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Hi everyone! This video is going to be about emotional numbness and apathy, and how one can actually feel emotion when they do not feel anything. Emotions, we all have them. Happiness, sadness, anger, fear, pain, and love are just some of the more broad ones. But, within these there are a variety of other ways one can feel. Emotions are one of the strongest thing us humans experience since we are emotional beings. We feel a variety of emotions over different situations and at different times in our life. However, this doesn’t mean that all of us experience emotions to the same degree or even over the same situation. For instance, what may make one feel sad may make another happy, and anything and everything in between. Yet, what about those that do not feel anything? What about those that don’t understand emotion and the ways of feeling are unfamiliar to them?
We all have the capability to feel emotion. This is something natural to us. However, there are many factors that go into one being emotionally numb, and a lot of which has to do with our past. Abuse and neglect are some of the most common causes of this emotional numbness. The reason for this is because we could’ve been shamed into thinking that if we express disapproval with our parents that it would result in being punished. As a result, we may hide how we are feeling from others. This then results in us blocking out feeling anything, even from ourselves. Shame is a big part of us blocking out our emotions. We may be bullied in school and if we show any sadness for what others are doing to us, we will only be harassed more since they view it as a sign of weakness. We are being shamed into not showing and expressing our emotions. Sadness and crying is at the top of this list. Even in society, it’s not common for a male to show these signs because masculinity is about being tough and crying is only for women since it’s a sign of weakness. This is very incorrect since showing your tears and crying is not only a release of negativity, but a sign of strength.
Crying specifically was something I would hide. For those of you who have been following me for a while now you can see how much I’ve managed to show more of my real, genuine emotions, crying being one of them. I know people have said to me, “Don’t cry.” But, that may imply that my emotions and the way I am feeling is invalid. But, most of the time the people that say this want someone to be happy, in a more positive frame of mind. However, this simply is not the best way of going about that since it can make one feel like what they are experiencing is incorrect and like they shouldn’t be feeling the way that they do.
Another reason we hide our emotions is because we may not want to deal with something. Perhaps the death of a family member we were close to. Let’s say we lost someone whom we were close to and had a connection with. For many individuals, they will feel terribly saddened about the loss. They may feel depressed for some time afterwards. They feel a loss within themselves. But, manage to overcome it and deal with it in time. However, what about the apathetic person that doesn’t feel anything when they lose the person they were close to? They may not know how to feel because they have hidden how they feel from themselves. Deep down they may be feeling an enormous amount of pain. But, in order to avoid that pain, they reject, deny, block out, their emotions, often times without even thinking about it. Some individuals may even feel happy that someone they were close to has passed away. This too is often because the emotion of happiness is on a higher vibrational scale than sadness. So, in order for the person to face the negativity, they avoid feeling saddened by feeling happy.
What do I mean by a scale of emotion? Think of it like a staircase leading from a dark, empty, cold basement at the bottom of the scale, to a bright, inviting, and warm living room. In the basement we are all alone. No one gets us, understands us, and we despise ourselves above all else. At the bottom of the staircase are some monsters that want to hurt us. These monsters represent bad memories and struggles we have. Yet, there is a way to get out of this and it’s to face these demons and fight them off and win the battle. To feel the emotions and start to climb the staircase of emotions and feel all of the emotions leading up to a higher vibrational state. On the top of the staircase there are people that love us and accept us unconditionally. We feel welcome and treated the way we have always wanted to. We feel a happiness within ourselves, a love and acceptance of ourselves and all our flaws.
We may feel anything on the scale of emotions as we are all on different stairs of these emotions. Where we are ultimately determines how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. At the very bottom of the scale is depression. While at the top is happiness and joy. When we are depressed, we simply cannot jump to the top of this staircase. No, we must feel the emotions in between to get ourselves out of it. Anger specifically is often higher up on this staircase. So, when we are feeling depressed, it’s easier to then feel anger than it is to immediately feel happiness. We must naturally climb these stairs.
For those that do not feel any emotion, imagine that this staircase is invisible to them. It exists, but they do not see it because they have denied it and blocked it out. Almost like there is a blindfold over their eyes so they do not know where they are on the staircase. Or others that have blocked out specific emotions, imagine the staircase missing a few stairs. These missing stairs are too far apart to actually cross, so they would need to be faced, attention being brought to them, and then rebuilt. So, I will discuss some ways one can actually feel emotion.
