I think I'm emotionally crippled...

I think I'm emotionally crippled...

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This is a discussion on I think I'm emotionally crippled... within the Advice Center forums, part of the The Cafe Lounge category; I just got into a huge fight with my boyfriend about how insecure I can be when it comes to ...

  1. #1

    I think I'm emotionally crippled...

    I just got into a huge fight with my boyfriend about how insecure I can be when it comes to him and our relationship. I have a hard time getting over things that happen in the past. I try to logically walk myself through what happened, why it happened, why things are different now. No matter how logical it is, I can't get over how badly I feel sometimes. The fight ended with him pleading with me to tell him what he could do to make me feel better... and I couldn't even make a suggestion. I told him that I have no idea what will make me feel better, because I don't understand how my emotions work or where they come from. They just pop up and I don't know how to deal with them.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to get in touch with where your emotions are coming from? How do I accept them in spite of how irrational they seem, and how do I deal with them???

  2. #2

    For me, it helps to approach my emerging emotions like a puzzle--something to solve and analyze.
    When I'm strongly affected by something, I write down what I'm feeling. Sometimes drawing or symbolism helps; oftentimes, I ramble endlessly before I reach an expression or conclusion that's satisfying. Write down what you believe triggered that behavior, and see if similar behaviors cropped up in the past in response to X. Sometimes patterns emerge, and it makes it easier to pinpoint what makes you feel a certain way.

    Logic doesn't make you feel better. Logic can aid in helping you discover yourself, sure. But I think we INTP's fall into a trap of resting on logic and bottling our "troublesome" emotions. I think the first step is acknowledging that you are a human being--having emotions is what makes you whole... if you didn't have them, you wouldn't be human, or anything remotely simian. In fact, emotions arose out of "rational" reasons. They're not a fault or a weakness. As social creatures, humans benefit from the expression of emotions, or at least that's what nature intended--crying lets others know we need help. Anger helps us focus, gives us drive, makes us aggressive and protective. Melancholy brings insight, empathy--the more we feel, the more we understand, the more knowledge can be gained and applied on a human level. Having emotions doesn't compromise objectivity, either. In fact, the greatest struggle is reconciling between the two. For the longest time, I thought "ugh, if I express or acknowledge my emotions, I'm going to turn into a sopping, sentimental mess." But the cruel irony is that, in suppressing our feelings, and exalting logic, we become more prone to irrational outbursts, and our neglected feelings color our so-called "objectivity"!

    Understanding those primal urges will make you feel so much more enriched, and in control of them.
    It might help to read up on emotional intelligence. Understand emotions themselves. The meaning of anger and grief. Make them less of an enigma. Try to think--why are you insecure? What events could have affected you to act that way? A bad relationship, bad upbringing, trust issues? You don't have to answer, just reflect.

    And this book might interest you: Emotions and Emotional Intelligence
    Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman. I haven't read it, myself, but it was highly recommended to me by a friend. =)

  3. #3

    You are an INTx.
    Get used to it.
    Feelings are tricky things. . .
    Skitzabeth, negativnein, Just_Some_Guy and 1 others thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    Your feeling mind, the limbic brain, is the organ of socialization that all mammals have. It is literally separated from your neocortex, the reasoning brain, because they are made of different types of tissue. They communicate, but something is lost in the translation. That is why we experience a gap between feeling and reason. The limbic brain does not respond well to reason. The cause of your insecurity and pain may be poor development or wounds in the limbic brain. We depend on early socialization to make it function properly and if something went awry then, it could cause difficulties throughout your life. This is true of everyone though I speculate that there is some correlation between personality and the dynamic between the limbic area and the neocortex. This is a good book that explains significance of the limbic brain and relationships between people. Amazon.com: A General Theory of Love (9780375709227): Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, Richard Lannon:…

    A lot of help that is, right?

    Practical advice.. erm.
    When a feeling swells up, try to just observe it without judging or acting on it. Feel it. Feel the associations it makes. Observe if it warps your reality. Write about it or talk to someone about it.

