Thought Catalog

You’re Not Allowed To Have Feelings

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You’re not, because this is America and you have things. You have more things than other people have. In some cases, a bunch more things. And because there are people out there who have fewer things than you, this clearly means that you should stop having feelings about things totally unrelated to the things you have. Seriously. The fact that you have things automatically renders all your negative feelings about anything ever null and void, so just stop with the feelings. Stop publishing the feelings. Stop writing about the feelings. Stop having them. You having these feelings is obviously not helping anyone, it’s just getting ridiculous. Seriously, stop before something actually goes wrong.

If you have a car, a job, a house, some combination of the two or all three, your life is a dream made of spun sugar and unicorn farts and you have no right to ever be sad. Even if you just found out your fiancée is cheating on you with your best friend and rumor has it there are mutual feelings involved, you have no right to want to leap off a roof and flatten your cranium against the concrete. What the hell, asshole? Think of your job. Your car. Think about all the ex-engineering majors who work at McDonald’s and live with their parents and all the liberal arts graduates who routinely sell off their eggs and sperm to make rent. You want to be like them? No, you don’t, because you drive to your comfortable salaried desk in a Prius, you smug bastard. Those engineering majors don’t know a damn thing about your life but lord knows they would kill to have it, so quit crying. Feelings are for people who take the bus, not people who hail cabs — you know which one you are.

If you have a car, a job, a house, some combination of the two or all three and you are 22 years old, you automatically lose the right to have an opinion about unfulfilled hopes, dreams, aspirations, and all of that other sensitive bullshit. Double if that opinion is about your own unfulfilled hopes or dreams. What’s more, should you ever dare to publish an essay about them on the internet, expect to be skinned alive accordingly. No one cares about your dreams because as far as they’re concerned, you’re already living the dream even though you’re still basically a fetus. Never mind that it’s someone else’s dream. Never mind that you feel uneasy and out of touch and restless; it’s pretty unacceptable that you feel that way to begin with but it’s way more unacceptable to come out of the closet with it. You, drama queen, have 90% more things than 90% of people your age; therefore, your feelings of isolation, personal failure, and ennui are baseless and unmerited. Go glaze a cake or something in your post-grad stainless steel kitchen.

Also, if you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or some other person who is in a meaningful relationship with you of their own free will, who texts you during the day to see how you’re doing; who regularly gives you orgasms and doesn’t mind doing it, who you can ugly-cry in front of, eat takeout on a couch with, who will stroke your hair at night and apply your hemorrhoid cream; seriously, if you have a person like that in your life, shut the f-ck up and go sit in a corner. Everyone knows you’re no one until someone loves you and um, hello, you have another human being there who not only loves you, but also holds you at night and thinks you’re an okay person. What else, bitch? It’s all right there in front of you. You are not allowed to ever feel like something’s missing, or feel doubtful, or feel like you’re “not getting enough space,” or question your feelings, because there is a multitude of single sadsacks out there this very instant, shoveling raw cookie dough into their mouths while watching Dear John and crying. Just calm down and leave your trapped-single-girl pseudo-soul searching to the people who do it for a living.

And seriously, if you have a checking account, or a house plant, or two parents, or one; a best friend, healthy cuticles, the correct number of limbs; if you have a liquor cabinet, secure WiFi connection, a decent white blood cell count or a MacBook Pro; semi-manageable credit card debt, two nipples, and a roommate who doesn’t try to steal your underwear, you are living the high life and you better start to appreciate it. Just look at all these things you have! Look at the things. Do you have any idea how many people would give up their firstborn for a MacBook Pro? Do you know how many have to freeze their asses off in a Starbucks parking lot stealing the WiFi, because they can’t afford to buy a drink so they can sit inside where it’s warm without looking like a freeloading douche canoe? Do you know how many are forced to drink Four Loko on park benches while you drown your lofty privileged sorrows in champagne with diamonds in the glass? How many left-handed calligraphers are made to forever sit in right-handed desks?

No, of course not, you moldy first-world beet, because you only think about your own whiny emotional concerns. TC Mark

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    • http://mangopeels.wordpress.com quantumtheory

      this was a nice read..doesn’t matter what other people say
      keep going :)))

    • http://afilmstudent.wordpress.com revierypone

      Sure you can have emotions, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t allowed to tell you those emotions are stupid.

