blogging gobbledygook and such

It’s a bit silly to say this, but I’ve just only realised that people are very uncomfortable when other people express their negative emotions. While I’ve always realised this when I do it verbally or physically, I didn’t really realise the effect is similar when I express my negative emotions in my blog.

You know how uncomfortable you feel when you hear your friend using obscenities, or ranting using very strong, hurtful words, or even worse, she or he breaks down? You feel uncomfortable because you don’t know what to do. Your instinct is to make the person feel better, because by him or her feeling better she or he will stop doing whatever it is that caused you to feel the discomfort you feel then.

But the problem is that you don’t know exactly what to do that will make the person feel better. Everybody has different ways of coping with their negative emotions, and their coping methods may differ to yours. You want to say something comforting, but you might sound patronising to the person. You want to give the person a hug, but you’re not sure if the person even wants one. You want to tell the person to get over it, but you’re afraid of offending the person and lose a friend. So what do you do in the end? You mostly shut up, ignore and pretend nothing happens, don’t you?

Because I do that too sometimes. It’s just easier to do that, isn’t it? Because whatever tantrum that person is throwing, it will not last forever and she or he will be back to normal the next time you see the person again. So you might as well save your emotional involvement and pretend nothing happened.

When I get angry or upset or sad or just plain emotional, I don’t like it when the immediate people around me pretend that I’m not shouting or bawling or whatever I’d be doing when I in one of those moods. I also don’t like people who get preachy on me at when I’m at the heights of my emotions. Whether I was right or wrong in my outburst, the last thing I want to hear is that there are people far worse off than me or that I should calm down, get over it and that it’s not worth my emotions and energy over whatever that I’m hung up on.

See, when I get into my moods, you should let me let it all out. Many times, I hold myself in, keep it all inside because I don’t want to bring attention to myself or I don’t want to make a friend feel uncomfortable. Sometimes the feeling goes away, but most of the time it does not. When I feel the need to burst and I deny myself that need for whatever reasons, I am poisoning myself inside because I’m bottling it up. Eventually, it will spill over and when does it do that? When I am alone, at my most vulnerable, when there is no one to comfort me and I am my own worst enemy, because my head will stab my heart in ways far worse than Em’s worst criticisms. It hurts when people get angry at you and say things, but it’s much much worse when it’s you scolding and mocking yourself, because you are your last line of defense and you are turning your back against yourself…

How about you? When you are upset, what do you do? What do you want people to do? Do you want to be left alone until you feel better? Do you want someone to scream and shout with you? Do you want a shoulder to cry on?

What do you want? Please tell me.

ps. I forgot to add that – you know how I said I don’t like people ignoring or getting preachy on me at my most emotional? Well, I’m very much guilty of that too when I deal with emotional friends! πŸ˜›

Comments on: "The Expression of Negative Emotions" (24)

  1. iamvivian said:

    It depends. Sometimes I want to be left alone , hide away until the pain subsides. Sometimes I just want someone to hold me close, a shoulder to cry on, someone who comforts me. But at the bad times, I want someone to scold me, tell me how wrong I am. The best would be blogging. Saying things that I would never say to another. I find blogging therapeutic.

    sulz: i agree about the therapeutic abilities of blogging! like you, sometimes i do want to be left alone (very rarely, though) and yet i need to express it. through my blog, i do that and disable comments. the times when i want to rant and hear from people too, i do it on my blog and wait for my friends to comment. best of both worlds! πŸ™‚

    thanks for visiting, iamvivian!

  2. I dunno… expressing negative emotions in a blog is very different from doing so offline. I think a blog is like a personal space where people can express whatever emotions they need to. Maybe not everyone feels the same way about it.

