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! 😛