      • Vito

        Articulate your feelings then, whose stopping you? People can and will tell you that you should be grateful for the things you have because frankly, you fucking should. Those others bits that trouble you, yeah you do have the luxury of being in a position to have them, doesn’t make them any less legitimate or worthy of expressing i get that, but reminders help you to put them in their right place. And if you write them down in a way that makes sense, oh hey people listen! Oh these downers can’t they see how meaningless my sustainable physical existence is, yeah bloody deal with it you poor unenviable thing.

        • Vito

          Sorry this was not meant to be a reply to the above post, it can stand on its own, sorry REVIERYPONE

    • LowerHaighter

      You nailed it. How do you channel the whine so accurately?

    • http://turschwellenangst.wordpress.com turschwellenangst

      ace

    • http://twitter.com/mbp817 Marc Phillips (@mbp817)

      Perfect. Perfect. Send this along to @TaylorCotter

    • Michaelwg

      “freeloading douche canoe”
      You earn 10 points for that. All the points, they are yours.

    • http://gravatar.com/hcts90 hcts90

      This is one of the best articles on here so far. There have been so many times where I wasn’t allowed to feel upset about something because.. “oh well at least you have a wonderful boyfriend” or “but you have a car and an iMac.” Just because I have somethings in my life that are classified as good doesn’t mean that applies to every aspect of my life.

      But thank you for writing this.

    • Ally

      This is genuinely what I think and I still think I’m right for thinking it. I have no right to moan about anything because I’m so SO much luckier than a huge proportion of the world.

    • Skeptical

      Extreme. She certainly could have written it better, but this vitriol comes off as jealousy and bitterness. There are millions of people more successful than you, and much more far less well off as well. The sacrifices you and others make do not put you in a position to be holier-than-thou and fly into a rage at the first sign of someone doing well and simply stating they avoided less fortunate situations.

      • Y

        Agreed.

        • AJ

          I’m pretty sure your last sentence is exactly what she’s saying… She’s saying that the fact that someone is successful doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings too. The entire essay was sarcastic, you may have interpreted it as her being angry at those better off than her, but I saw it as saying that, even as we look around at people who are way, way worse off than us, we still feel pain, and we don’t necessarily have to feel guilty for that… Unless I’m wrong, which is also likely.

      • heather

        well said Skeptical.

      • Lian

        I think she was agreeing with you…

    • Sarah

      HAHAHAHAHAHA! I had to try really hard not to literally LOL!

    • Two Sides to the Story

      for some people, being reminded of all that’s going well in their life puts their problems in perspective! just depends on the person.

    • Alex

      yes. be bland. don’t feel a thing, and most definitely avoid wanting more than you have. WOW. For the sake of anything/everything I hope this was all written in sarcasm.

      • Jake

        It clearly was an attack on people who say its not okay to be down or miserable if you’re fortunate in life.

      • milajaroniec

        It was. It even has a “satire” tag :)

      • Alex

        just making sure Jacob.

    • Matt

      “If you have a car, a job, a house, some combination of the two or all three and you are 22 years old, you automatically lose the right to have an opinion about unfulfilled hopes, dreams, aspirations, and all of that other sensitive bullshit.”

      Really? Mila, I understand the idea of being grateful for what you have, but my life is still MY life. Yes, it’s unfortunate that there are many deserving people out there that have less than I do, so what? I’m supposed to feel guilty? Grateful AND guilty? I worked for what I have and I have a whole hell of a lot for a kid my age. I deserve what I have, so I have every right to feel unsatisfied if I so choose.

      This sounds like the rantings of a envious child. “WHY CAN’T I HAVE THAT!?”

      • CSchneidyl

        word, matt. word.

      • Alexis Carole

        Uh. Did you not realize that this entire article was sarcasm? And tagged “satire”?

      • Natalie

        It’s satire.

      • http://www.facebook.com/georgiaolive Georgia Oliveira

        ”You’re not, because this is America and you have things.” Am I the only one who noticed the sarcasm right in the first sentence? Really, Matt, you must be joking :)

        • Matt

          Well shit. Sometimes, you know, it’s not so easy to tell. Especially considering the subject matter and certain demographics.

    • Magnanimous Friend

      Hold on, engineering grads are working at McDonalds? I know the article said ex engineering majors, so I guess I’m not really clear on that.

      As far as I’m concerned, “engineer” is just a nice term for a failed Mathematician. Still, surely they are at least pulling 45k somewhere, no?

      Liberal arts/Humanaties majors deserve their fate, and if we played our cards right then eventually you people will be rioting in the streets yanking old people from their homes and lynching them for the crime of living too long, but I didn’t know it had gotten bad for engineers as well.