    I know when I feel upset, I will sometimes talk about it with a friend. I always think that the best thing you can do for someone who is upset is to listen to what they have to say.

    sulz: yeah, it’s a different avenue, so definitely it has different dynamics than expressing negative emotions the non-virtual way. i didn’t think people would be affected when i rant or write my sad posts in my blog, but people e-mail me when i close comments. some of them e-mail me to comfort me, and i had one who got upset because i took a few days to reply to that e-mail (i was really upset at the time and didn’t want to talk to just anybody about it). so, that was kind of when it hit me.

    yes, that’s why i blog about stuff that upsets me. i know not everybody reads them but the ones that do, it’s like they’re listening to me. πŸ™‚

  3. lovelyloey said:

    You know what, I felt somewhat like what you described when I met you in Macau. Like there was the time we were at Macau Tower trying to take pictures with the Olympic mascots and some kids decided to hang around and you were somewhat worked up and talked really fast angrily and I was like “woah, chill” but then I realised that’s probably the way you handle things so I didn’t say it out. Not that I was upset or anything, but meet for first time mah~
    Anyway, I tend to not aerate my problems and negative emotions in front of other people unless it’s really really required. But then when I really do, it’s pretty intense most of the time, haha.

    sulz: yeah, i’m like that, when i’m annoyed i can be like sooo annoyed, but after 5 minutes later i forgot all about it because it’s all expressed, haha. just like my rant posts, by the time people leave comments saying hope you feel better, i actually do after publishing it, not so much from receiving response about it, haha! πŸ˜€

    well, i’m not saying that i want people to be my emotional dumping ground or anything, but sometimes things happen and i feel like i need to let it out then and there. i don’t think i do it all the time, though, don’t worry, lol.

  4. bookflutterby said:

    I know what you mean. I don’t like getting preachy, though I state what I believe…I tend to think of blogging as talking to myself…haha…kind of weird.

    sulz: it is in a way! but sometimes when i read my archives i can’t believe i wrote those stuff, both the good and bad posts.

  5. I want to open out about my feelings to my lovely partner! Always. Later, blog about it. I want the lesser of my friends to simply leave me alone and the greater of my friends to lend an ear or two.

    sulz: i would too if i had one! πŸ™‚

  6. Most of the time, like everyone else, I feel like hiding away to keep people from hurting from my destructive outbursts, even though they say to bring it out by talking to them. This conflict can make it worse for me most of the time, even if the people around me are trying to help.

    sulz: yeah, that happens. just as long as you don’t hide away for too long, i think that’s alright. πŸ™‚

  7. good post πŸ™‚

    I think I’m really bad at discussing my problems with people close to me (thought that is getting better). I suppose this is because in the past I had many bad experiences when trying to speak about things that bothered me, always getting a horrible unsupportive response. So I bought a wall and started bouncing things on myself. Catastrophic, but when I started my blog it became much better. Maybe that’s why sometimes I can be quite morbid in my own blog and I sort of forget people are reading, but in my mind this is my place and my lifesaver.

    Since I became better at sharing my stuff, I have found out I like to be listened and supported during the acute phase (the screams, the crying out loud and the anxiety), you’ll get nothing by going against my way. I will be merciless and I will say anything to stop you from going against me.

    I need to calm down first and then I’ll be more open to your suggestions. I still appreciate if you try to put yourself in my shoes. Kinda like “hey you can look it this other way…but I understand that you are looking at it this way right now”.

    Why lie?, I can be a bitch when I’m upset. πŸ˜›

    But I should calm down after I’ve been heard. After the rant is out of my chest.

