“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” — Oscar Wilde
Maybe my reason for not wanting to have children is because I already have a small 6-year-old running around inside my heart, playing my emotional keeper. It’s quite enough. *scoffs dryly* No, seriously. It’s literally like an annoying, selfish, hedonistic, stubborn little kid who runs amok, high on sugar and excitement over utterly geeky nonsense, or slumps together in a corner out of exhaustion or demonstratively trying to get its will.
Yep. That’s the core feature of my emotional response.
And like any weary parent my rationality tries to rein it in and put some guidelines up in order to get somewhere constructive. Not that I constantly fail in this fairly common endeavour, but my ’emotional keeper’ is also just a child; a person with its own personality and individual growth. I cannot keep on controlling it, yet as a ‘parent’, my rationality has a constant responsibility towards it. They cannot easily be separated and it has consequences if so.
It demands constant work to deal with emotions. At least for me – as an INTP. I can’t really speak on behalf of other types. I want and value my emotions but I have no natural emotional guidance and use my rationality, my intellect and wit to handle and deflect it when I think my emotional response gets out of hand. Though, I’ll never understand them. Sure, I can analyze and recognize patterns that led to the response, but I’ll never truly be on wavelength with my emotions. They are just … there. Doing something. And sometimes they are not. Don’t ask me why.
Now; sucking at your own emotional guidance, guiding others in the same department is, well, not excellent. I have had all these thoughts and feelings of wanting to help, but no idea how to reach out without seeming pathetic, contrived and awkward in my approach and sympathy that I do not always feel myself and hate to put on. I’m not even sure when I truly sympathize or empathize with somebody. I have no natural inclination towards interpersonal guidance besides the logical one. And I have absolute zero training from the home front. Other than generally knowing what not to do. Yet, knowing isn’t the same as showing and when it comes to showing I feel I have severely lacked the supportive action.
Maybe I haven’t. Maybe this worried post is all for naught, but that simply illustrates how little I get my own, personal emotional rollercoaster in my inner backyard.
I have long denied – and partly continue to do so – that I need emotional guidance, both from myself and from others. I’ve considered it a pathetic, selfish and needy request to want. Which may or may not have something to do with my upbringing … But by denying and dismissing it, I have actually placed myself in a more selfish position. Did I have the ability to let myself be guided by and through my emotions in a symbiotic fashion and help others to do the same, I would certainly be a less selfish person for it, I believe! Instead of barracading myself from the fear of stepping out awkwardly or in order not to hurt and get hurt, unintentionally.
I recognize now that I need to learn emotional guidance and give it to myself and others and that wanting it in return is not so big an ask. It would certainly be beneficial to all parties.
But where to start? By stop denying it to myself? By reaching out or by being reached? Maybe I’m not desperate enough? Maybe it isn’t shown enough through my awkward actions and words alone since it is something most people, presumably, take for granted, don’t recognize or misinterpret?
One must be careful not to be consumed by an evil spiral of guilt anyhow: To think about wanting to reach out and then cop out, feeling too awkward about it and then feeling guilty about not doing it, wondering why you’re so bad at it and then rationalizing it with ‘there’s nothing you could do to help anyway’ or ‘you’ll just muck it up’. When you keep on thinking about doing and thinking about not doing and never really lift your head to look up and into the eyes of the person in need; to truly listen and help and be there, without being distracted by your own guilt and inabilities.
I think that has been part of the problem with my parents when I feel I haven’t really received emotional guidance from them or that they haven’t given it to themselves. And I think I am afraid of this most of all, because I know I do it myself and I’m not sure how to get out. I continue to feel insufficient in this department and awkward when I do do something and still not sure if I do anything right. I have gotten positive response for my rational, logical guidance – even in somewhat emotional situations – but what if that isn’t enough? I really have no clue whether people around me need more emotional support from me or when or how…!? Do they simply think I’m not able to handle it and instead seek out other people? I partly fear and hope so. Because then they understand how difficult it is for me to give helpful, emotional support, but it also means this two-way, tender subject is never really broached and I begin to fear they think me unfeeling and carefree, with no worries of my own in possible need of guidance..?
And I end right by the conclusion that, all in all, I am pathetic for thinking all this … *sighs* Yeah, you see? Really helpful, emotional guidance here.