as those god-damned Sarah McLaughlin (sp?) animal commercials that rip my fucking heart out and mash it into black goo. I get up and leave the room when they are on. Fuck that shit.
    If I can't avoid the emotional shit I try and turn it into something I can handle, like jokes! I like jokes. Or anger, mine or others. I have been known to irritate other people enough to evoke an anger response in an effort to change the dynamic of the situation into something that I can more easily handle or understand.
    (Now I can't stop thinking about those commercials ! They make me want to hunt down all the animal abusers and turn their fun bits into fucking confetti, evil fucking bastards.)
    Is this a normal-ish type thing? I have always known that I was emotionally.....cold? Underdeveloped? Retarded? I don't know what, but now that I have noticed that it is not just sadness but all emotions that make me uncomfortable I am a little curious, and possibly concerned.
    You're using big words right now that you don't know the meaning of and you're capitalizing them. You shouldn't do that. ~Osito

  2. #2
    Senior Member skip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delilah View Post
    those god-damned Sarah McLaughlin (sp?) animal commercials that rip my fucking heart out and mash it into black goo. I get up and leave the room when they are on. Fuck that shit.
    The ones narrated by Wendie Malick get to me (I think they're for the ASPCA? I don't watch the commercial long enough to find out). DVRs help with that problem.

    I think the danger in what you're describing is blocking out all emotions. Minimizing negative emotions while reveling in positive ones is a skill that takes time to fine-tune but it's worth doing.

    Is it possible you're overwhelmed by something right now, emotional or otherwise? That could be making you feel like all emotions need to be clamped down.

    Edit: I think of emotions as information: they are feedback on how the external world is affecting you. They are not instructions or mandates for behavior.

    "Information" is usually more a comfortable concept for INTPs to deal with.
    Last edited by skip; 01-26-2014 at 09:03 PM.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that a problem.

  3. #3
    Pan_Sonic_000
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    Emotions don't bother me per se.

    What bothers me is when others allow them to run amok and define situations; for me, there has to be a system of checks-and-balances between emotional responses and analysis of them. Otherwise they're just blathering on and talking circular emotional shit with no resolution in sight. It makes my fucking skin crawl.

    Like, if I feel something strongly I don't wallow in it. I just wait for it to recede, then compartmentalize it behind a 'glass wall' in my mind to study it. It makes it objective, I guess. I ask 'why do I feel this way' and then start forming connections between the triggers, the responses, the beliefs, the insecurities, whatever. A whole web of connections come about and I reshuffle items around as needed in order to make a better model of my perceptions.

    Basically what I'm saying is, emotions are fine. I just need a whole series of follow-up questions (namely, 'why'). Without that, I can't tolerate emotions in myself or others.

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  5. #5
    NC-17 Delilah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skip View Post
    I think the danger in what you're describing is blocking out all emotions. Minimizing negative emotions while reveling in positive ones is a skill that takes time to fine-tune but it's worth doing.
    Yeah. that's what I thought I was doing. Maybe I got so good at it that I started minimizing all emotions so as to better study them, or so as to not get swept away with them?

    Is it possible you're overwhelmed by something right now, emotional or otherwise? That could be making you feel like all emotions need to be clamped down.
    Or maybe that. That is actually quite likely......shit.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Pan_Sonic_000 View Post
    Emotions don't bother me per se.

    What bothers me is when others allow them to run amok and define situations; for me, there has to be a system of checks-and-balances between emotional responses and analysis of them. Otherwise they're just blathering on and talking circular emotional shit with no resolution in sight. It makes my fucking skin crawl.
    Completely agree. Screaming, yelling, throwing things, bawling uncontrollably, the complete inability to be able to take a breath and ask themselves, "Is this response a rational reaction to this situation?". 99% of the time, no, probably not. You're a fucking drama queen and I want to punch you in the throat.

    Like, if I feel something strongly I don't wallow in it. I just wait for it to recede, then compartmentalize it behind a 'glass wall' in my mind to study it. It makes it objective, I guess. I ask 'why do I feel this way' and then start forming connections between the triggers, the responses, the beliefs, the insecurities, whatever. A whole web of connections come about and I reshuffle items around as needed in order to make a better model of my perceptions.

