|Emotional Mastery Emotional intelligence, addiction and recovery, grieving, loss, fear, anger, guilt, resentment, frustration, anxiety, depression, happiness, joy, love, kindness, forgiveness, self-acceptance, confidence, escaping the pit of despair, EFT|
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|07-05-2008, 11:24 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2008
I'm Emotionally Illiterate
After reflecting on the previous post I was not happy with it and decided to re-write it. I shouldn't expect others to dig through my BS to try and find a hidden problem. This is my attempt at being more forward.
I feel like I have little to no control over my emotions. More often than not I cannot distinguish between them. I often become happy, upset, frustrated and I'm unaware of what caused it, or I blame the source on some unrelated event, sometimes myself. Many days I don't feel anything. Other days I have a very difficult time making simple choices like what to eat or whether I should eat, or if I'm even hungry. When my indecision leaves the inanimate world it's even worse. I have actually sat and thought for long periods of time whether or not I love my parents. The only conclusion I came to is that by default everyone does, which means I must. I didn't feel any different though. Thoughts like these extend to nearly every possession and acquaintance I have ever had. I think my logical side is overworking itself.
Earlier while driving I came to the theory that this stems from a combination of a deep rooted fear of exposing myself to others, and a fear of rejection within social circles. I have learned to emulate or mimic others very effectively, which has led to almost everyone liking the person I present to them, yet no one truly knowing who I am. I have probably been doing this my entire life, and as such it has resulted in not even me really knowing who I am, and it gives the control of my emotions to the moods of the people that are around me.
That's just an idea though. If anyone can relate to this or has heard of something similar I'd love to hear about it. Hopefully I wont regret this post and delete it too.
Last edited by Peyem; 07-06-2008 at 08:43 AM.
|07-06-2008, 09:34 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
I think I've been in the same place as you before - basing how I feel by what other people think.
Maybe you should try doing outside-the-norm things that appeal to you. Initially you'll feel uncomfortable and maybe even weird because you don't quite fit into a social norm, but after a while YOUR emotions will start to work and you'll get out of this apathetic coma. Also, take long walks. Don't stress too much. Get away from other people when you need to. Don't watch too much tv. Do something that appeals to you. I think getting a better knowledge of who you are is a big step, and I know there was a time in my life where I had no idea who I was, and if I did I wasn't very accepting of it because I didn't fit a social norm.
Let yourself be, accept who you are, despite what 'they' think. It all works out for the better that way and once you accept yourself, you accept your true emotions.
|07-06-2008, 05:52 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2008
I see what you're saying. I think in the past I've tried a lot of activities to try and open myself up, but I think almost all of them have ulterior motives. For example, maybe two years ago I took up ballroom dancing, which led to swing dancing. I think I mainly did it to meet women, and I was never that interested in it. Even after 5+ months of dancing with the same people I never felt natural or relaxed. I still feel like there's a huge part of me that none of them ever got to know.
To be completely honest I think I mainly just sit at home and wait for someone to invite me to go do something. As I've gotten older this happens less and less frequently, leaving me in my room on the internet or playing video games (which I can no longer do due to an RSI).
I'll try to spend some time thinking about outside-the-norm things that might interest me. I'd love to hear some suggestions someone might have for looking for new things to do. I just find it hard to think of something that truly interests me, completely ignoring the practical or financial aspects of it. I'm always thinking of how I could apply the activity in logical terms.
Here's some things I've done and didn't enjoy, and the reasons:
Dancing -- meet women
Learn Spanish -- Job opportunity enhancer/fall back plan
Drink/Party -- meet people (I don't even like alcohol)
Join a Fraternity -- open myself up (horrible idea, the second I got in I wanted out)
Take art classes -- I was envious of people that could draw well
Gym/Exercise -- Make people like me via my physique (I still exercise though as it's healthy)
Two things I've always liked are mountain biking and snow skiing. Skiing is out of the question these days as I simply can't afford it. Mountain biking is fun, but it's not something I can do with other people. *Real* mountain bikers are crazy and the last time I rode with one I hurt myself, and I'm afraid of hurting myself badly by pursuing that route.
