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Feelings are messy and uncomfortable, especially in a world where we are told to be strong and keep going. However, the trouble with feelings is that they have a way of working themselves to the surface whether we pay attention to them or not.
Of course, we can’t all run around expressing our feelings every second of the day, but there are a few good signs that we are trying to push our unexpressed emotions away.
Here are 9 common tactics that people use to avoid dealing with their feelings. See how many you recognize in yourself or those that you know… Maybe it’s time for an emotional intervention?
1. Looking After Others
Looking after someone else’s emotions is much easier than coming to terms with our own. Instead of dealing with their own feelings these people focus on the emotional problems of others like some sort of unpaid counselor. You may think that you are a master at dealing with emotions, but are you just using others to avoid facing your own?
2. “I’m Fine, Really”
Isn’t ‘fine’ such a great word for deflecting your feelings? It’s not like saying you’re great or that things are actually a bit of a mess. We use this all the time when people ask us how we are (and often the person asking expects this noncommittal reply) – but are you fine? Really?
3. Cut & Run
From time to time other people can stir up all sorts of complicated and unwanted emotions in us – especially when it comes to love. But, rather than face up to your real emotions, you decide it is better to just run away and hide for a few days, weeks, or months. If this is the case maybe you need to stop and address the real situation. You can’t keep running away all your life – you might just miss out on something great!
4. Keep Busy!
Constantly staying busy is a great way to avoid dealing with your emotions. Keeping your head on your work may stop all those untidy emotions from surfacing, as well as improving your career (and making some money), but all it does is delay the inevitable.
5. The Control Freak
Some people like to stay in control so that they can keep their emotions in check. If you are in total control of whatever situation you find yourself in, then surely that will stop you from encountering any unexpected emotions, right? I mean, who wants to have a spontaneous life full of wonderful surprises anyway?
6. The Joker
Laughter can be the best medicine, but not if all you are doing is turning everything into a joke to avoid facing up to your feelings. So, your life is a mess? Why face up to things and deal with it when you can just brush it aside with a joke at your own expense?
7. Turning Everything Into A Positive
Rather than confront your real emotions, maybe you are the type of person who tries to put a positive spin on everything. Break up with your partner? That’s fine as it taught you so much about yourself. Lost your job? No problem, it showed you that you didn’t really want to work there anyway. While it doesn’t pay to dwell on negative experiences, immediately turning them into a positive may be a way of avoiding how you really feel about something.
8. Dating The Wrong People On Purpose
Why would you date someone that was right for you, someone you had a real emotional connection with? After all, that is opening yourself up to all sorts of potentially uncomfortable emotional situations. Instead of facing being emotionally intimate with someone you genuinely love, could it be that you are dating someone who is not right, just to protect your feelings? If you don’t really love them, they can’t really hurt you. But at what cost to your real happiness?
9. Being ‘Too Tough’ For Emotions
This one is all-too-common –, especially for guys. Pretending that you don’t care or that you are too tough to feel emotions is only going to backfire in the long run. The fact is, even psychopaths have feelings (although they also lack emotional empathy). Often that hard-as-nails exterior is just a cover for some real, hidden emotions.
How many of these traits do you recognize in yourself and those that you know? Chances are there are at least one of these tactics being used. But why face up to your emotions anyway? You’re just fine, right?