    All of this is when I’m talking about tangible problems. I still don’t know what I want people to do when I’m depressed or anxious in the real sense of the words. There’s nothing to get out of my chest… just this feeling of everything being wrong and with no hope. No matter how much I talk about it it doesn’t go away and frustrates everyone around me. So I still isolate myself when this happens.

    sulz: thanks. πŸ™‚ yeah, actually i don’t really tell people my problems either, except in my blog. i would say what i talk about in person and what i talk about in my blog are vastly different. we all have had bad experiences opening up to the wrong people, but i guess we have to try sometimes. can’t just keep everything to yourself all the time. and when you find someone who would listen to you (and i know you have πŸ˜‰ ) then you’ll be glad you took that chance.

    isolate if you must, but don’t hide too long or people will get worried. πŸ™‚ like come up to breathe for air every few days or so, you know? don’t go missing for weeks and months, like someone i knew… πŸ™„

    i hope to see the day you’ll be cured of it or at least cope with it better. we can hope, right? πŸ™‚

  8. OK, just remember you asked. Had you not asked, I wouldn’t have an extensive reply, but you did. So I do. πŸ˜‰ So here it is: Not to disrespect your post title, but I don’t actually believe there are negative emotions. All emotions are valid, and arise when certain of our personality factors are activated. Having said that, I do realize there are some emotions which feel better than others, and when we experience one that isn’t along the lines of happiness or contentment, we may rather let it go. (I admit to semantic quibbling, here. A bad habit of mine.)

    I don’t much like yelling and screaming, so if you or someone else started doing that, I might just leave the room (or the country) πŸ˜‰ until it’s over. I’m the wrong kind of friend to have in such circumstances. If there was not yelling involved, but perhaps tears or sadness I would stand by and ask if I could help. I do have tools that can help which I use myself. But I would respect your boundaries.

    I agree with you about the inadvisability of holding emotions in, though (even if I don’t like yelling). It seems to me that the faster one can let go of the unwanted emotion, the better it is for ones health and happiness. I also would not get preachy (in spite of doing that now) 😳 because you have every right to feel the way you feel, as do I. The last thing I’d want if I’m not feeling as happy as I’d like, is to be preached at. To put it bluntly, “your opinion of me is none of my business”. I figure if you didn’t like hanging out with me, you’d go away and stop doing that; if you’re still there, you must like it, yes?

    Finally, you ask what I would want if I were feeling upset. If I’m very upset, and you’re my very good friend, my preference is that you would just sit with me and neither attempt to justify my reasons for being upset, or to deny they are important. Just be there. Usually, though, I go off by myself, and allow myself to fully feel what I’m feeling for a bit; and then I have breathing techniques I do, and some other things, which allows the emotional pain to leave. I don’t believe there is any reason or honor in holding on to that if I can let it go, but I do honor however long the process takes. There. you asked. πŸ™‚

    Oh, one more thing. You mentioned that you sometimes use your blog to rant or post “a sad”, and you’re either not in the mood for comments or by the time you get them you’re over the thing. In those cases, it might be a kindness to your readers to post a disclaimer to that effect. You could even have a stock phrase, ready to go for such occasions. It’s your blog, of course, and you’re free to do what you want with it, but you’ve noticed that when you usually welcome comments, people get concerned when you don’t. Just a thought. πŸ˜‰

    sulz: i did ask, because i’m curious how you (and other people) cope with such emotions. πŸ™‚ so thank you for elaborating!

    well, i’m not a crazed rabid lunatic when i get into my moods, but i can be near that maybe! as for my blog, i’ll keep that in mind the next time i publish some weepy post. πŸ˜† all things considered, i actually noticed i write far less posts categorised under rants. it used to be bigger in the category cloud! but i think i wrote more sadder posts lately…

    my, you’re feisty today. πŸ˜€

  9. I tend to bottle stuff up. When I really start, I usually just want to be left alone. I hate to be touched on a good day, but when I’m upset, ugh.

    sulz: does it work, bottling it up? it never does for me. i know someone else who’s a bottler too, which frustrated me because i was really close with the person and i felt bad and helpless because there wasn’t anything i could do to help.

    well, given your history, i can understand why you don’t want to be touched. i’m not very comfortable with hugs sometimes too.

  10. Does it work? Temporarily. But eventually I have to get them out somehow. Blogging is one way. I’ve also turned to music, poetry and art.