    Sorry I don't have any more ideas on hand.
    negativnein and Skitzabeth thanked this post.

  6. #5

    Sounds familiar.

    Your challenge is to really feel things, not to think them. The information about the limbic system, etc. is good, but in the short term will only lead to more thought, not more genuine feeling.

    So putting it to you rationally, you must unquestioningly and fully grant the existence and rich value of the phenomenon of emotion, before fully understanding it and while admitting to yourself that you might never understand it. You must do this because to dissect the feeling kills it. The purpose of entering this rich aspect of human existence is destroyed once one starts to intellectualize it. You don't put your feelings in a petri dish. You can't.

    Once you have conditioned yourself to think this way a bit (mentally preparing yourself) then start reading books and poems, seeing movies, and listening to music that's different than what you might ordinarily. Seek out pathos while setting aside any irony or self-consciousness. Let yourself get taken up with whatever it is you're experiencing through the characters and let the feelings wash over you without thinking about why. It might be hard at first, but little by little it will come. Think of art as your flight simulator, where it's safe to feel or not feel whatever hits you.

    So yeah, been there myself. Still kinda there. I started to think of my emotional life as just as important as my intellectual, and interrelated with it though entirely different.
    negativnein, Nitou and Skitzabeth thanked this post.

  7. #6

    As always mrscientist has the answer for you: STOP BEING EMOTIONALLY CRIPPLED. There. I accept donations.
    Or if you can not, join the crips. They are crippled and they accept themselves for who they are.
    Skitzabeth thanked this post.

  8. #7

    there is nothing irrational about emotions. only extreme emotions. there is nothing irrational about putting value in something or loving somebody. it is only irrational once you start doing illogical things when those emotions are threatened.

    irrationality comes out of uncontrolled emotions, not all emotions. that control comes from logic. don't be afraid to utilize emotion just because it has the potential to be irrational.

    in extreme amounts, logic itself can be illogical. as can anything. emotions are just thrown onto the fires of persecution most often when people label things irrational.

    as a T type, are you emotionally crippled? no. being crippled would imply that something perhaps happened to you in the past to make you outright shun and fear emotions. but that doesn't seem to be your case.

    as a T type, you are not inclined to know how to speak the language of emotion right off the bat, but you can learn with little to no effort. you just have to not be a fanboy of logic so much as many logical people would have you believe that you have to abandon values and emotion in order to utilize it which isn't true.
    Skitzabeth and vel thanked this post.

  9. #8

    You've said part of it yourself - you're insecure about your relationship, you can't get over things from the past, you don't know what will make you feel better, he doesn't know how to help, your trying to express these feelings ended in a fight. Each things is causing stress, each things points to reasons for why you're having such a hard time, and you're not sure how to move forward.

    On a more general note I think some - perhaps many - people underestimate the effect most things have on themselves internally. Whether you've suffered terrible trauma, or have just been through generic, even day to day changes, if you're a fairly sensitive person it's not so unusual to feel out of control, which is sort've what it sounds like.

    A lady I know what a selective mute until she was four, her grandfather had commited suicide many years ago, even at 0-4 she could sense the pain, and was reacting to all the stress going on inside her mum. Personally I've always needed my mother to make the connections between events and my emotions. I'll see a dog get hit on the road and cry the next day for no apparent reason, a few days later the dog getting hit in the street will come up in conversation (amongst other stressful events) and my mum will suggest that added stress caused me to be more sensitive than usual). It's not normally so linear, but I think others are right in saying emotions are not irrational in themselves.

    The best advice I can give is that I've found such feelings - that nothing will make it -- life, the past, emotions -- okay - have diminished with time. But that's just me.
    What I might suggest is that things can only be a big deal if you let them be - death and other more serious events aside (and that emotions are a sort've different ball game) - so taking a more positive, optimistic attitude towards the more every day events - 'It's okay, it'll be okay. I should give myself an extra day to repair rather than carry on pushing myself; making mistakes and failure is not the end of the world.', talking to the people you're close to, not just one person making sure to comunicate your needs are all good things.