|07-06-2008, 07:09 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2008
I think the only thing that I've ever done that I've truly enjoyed without even a hint of thinking I was doing it for anyone else is going on a rollercoaster. If I could go on a rollercoaster everyday, then I would be a happy person I think. lol I know this probably seems odd, but I truly feel free when I'm experiencing the thrill of the ride. I just don't have enough money to go to a theme park everyday for my relief....so I'm just stuck in my pitiful existence. Sorry I can't help with any advice. But I can definitely relate to some of the stuff you're saying.
|07-07-2008, 04:04 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2008
My apologies if it seems like I'm just using this as a public journal to express my thoughts at any given moment. Feel free to comment or not.
Earlier today I spent a decent amount of time reading some of Steve's articles and these forums. Two things stood out in my mind: meditation, and his article on self-acceptance vs. personal growth.
Meditation is something I have tried in the past for varying periods of time but never stuck with it. I think it is because every time I tried I hit a wall which restricted my growth. The first two times I think I merely came to a plateau and I didn't fully understand the ideas behind it so I stopped. The third time I tried it my roommates were constantly so loud and/or drunk that even with earplugs in I could hear them, their music, or feel the music so clearly through the walls I simply couldn't focus.
I have already started back on meditation earlier this morning, and after each session I will be keeping a journal (on paper and private) of my progression and thoughts. I think that the act of writing it to track progression is one thing that inhibited me in the past. The same act of writing down my workout plan (in the gym) and recording the weights and sets really motivated me in that area, and I have every reason to believe this will enjoy the same success. From the meditation I hope to find out more about my inner workings. I once described my thought process as watching a big screen TV (analogy for my field of view) with up to 10 picture-in-picture channels of separate thoughts going on in a consistently rotating circle around the main picture. Just like might happen when actually watching TV with picture-in-picture you start watching the small screen and forget what is happening in the big one. For me, that essentially means detaching myself from reality for short periods of time. It's hard to stay focused, and considering meditation is the ultimate form of focus, that may be just what I need.
As for the self-acceptance vs. personal growth, I have always been a maniacal worker when I have been motivated. Recently my motivation has been lost. Perhaps my current lack of focus has something to do this. In the past my maniacal habit resulted in a repetitive stress injury because I didn't properly take care of myself (lack of sleep, poor posture/ergonomics/diet). I also applied my maniacal work habits to World of Warcraft and other MMORPGs that came before it. I wouldn't recommend doing that. The physical pain that would result in my attempts at working hard (or playing hard) taught me to become lethargic to avoid the pain. I believe it sent me into a form of depression in one way or another. I'm not expert in this area though and have only recently began to even think about it as a possibility.
When I read that article of separating your self-acceptance and personal image from your success in life, it made a lot of logical sense. If you wish to protect your ego and confidence, simply remove it from an area in which it could be harmed. It's a fantastic idea. I know that will not be easy for me as I am constantly comparing myself as a person to anything and everything I can assign a number system to. It may not even be possible and could be so ingrained in my head I will never change, but I will make an effort, and I believe over time (possibly months or more) through meditation I will gain a greater insight into myself. My goals may change, but if they do I feel like I will have a stronger understanding of why and what it is that I'm looking for.
I also read some more articles on concepts such as Intention-Manifestation, and I simply cannot get on board with that line of thought. It just screams pop-psychology scam and my skepticism and BS sensors go through the roof. To me it is nothing more than prayer minus the god and I will not be pursuing it. My issues with religion have little to do with the presence or non-presence of an actual God. That is a simple yes or no question (there either is a God or there isn't) to which we do not have the tools to answer at this time. My issues with religion (as well as ideas such as IM) is that it lifts the responsibility off of the individual and places it on something else. In the realm of religion this responsibility is placed on God. In Intention-Manifestation the responsibility is placed on "synchronicity" or other terms which I cannot recall, which to me seems like nothing more than random chance, except that your state of mind has changed to one where you're looking for a sign, which means you will dig deeply into things that are most likely insignificant. That may work for those that can work on faith, but I require much more substantial evidence to act on. I'll leave my skepticism there, I don't wish to create an argument or debate this, it's merely my thoughts out loud.