    Basically what I'm saying is, emotions are fine. I just need a whole series of follow-up questions (namely, 'why'). Without that, I can't tolerate emotions in myself or others.
    All of that is dead-on, my concern, or question, is that I am now doing it with all emotions, good and bad. Or maybe I always have and just started noticing? That sounds closer to accurate. Hm.
    You're using big words right now that you don't know the meaning of and you're capitalizing them. You shouldn't do that. ~Osito

  6. #6
    Your Huckleberry lethe's Avatar
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    To me emotions are best used simply as information, or for enjoyment. I have noticed when I am overwhelmed or under stress I have less tolerance for emotion-evoking things, as if I'm desperately seeking calm. During these times I can't watch dramas no matter how good they are, or handle some music. I take this to mean that although I may feel calm most of the time I am not actually calm underneath. As if there was some emotional cup that is stuck most the way filled and taking on any more will cause an overflow. The overflow doesn't cause me to act emotional, just uncomfortable. Too much to handle. (I also love laughing in the dark/gallows humor and making dark jokes about my own terrible situations)

    I personally think and have noticed that people who go to lengths to avoid such situations and are uncomfortable with emotions like that are actually MORE emotionally sensitive than others, rather than emotionally cold. More like a raw nerve than a dead nerve. Dramatic emotional displays not necessary.

  7. #7
    gryffindor Hermione's Avatar
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    I don't have any prollem accepting my emotions. I jsut don't want to talk about it. I definitely don't want them to show unless it's a specific circumstance and it feels right.

  8. #8
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    There's a public/private divide for me, as with most things.

    Most people, from family and friends to the people I date, tend to think I have an analytical and detached response to emotionally charged situations. Which is usually true, since that's my more public side. I try to mediate, calm people down, generally "make things okay", and restrain expressions of anger, fear, panic or sadness. Most of the time, if it's an emotional situation, I do this not because I care how people perceive me but because I want to set an example for them and make them calm down. I'm also scared of losing control, being one of the agents in that situation that makes it go out of control. The emotion that I repress the most is fear. I try to avoid fear in myself and in situations.

    I guess my analytical response to things has emboldened people in the past to be, uh, rough with me? They think they can't get under my skin, so they get comfortable with having no restraint in their conversations with me. If they're angry they might (verbally) give me their best shot like it's no big deal, if they screw up they feel less inclined to apologize, if they're insensitive they frankly don't think I care. To an outsider this prompts the question of why I let myself be treated like shit, but they don't always realize that I've in some way given them permission by coming across as insensitive. I don't even know why I do that, if it's a learned response or just the way I've always been. On some level, I'm flattered that they think I can take it, but if I'm emotionally invested, I feel trapped. I can't show them the emotions they get from other people or convince them that I have them. There was one ex I tried to explain this to, because I guess he went too far too many times, but the words were so clinical they sounded frustratingly cold even to me as I was saying them. I can't get the humane treatment that less controlled people enjoy, but I don't want to lose control. Maybe you just can't have it both ways.

    Privately, I have the emotional restraint of a teenaged INFP.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

  9. #9
    Your Huckleberry lethe's Avatar
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    Not that I would recommend it.. but I think I have seen some people counteract that freedom others feel expressing their emotions around a more stoic person by being obviously judgmental and dismissive of other people's emotional displays. Painting the picture that "Yeah, you won't hurt me personally, but I will think less of you for lashing out."

  10. #10
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lethe View Post
    Not that I would recommend it.. but I think I have seen some people counteract that freedom others feel expressing their emotions around a more stoic person by being obviously judgmental and dismissive of other people's emotional displays. Painting the picture that "Yeah, you won't hurt me personally, but I will think less of you for lashing out."
    IME the NFs get more emotionally vicious when their displays are met with coldness, while the NTs seem to turn confrontation into a verbal boxing match where the first person to lose their cool loses.

    Yay maturity.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

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