I am not an emotionally intelligent person. I can rarely decipher what I’m feeling and, on the off chance that I do, I never know what to do about it. If you’re into astrology, I’m a picturesque Aquarius. I’m emotionally detached and aloof. It’s fine. When people like me (ahem, people who are terrified of emotions) feel something, we run. We have no idea what to do and begin to lose what little control we have. It’s a shock to us. We spend most of our lives shuffling through mundane activity without giving my “deep” thought to anything. When we find that maybe we’re unhappy or that we possibly regret saying something, our entire system goes haywire. It’s hard being emotionally detached when these feelings keep coming around uninvited.It’s not specific feelings we want to avoid; it’s all of them. Ecstatic? That sounds like a lot of energy. Love struck? That sounds fake… but okay. Hopeless? Maybe I’ll just take a nap instead. What is it like to have feelings you don’t want? Let me tell you.
1. Spotify is your best friend.
Let’s be real here for a second. Pandora and Apple Music ain’t got nothing on Spotify. That’s important for everyone to know. Anyways! When you have unwanted feelings, you drown yourself in music. Totally normal. What isn’t so normal is a creating ridiculously specific playlist for the feeling you have, only to skip every song on that playlist until you get to the one that feels right. And then you listen to it for a week straight. (My current song is Can’t Shake You by Gloriana). Does the song match your situation perfectly? No. Does it have any special meaning to you? Probably not. Does it sound like what you imagine your current feelings would sound like if it were a song? Yes! It may be the lyrics, it may be the instrumentation. Whatever it is, that song is the only one you will listen to until you get over this emotional funk.
2. You have frequent meltdowns.
Have you ever tried to hide your feelings? It’s hard. Have you ever tried to hide them from yourself?! Spoiler alert: it’s even harder. Keeping everything bottled up and out of mind works for a good three days. You fall apart and then an hour passes and you say, “That was stupid” and continue about your business of ignoring the problem at hand: your feelings. You prance about your life pretending you’re fine and ignoring whatever is looming at the back of your brain, only to lose any sense of composure you’ve been faking the second your apartment door latches shut— if you even make it home before losing it. Side note: that guy you passed on the sidewalk? He totally saw you crying. He just pitied you enough not to say anything.
3. You rely on outlets excessively.
Exercise is great and healthy! Going to the gym every time you’re left alone with your thoughts is not! When you unwillingly get emotional, you turn to your usual outlets for stress, except more frequently. If you’re a writer, you probably have pages of short stories, poems, and general streams of consciousness saved somewhere from the last time you caught feelings. Heck, maybe you wrote an article for Thought Catalog! * Insert some sort of a drum/cymbal crash here.* I, personally, am an emotional baker. Not an emotional eater, though! I lose my appetite when I’m overwhelmed, so it’s not even worth it. Ask me about the time I made brownies, cookies, and Scotcharoos over the course of two days. It happened to be around the same time I decided to transfer colleges. Go figure.
4. You can’t find the line between asking for advice and turning your friend into your personal therapist.
Eventually, you talk to someone about your feelings. It sucks and no one should ever have to do it, but you do. You ask your friend (singular, because if you hate feelings, chances are you’re only going to talk about them once) what you’re supposed to do and they give you a painfully obvious answer. “Follow your heart!” “You do you!” “Eat ice cream!” These things all sound like something off a cheap greeting card and really don’t help. Since you never talk about your feelings, your friend doesn’t know what you want them to say. You slowly start beating the subject to death, until you realize you’re in too deep and you just drop it again, but force a fake “thank you” because they tried. Sort of.
5. You get attached.
I thought this was about being detached?! It is, my friend, it is. Less emotional people don’t really get attached to many people or many things. When they do, they get REALLY attached. They decided, despite hating emotions and feelings and all of the garbage that comes along with attachment, to actively want you in their life. That means something, so don’t mess it up.
6. You feel bad for everyone else.
People feel like this? All the time? On purpose? No thank you. I’m sorry this hell has been bestowed upon you. Good luck, because in a few weeks I’ll be feeling neutral and you’ll still be stuck on the dude you saw for a millisecond that smiled back at you. Yikes.