    I wasn’t allowed to show emotions for so long, I’m not sure how to do it in a socially acceptable way.

    sulz: ah, so you have other outlets, that’s good! i’m not sure what my friend’s other outlets are, which is why i got worried.

    well, just imitate what your friends do? i have a friend who likes to hug me, so when she does i actually like it and hug her back. i don’t hold hands with girls either, but i do with her ‘cos she does it.

  11. PS: When did you change your theme? I thought I was on my blog for a minute, LOL.

    sulz: haha, yeah i did a couple of days ago, i think. πŸ™‚

  12. JellyBean said:

    Recently I just threw a tantrum at home because of the stupidity of some of my students in their essay-writing. Sometimes I get so angry that I want to punch something or break something. But I usually just hide away and cool down first or else I’d act rashly…

    sulz: i think you’d feel less angry with your students if you edited some of the stuff i edit. i mean, can’t expect much out of students, especially those who don’t think english is as important a subject as their other ones. i think you’ll eventually detach yourself from it though, in time!

  13. I scream, I throw tantrums, I hit out at the nearest wall and won’t be satisfied until at least three punch-marks appear on the concrete… I shout at the top of my voice and curse everyone around me.. I bang the phone down and slam doors really hard… I once punched a colleague in the face…

    And when I’m angry, I’m a bit composed and I count till 10 until the feeling goes away! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    sulz: oh my, um, what a passionate man you are. πŸ˜€

  14. I guess I’m an eccentric, when I’m angry/upset/depressed all that I have to do to get back to normal is watch movies πŸ™‚

    sulz: very eccentric but also the easiest! your significant other must have it so good – all she needs to buy is a dvd for every time you argue. πŸ˜†

  15. Wow RG, you’re a lucky man.

    sulz: maybe you could try his movie therapy. πŸ˜‰ dark knight, 10 things i hate about you, a knight’s tale… that should keep you happy! πŸ˜†

  16. Dark Knight? Are you sure?. Not that I call that therapy, more like a deranged experiment that people are forced into. One VIP pass to Arkham please! πŸ˜‰

    sulz: nessa is an exception because she’s nuts, nuts about heath ledger, so it’s therapy to see a guy she finds hot, even if he’s passed on and acting as the joker. πŸ™‚

  17. Wow. Good post, and I have some advice too:

    a) I don’t think it’s so much “uncomfortable” so much as “distressed”, especially when it’s someone extremely close who is feeling down or sad. Speaking from experience, like you said, the “positive” person is at a loss to figure out how to make the “negative” person feel better. Luckily, I’ve found some surefire solutions to this problem, which brings me to…

    b) Whatever you do, look the person who’s sad in the eye and tell them the unvarnished truth about how you feel about them. I don’t mean that you should tell them to shut up and suck it up if you don’t feel like dealing with them. No, tell them exactly how you feel about them as a friend and a person. Please, please, please, do NOT just tell them positive things, because most people will see through that and feel worse about themselves because they think you’re lying (been there!); mention their flaws, but don’t be callous and emphasize that you like/love them anyways. If that doesn’t work…

    c) Relate as much as you can to their situation. Tell them of your downfalls and troubles that are like what they’re experiencing, and make sure they don’t feel alone. Feeling isolated is the worst possible thing for someone who’s upset (been there).

    d) Finally, for those who are prone to getting upset or depressive (read: all of us), find ONE confidante that you can tell everything to. I can’t tell you how one awesome friendship has, pretty much, saved my state of mind time and time again. My best friend has saved me from going down some pretty dark paths and I’m pretty indebted to her (funnily enough, not my significant other). Whenever you feel sad or whatever, sulz, don’t blog about it; call your best friend. Though us internet people are friendly folk, you need someone who knows you best to deal with you at darkest hours.

