In Defense Of Being “Too Emotional”

Nicki Mannix
Nicki Mannix

I have often been told that I am emotional — too emotional for my own good. Some time ago, a friend even told me that my affections would undo me if I did not consider leashing them, and soon. A scary prospect, isn’t it? To be wrecked by what makes me. After all, my passions make me the way his do him and yours do you.

Should I change myself? Overhaul my sensibilities? Uproot the inherent and plant the practical? Two years ago, my answer would have been a staunch “no”. Today, I’m not too sure. Do the late 20s generally strip people of their geniality and vivacity and the self-assurance that comes with them? Is everyone else as prone to bouts of abject despondency and skepticism as I have been lately? Am I dejected because I have failed to tether my emotions, or is it because I am considering arresting them when I should be giving them free rein? I’m not so sure anymore.

Oscillating between the two extremes of raw emotion and processed rationality, I am struggling to find a foothold. I am sensitive — more sensitive than most pragmatic people are — which is why I feel like an anomaly in their midst. I am touchy, too — more touchy than what passes muster in the societal scale (or so I imagine). All the same, I have a feeling heart. I feel deeply for whatever comes my way. If there is cause to be happy, I am ecstatic; if there is reason to grieve, I grieve. I love from the core of my soul and think from the depths of my mind. My cares are profound, my spirit agile, and my heart breaks all too often.

Whenever my spirit plummets — and it’s taken to doing so at an alarming rate these days — I conjure distant sounds in my head. By degrees, they grow louder until I can distinguish my friend’s voice urging me to fortify my sentiments, admonishing me at my complacence to act. My impulsiveness tries to shut out the voice but some long-dormant instinct stirs to pay heed. In the duel that follows, I catch fragments of that conversation of long ago. “If you really want to be happy, you’ve got to harden yourself up.” “What good has being too emotional brought you anyway?” I let the well-meaning counsel sink in. Strangely, it begins making sense. Would it be infinitely better if I did not care or love or feel so deeply?

Gearing myself up, I oftentimes strive to steel myself for a fraction of a day. I find myself becoming determined to act indifferently to people and circumstances alike. I pretend to be moved by matters that I don’t really care about — because everyone else seems affected. I callously look away from what really matters to me and pretend it didn’t. I congratulate myself about my accomplishments and take pseudo satisfaction in being in control of myself. But it’s only pesudo-satisfaction, and within a couple of hours, I begin to feel claustrophobic in my new mask. I then reason myself out of my new bearings and go back into the cacophonous arcades where my crazy, silly, worrying, crying, self resides. And it’s only there, really, that I feel relief.

Another day, another mischance would surely prod me into re-considering my nature and donning another cloak of indifference for self-preservation. All the same, I can vouch for my resignation being transient. I will, without a doubt, sooner or later, conform to the ‘stuff’ my innate sensibilities are made of. I might be impractical in the eyes of the world, I might be vulnerable, I might be standing against the tide, I might be crying a lot more than I need to, I might smell pain and not roses for the major part of my existence, but I will be true to myself. I will be me. TC mark

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