We are all familiar with the term “the feels.” Commonly used on social media sites such as Tumblr, “the feels” basically means the person posting is feeling all types of emotional as a response to the post itself. It’s funny. It’s accurate. More importantly, it’s trending — BIG time. Before this phrase became the social phenomenon it is today, having “the feels” just meant you were probably overreacting… and should calm the hell down. Associated with weakness, lacking control of emotions has always held a negative connotation. My question is simply, why? Being extremely sensitive and emotional myself, I know firsthand that there are others just like me – I have dubbed them “The Emotionals.” Creative? Maybe? Eh, still. If you’re someone who tends to feel… well, everything… perhaps you’re one, too. I’ve devised a list that outlines the most common characteristics associated with OUR KIND. Read on, feelers.
1. Mood changes happen suddenly – and without warning: The highs and lows of the “Emotionals” are in constant effect, as we are deeply susceptible to energies that are nearby. I’m not insinuating the Emotionals are Empaths, but we definitely have an inherent ability to feed off the moods and vibes of others. Reacting to this subconscious sense, Emotionals experience never-ending mood roller coasters. These individuals are extremely misunderstood, and are then deemed “unstable” or “anxious,” simply because they absorb the feelings of others. Our souls literally just hurt a lot, and it’s nearly impossible to ignore that ache.
2. It’s hard to be taken seriously in the workplace: Take a look at the personality traits belonging to managers, executives, or any high-ranking position in the workforce. It’s easy to pinpoint certain characteristics they all have in common: controlled during times of stress, handles pressure with ease, communicates clearly and effectively while maintaining professional boundaries, and lastly – they’re consistent. Emotionals, though dedicated to the core, find it difficult to sustain their consistency – eventually, something occurs which temporarily dismantles them. Also, our personalities are the most colorful, which attracts colleagues to treat them as confidantes. Emotionals actively seek friendships everywhere, not excluding work. As a result, despite being highly-qualified, we find ourselves plateauing in our careers. Our vibrancy of expression and ability to connect to others is misconstrued as a lack of discipline, causing the described Executives above to overlook us. It’s rough, but that’s reality for us.
3. We are categorized as “crazy” in the dating scene: Since when is crying a bad thing? We’ve all experience this emotion at one point in our lives- even the coldest of hearts have shed a tear or two. Here’s a situation for you: Man likes woman. Woman likes man. Man pursues woman, and (GOD FORBID!) she wonders where the relationship is headed. Man backs off. Woman is crushed, and expresses this to man. He deems woman a “stage fiver,” and perfects his disappearing act. And repeat. Is searching for another heart to love so “crazy?” Emotionals want nothing more than to love as many things as possible – especially a partner for life. Dating, most notably in today’s culture, is absolutely brutal. Want to hear what’s worse? When we Emotionals finally meet the person who’s willing to share their heart, we deny it! “This cannot be real,” we think, “because I am crazy, and they will eventually find out.” So we end it, because we’re convinced that what we feel is repelling. What a vicious, vicious cycle.
4. We trust too easily: This is just plain obvious. Anyone who’s willing to listen and connect to our thoughts and experiences is immediately welcomed into our hearts. It’s the most refreshing feeling in the world to cry and laugh with others unapologetically, because these are YOUR people. Emotionals just want to find their tribe, and we are willing to experience failed friendships over and over again until we find it. We are crushed easily, and too frequently, but one thing is for damn sure- we never quit searching for that love.
5. Everything is “touching” to us: A simple song lyric, at the right time and place, can bring me to a standstill while tears rush in. Dramatic movies penetrate our souls (The Green Mile still destroys me) and receiving a compliment has the ability to transform our entire day. Emotionals are regularly overwhelmed with feelings that are directly influenced by the world itself. Everything and everyone we encounter, intentional or not, is associated with a feeling and then internalized. We remember everything, which is a blessing. However, it is also a curse because…
6. It can be impossible to forget the past: There’s a quote from Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer that describes this perfectly: “Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.” Many Emotionals are victims of love-shattering past experiences, and have hurt tremendously because of it. It’s extremely difficult to move forward when the smallest thing can produce feelings that emotionally rewind us. Though we bury sadness and hurt inside ourselves, they are only lying dormant until an unidentifiable trigger conjures them again. Feelings of rejection, loss and heartbreak cripple us to the core. To cope, I personally choose to live WITH my past, rather than live IN it, as I am forever attached to those feelings I experienced. I know I cannot be the only one who experiences those blank spaces Jon Krakauer describes. Haunting.
7. When we commit, we do so wholeheartedly: We do not slack when it comes to relationships. Emotionals are completely available, for lack of a better word, emotionally. And you know what? We are damn amazing dates because of it, as we seek adventure and experiences to fuel our feelings. More importantly, we want to share these experiences with someone else, as their pleasure is ours. Emotionals feel a natural high when they are in love with the right person; we are liberated, vulnerable and excited about every moment. If anything, our openness allows relationships to flourish easily since we do not have walls/boundaries that need to be demolished. Hooray for love!
Being an “Emotional” is empowering. Let’s all quit associating these individuals with weakness. Smile, laugh and cry on my friends. It’ll feel good, I promise. :)