      This actually has me a little concerned. Naturally, I have no fear of humanaties grads ever figuring out how to bypass the security measures in our gated communities; however, an out-of-work electrical engineer is a different story.

    • ad3

      mila > gawker

      • smilescavenger

        Agreed. This was a much better article than the Gawker piece.

      • http://redlipsandcitylights.wordpress.com nnekaayana

        exactly.

    • CSchneidyl

      This is crap. Yes, people worry about things they shouldn’t, but livin’ in ‘merica doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed emotion. You’re obviously annoyed with and maybe even angry at these “moldy first-world beets” because they have feelings. But annoyance is an emotion… and so is anger. So you’re actually part of the obnoxious whiner group you’re ranting about…

      • CSchneidyl

        just saw the satire tag…sorry. good shit, mila.

    • smilescavenger

      Ah, yes. There are many people like this in the world – “Who cares if your dog just died? There are starving children in Africa you ungrateful bastard!” Then they usually go on a rant about how everyone’s complaints are insignificant, firstworldproblems, etc.

      Love your posts!

    • Hayley

      OKAY PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION!!!!!!

      THIS IS NOT SERIOUS – IT IS SARCASM – YOU SHOULD NOT NEED A SATIRE TAG TO KNOW THAT.

    • http://twitter.com/AliPants Nosilla Remarc (@AliPants)

      excellent

    • nightshaye

      I don’t understand why this writing is aimed solely at people who are privileged.

      If you ask me, people who have less things, less love in thier lives, less opportunities, etc., are the people who actually benefit the most from gratitude, by looking at what they have- including appreciation for the ones who they love and who loves them (although I wouldn’t classify them as “things”). These folks are the ones who need it the most!

      As Ally above said: “This is genuinely what I think and I still think I’m right for thinking it. I have no right to moan about anything because I’m so SO much luckier than a huge proportion of the world.” Well, I’m a lucky person and I do moan about things and that’s ok- but I fight like hell not to wallow in it or let the darker feelings define me.

      I supposed some people might say “to create or be an artist you need to suffer and experience the darkside.” What a crazy crock of horseshit that is.

      Gratitude is most definiely a feeling. It’s a feeling!! Why is it so often dismissed, why is it so hard to see feelings like gratitude be as valuable as say, self-pity?
      If can chose between 2 feelings, and guess what, the vast majority of time I can- which one do you think would be wiser to pick?
      There are folks who chose against it. They are those who keep themselves imprisoned in a misery of their own making, therefore wish to glorify it somehow.

      To my view the reaction to the “Feelings” article wasn’t about whether to have feelings or not. Of course not. Just because there was a reaction to it, and the title had “Feelings” in it, doesn’t mean that at all.

      It was about not letting one’s self be imprisoned, or most of all, defined by them by wallowing in them. Which is exactly what was described in it.

    • Great on paper

      I’m 28. I have a career that pays extremely well and gives me full benefits. I own a car and a motorcycle, but I rent my apartment. I’m a drummer in a band, and a pretty good one at that. I have my health and all of my limbs. I have 20/20 vision and a full head of hair, although my hearing could be better. I take at least two vacations per year. I’ve dined at the best restaurants in my city. I am a dual citizen of CAN and the EU. I own an iPhone and designer sunglasses. I save more money in a year than some of my friends make. I’ve never been arrested, fired, sued, suspended, robbed, starved, oppressed, beaten-up, or in the hospital longer than overnight.

      And boy, do I ever feel.

      I feel unloved. I feel guilty. I feel undeserving. I feel self-conscious. I feel anxious. I feel weak. I feel low. I feel lazy. I feel like a hack. I feel unattractive. I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I feel like I could always do better & achieve more. I feel like my best is never good enough.

      On paper it may seem like we have it all, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.

    • StayGold

      Reading the majority of these comments that clearly do not understand that this article is satire (with or without the outright label of “satire” it has) has really made me lose hope for the world. I guess I should view my reading comprehension as a privilege, too.

      • Matt

        Or maybe the fact that a substantial amount of people didn’t read the sarcasm attests to the failure of this article? And yes, it does say “humor” and “satire,” but in small text and out-of-the-way places – Really gunna blame people for not noticing?

        • StayGold

          YES!

        • Anna B

          No, but I am gonna blame you for being stupid enough to need a label to recognize satire.

    • JL

      Laughing at the comments is getting me through the work day.

    • Really???

      Did some people really need to read the tag to figure out that this was a satire?

    • KB Turtle

      Satire, and good satire at that. Nailed.

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