In conclusion, I will be taking some of the advice from Steve's article "30 Days to Success". One of those suggestions happens to be "Give up online forums". While I have very few posts on this board, I would estimate I have over 10,000 posts on other boards over the past 5 or 6 years, and likely 20-30 times that number of threads read (literally years of time on forums). It's not a fact I'm proud of, and I don't think anyone in my "real life" is aware of that. It obviously has filled a need of mine, which helped put me into the position I'm currently in, but I wish to break that habit. Whatever need forums have stepped into replace, it didn't do a good job as a replacement. Of the other suggestions, I will pick and choose those which I feel will fit my lifestyle, and in combination with my journal I will be reviewing them as time progresses.
What all this means is that I'll keep checking back to see if anyone responds to this post, but after several days of inactivity I will leave it behind for good.
As a final measure, I will be running all of this by a shrink/therapist/counselor/[insert helper title]. I will start the process of looking for one qualified to help me tomorrow afternoon.
How's that for a long-winded response to my own thread. Hopefully at the very least someone finds this entertaining. Thank you for providing this space for me to vent ideas. It may not have solved anything but I think at the very least it sparked my motivation to at least start actively improving.
|07-07-2008, 07:34 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2007
It is very important to know, what you feel at the moment - because feelings are the informations - what should you do to make your life better.
If you want, I'll give you some tips, how to learn to recognise emotions (it is skill that you may learn & improve).
|07-07-2008, 06:32 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2008
I'd love to hear any tips you might have. Either a PM or post here would be great, thanks!
|07-08-2008, 02:56 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2007
Well, learning to identify emotions requires some effort and lots of self-discipline, but it's worth it
The tools are rather simple (I love simple tools).
1. Write down the feelings. Take a diary, journal, notebook or something, and write down your feelings you experience each day. Of course, that shouldn't be all feelings that you noticed First you may find this difficult, but I promise - the more you train, the better results you receive.
Here is how to write the list of feelings:
(feeling) --> when (situation) (event/thoughts)
HAPPINESS, JOY - when I met my girlfriend
SADNESS, LONGING - when I left her house
And remember: one page - one day.
You should record not only the "negative" emotions, but this positive ones too. It is important to know, that you feel not only sadness, anger and fear
You may record emotions short after recognizing, or later - but you have to be systematic and record something every day - even one or two feelings.
Don't worry, if you don't know, what you are feeling at the moment. It's ok. Maybe an hour after, or two, you guess what it was - then record it. Sometimes it is difficult to be aware of feelings, especially when they are strong.
Sometimes you may notice, that nothing special happened, but negative emotions came anyway. Often the reason is your thoughts . In this situation I usually write, i.e. "worry" - when I think of future meeting.
It is important (on the beginning), that you should record only feelings and events, not your reflections or judgements about them.
You may use a list of feelings - when you feel something, look at the list and try to find that feeling on the list. It is very helpful. The example of list of feelings you'll find here.
Write your feelings diary for few weeks/months and see if you get any results. Don't surrender after few days.
2. Tell others (or write them) about what you feel/felt. Do it as often as possible. Let it become a habit. It will not only help you to recognize emotions (and, of course, for the first times it may be difficult - see above), but also it's a good way to improve management of feelings (or, in other words, to improve your emotional inteligence ).
3. I tried also to identify emotion via body and mind. Warning: don't guess "what I SHOULD feel in that situation?". I think rather of that kind of analysis, when you think "Hmm, let's see... What this feeling tell me to do?". I.e. if you wish someone death, probably you hate him/her. If you want to hide under your chair, you probably feel shame. If you want to run out of place where you are at the moment, it probably fear. It may seem obvious - but it isn't if you are perfect in suppressing emotions. Sometimes you have to look deep into yourself to read the information that your body send to you.. Avoiding to suppress emotions is very important to good recognition.
I hope it will be helpful for you.
(I'm sorry for my grammar )
Last edited by daredevil83; 07-08-2008 at 02:58 PM.
|07-15-2008, 07:14 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New York
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