    But that's a bit of a tangent. Your problem is a sense of hopelessness; you can't seem to find things that'll make things okay? Your emotions are causing you alot of stress. Part of it is growing up; untill you're settled in the practical sense; house, job, relationships, - and emotional, internal sense - there'll be areas of change to process.
    Have you tried a counsellor? Someone objective and with experience trying to make sense of things; finding connections; looking for the roots to problems that arise. Maybe just try and find someone online or of line who's open to listening, perhaps just letting you work through it verbally or in writing.
    Or a mood diary? Something small and simple but with structure.
    Sometimes a certain sort of person - not necessarily connected to one specific type - can be detached from their emotions, not being able to draw connections, sometimes not even knowing what they're feeling; even if they're feeling at all. Try to remember that it's not so uncommon, and in a way it's okay, just a part of the person who deals with it.

    However, the key question is is it mangageable? And it's not, or it doesn't seem to be for you. Next question, what to do to make it manageable? You're trying to talk to people, which is a good step, but your boyfriend seems unprepared. Could you try finding ways of...letting feelings out, even if you don't feel overwhelmed when you try? Or...a safe song? Something which makes you feel safe, and brings regularity when you do feel like you're not in control? Could you talk to your boyfriend's family at all? Let them know that you're having trouble dealing with emotions, see what they think, also let them now why he might be going through some added stress so they know to be supportive of him if he seems fatigued, lost and so forth.

    As my mum says, dealing with it is a day by day process. Balance in all things is good - sleep, eating (We're 70% water, drink lots of it), excersize, expression, communication, recieving and giving affection etc. Cry; get yourself to cry at things fairly often; sad movies, happy things and so forth. Crying releses certain stress chemicals so I'm told (This does not include via onions). If you're not good at crying...primal screaming? Laughing as much as possible? So hard you cry? Throwing plates?

    /more general advice.
    Skitzabeth thanked this post.

  10. #9

    I realize I'm entering this discussion somewhat belated, but ...
    How was it for you when you were a child? As children, our emotions are as strong and clear as they get.
    How do you remember the reactions of your parents? Parents mirror and react to our emotions as children (or at least they should), and that's basically how we learn to make sense of them.
    If you answer, I may be able to comment, but these questions are intended as an idea for introspection as much as anything.
    Hope you find alleviation :(

  11. #10

    INTx types are a bit screwed on emotions even as a kid, I'm afraid (especially INTJ's. ).
    I would know, been there, done that... got several billion T-shirts as my emotions are still foreign to me even today, except the really strong ones.

    Even as a kid I wasn't exactly emotional. I remember my mother telling me I would rarely cry, no matter what I went through, that I was very quiet, a loner, that it was a nightmare to figure me out, that I rarely laughed or showed any emotions or feelings for that matter (even when being stimulated).

    I had to learn to see the "reason" and the "logic" within the vast chaos that are emotions and feelings. Even today, I need some time on my own to analyse and make out exactly what is the relations between "feeling/emotion A" and "occurrence B" and then figure out what I actually felt or why I had a certain emotion running through me.

    This inability to readily "feel" and "emote" can make us feel very insecure and scared of relations with people at all levels. We need time to "digest" what goes on inside our mind when it comes to feelings or emotions and usually, we need to be alone in order to "digest" it properly.

    Your boyfriend asked you what he could do to make you feel better? The answer is simple: "Give me a little time to get past my insecurities, to get my feelings and emotions in order. Let me figure out the mess in my head, 'hold my hand' but do not try to 'move it'."

    With this, you'll be telling him that you don't want to break up or toss him aside, that you just need a bit of time to get yourself together and that he can be there for you, even if he can't do anything to help you directly.

    Your boyfriend will have to understand, (just like my girlfriend did after a while) that you need time to get in touch with your feelings and emotions and that, even if you may appear cold outside, they are there... just in a little corner out of your view and you have to pay a visit to them in order to see them.

    INTx are complex beings and not everyone has the strength to brave the forest within us.
    pro at filing and wonderfert thanked this post.

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