    I’m finally done! Whew.

    sulz: thanks! good advice, too. πŸ˜‰

    yeah, it would be distressing if the person is close to you, but perhaps uncomfortable if the person is just a regular sort of friend. definitely agree with b! as for c, i agree to an extent. if i haven’t heard of the person’s related experience, i’d be interested to hear about it and how s/he handled the situation, but not to the point s/he starts monopolising the conversation!

    well, i’m not sure if i have a best friend, really. hence the blog posts. πŸ™‚

  18. I just go in a shell and break all ties with the outer world till my anger subsides, even though people around me go mad and keep on asking me about my mood. But then its never been easy for me to point out mistakes in others. I hate doing that.

    sulz: it’s never easy for any of us, really! i’m always scared that the person will take it the wrong way when i point out their mistake, even if i try to be diplomatic about it.

  19. gentledove said:

    And I am the worse ,worse one, this is my biggest problem, because I want to keep it all in, I lick my wounds, I don’t want to show that I’ve been hurt-Then dammit it all comes out in a horrible, horrible burst, and I scold and scratch and bite, friend and foe alike-
    Then comes the shame and the remorse and apologies, it’s awful-yes this is the other side of myself and I hate it, thankfully it doesn’t happen often.

    sulz: oh, i’ve had episodes like that too, yup, not fun at all. maybe you should try finding an outlet instead of keeping it in, so you minimise the risk of such episodes (even though it doesn’t happen often). πŸ™‚

  20. Yeah, I have a pirate dvd of the dark knight… I so love The Joker. Haha, Virgilious Sade was so confused when you said that!

    You know, maybe one of the reasons I haven’t been posting much lately is because of this friend (you-know-who). He has been so incredibly suportive and I trust him so much. I seriously don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for him.

    Also, he found my blog and now I’m scared of posting something there that sounds worse than what I’ve told him and scare him or something. Somehow I wish I could go back to the anonymous blogging.

    sulz: haha, now he knows you’re freaky like that!

    how did he find out?? talk to him. i’m sure if he reads it, it’s only because he wants to understand you better. or just create a new blog. πŸ™‚

  21. Negative emotions are as much a part of an individual as positive emotions are… when u like someone u like both aspects of him…

    This is something u cant pick and chose! So dont worry!! Just rant on! πŸ™‚

    sulz: hmm, i don’t think i like someone’s negative aspects, but i can accept them as part of who they are. as you say, can’t pick or choose, the good comes with the bad too, but they make up the person we know. πŸ™‚

  22. thebeadden said:

    Great post Sulz. I have to agree with Muse on this one. When someone starts yelling or screaming, I walk away. When they stop, I will come back and ask if everything is okay.

    If a friend is sad, I just ask them what it is they want or need. I usually just listen. I’m not a good advice giver. LOL! I’m usually much too blunt and some people find that offensive. So, I keep my trap shut.

    When I am mad, I clean. And leave me alone! When I am sad, I love nothing more than curling up next to my husband. No talking, just quiet.

    Whenever something is bothering me, I say it. I have to. Otherwise it will eat me up inside. But it is always in a normal tone. I don’t like to argue.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have argued. I just don’t like to. I do have a temper and stand up for myself and others if I feel the need. But usually good communication is key in those situations.

    In my younger years, I’ve had less than stellar moments. 😯

    sulz: i wish i clean when i get mad! at least that can be a form of sublimation. πŸ˜€ and how sweet that your husband pampers you when you are sad. πŸ™‚ well, now you are all grown up. πŸ˜† i’m sure you’re very dignified!

  23. […] Chiropractor Author: Mahak The First Day Author: Reema Drenched Author: Nikhil Aargh Author: Nikhil The Expression of Negative Emotions Author: Sulz NCR – Nightmare Capital Region Author: Amit From Bangalore, With Love Author: Nikhil […]

  24. […] Chiropractor Author: Mahak The First Day Author: Reema Drenched Author: Nikhil Aargh Author: Nikhil The Expression of Negative Emotions Author: Sulz NCR – Nightmare Capital Region Author: Amit From Bangalore, With Love Author: Nikhil […]

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