In order to feel emotions, it’s about lessening shame related to what emotion you cannot express. If you were taught that it was inappropriate to express disapproval or anger, and you block out those emotions and express it in a different way, then you would learn to reason with the anger you are feeling. You must actually face the anger and reason with it. This goes hand in hand with another crucial step, allowing the emotions to flow. Feel what you feel and let go of resistance. When you eliminate that shame, then you will be a little closer to allowing yourself to feel what you are truly feeling within yourself.
Let’s think about this for a second now. You can sit down and calm your mind and bring your attention to an event that perhaps recently happened. You may not feel anything or maybe you feel a little bit of emotion that you don’t quite understand. Emotions come and go, so when you eliminate resistance, you will actually feel what you truly feel, and it will come and go just like that. It can be difficult and scary, especially if you’ve blocked it out for so many years, but you must face it in order to overcome it so it doesn’t bother you anymore. As you are sitting there thinking about the event, just observe what thoughts go through your mind and what you begin to feel. Observation is key here. If you find yourself trying to block out events, memories, or emotions, or even trying to hold onto them, try to understand why you are doing that and learn to let it go so it begins to flow. Often when we block it out it’s to avoid pain and feeling vulnerable. You may not want to feel saddened by a recent event because you do not want to feel negatively. But, you must dive into the experience and actually face it in order to address the most concerning problems you may be having.
When you are thinking about this event, perhaps you feel a wave of sadness overcome you. It may feel overwhelming, perhaps even like it’s too much. But, this is how you know that you are progressing. Let yourself feel this way and observe it and let it pass without holding onto it. Allow the emotions to flow. If you begin to feel like you are about to cry, let yourself cry. And also know that there is no such thing as failure. So, if you feel something and then immediately block it out, like you are use to, that is still progress. You can try again later to face it and let it happen. There will be times you will make progress and others that you will take a step back. But, in the long run, this will help.
With that being said, learn that your emotions are valid. What you are experiencing is valid. Let yourself feel whatever comes to you, even if it changes every couple of minutes. By experiencing these emotions and observing them, you will understand them better and be able to have a degree of control over them. Now, what are inappropriate emotions, or an inappropriate emotional response? Well, often this may be feeling happy when someone tells you something that is upsetting and would normally be considered unhappy. So, if you are happy over the death of your best friend, understand these emotions. There is no reason to get angry at yourself or feeling bad for yourself for feeling happiness during that moment. Rather, it shows that you do have emotions, and are vulnerable yourself, which is something that you can face to ultimately show what you are truly feeling without vulnerability. You want to stay in a positive frame of mind and not face the situation because you feel it is unbearable. So, what you are feeling is valid, and you just have to realize why you feel this way and what you can do to actually show how you feel at the deepest level, how you truly feel.
Additionally, another example is someone who holds onto emotions. Perhaps someone is so angry that they are physically abusive to people and destroy their environment. This is due to a lack of control over their emotions. They feel anger and hold onto it and let it build up inside them, releasing it in a destructive manner. At that point, they have not let the emotions flow, but have attached themselves to it and are unable to let go. Naturally the strong emotion will fade, but not when they are consciously holding onto it.
So in conclusion, feeling emotions is natural to all of us. However, we may block out specific ways of feeling due to vulnerability and to avoid being hurt. By eliminating shame and regret, as well as allowing emotions to flow without resistance, one can understand their emotions and get better control of them so they can express them in a healthy manner. The problems and pain you feel can be alleviated just by facing it. Bring your attention to it, feeling what you feel at the deepest level, and allowing yourself to be in touch with your genuine emotions and learning to express them. If it’s a negative situation, you can face it and feel the emotions associated with it and then make progress at climbing the staircase of emotions so you can be in a better frame of mind so it doesn’t have a hold of you anymore and you’ve moved past it. I hope this video was informative and helpful. Thanks for watching!
I know from my experience how difficult it is to actually feel emotions when you repress them and don’t allow yourself to feel anything. For me, this was mostly because I didn’t understand how I truly felt and didn’t know how to express myself, in addition to not wanting to feel pain or hurt myself. But, I had to actually go through that and feel the negative emotions in order to feel the positive ones. Otherwise, any positive way I would feel would quickly turn around and become negative or it simply didn’t feel authentic. I remember I would hide how I truly felt by putting on a fake smile and laughing. Yet, this was to cover up how much pain I had on the inside. Yet, I can say now that the happiness I feel is genuine happiness with my life since I feel complete and happy with myself, what I’ve managed to overcome and achieve, and the person I am becoming.