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Has anyone ever called you emotionally unavailable?
Do you sometimes feel like you are constantly misunderstood and labelled because you are not one to show your vulnerable side?
Do people call you cold?
From personality traits to traumatic experiences or phases, Sometimes as humans we just close up, we raise the guard that prevents anything energy draining from entering our proximity.
This doesn't necessarily mean you are an emotionally unavailable person, or unable to fulfil happy relationships and friendships.
As individuals we sometimes may find ourselves unfulfilled and unsatisfied with what we have.
This is not always necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have high expectations for your life and your goals.
However... we must remember to not be too hard on ourselves.
Sometimes we are left with a constant taste for more on our tongues. This is something that anybody can relate to, whether it is fuelled by insecurities or not.
Because more often than not, We just want to be the best version of ourselves. If not for ourselves, but for our peers, family or others.
Some of us think more logically when there are no emotions involved. Through leading with the facts of a situation first, and then following up with emotion. This can sometimes result in better decision making for general life decisions.
Lets switch it now... Let's talk about Emotional Unavailability.
Emotional Unavailability describes a person who's evasive, avoids meeting up, or simply doesn't like to talk about their feelings or relationships. That person might also have difficulties with the following:
Trusting people, sudden bursts of anger, forming and honouring commitments.
Emotional Unavailability may show itself in different ways amongst us.
I like to describe it as a wall... With our bricks, our cement and our paint. A wall.
The wall that we put up, the coldness some of us or your loved ones may portray,
- Always leaning towards being the strong person
- Scaring away potential prolonged friendships and relationships all while believing that most people are temporary, the feeling of “Who needs anyone”. When the reality is that we all crave human contact.
Someone important to me once said to me:
'Cruel people pretend to be cruel so that they don't have to show that they are weak, they do not want to be vulnerable, so cruelness keeps people away'
Everyone can probably relate to that differently, but I believe this to be the case when it comes to emotional unavailability.
People who decide not to feel emotions, would rather not, because it keeps people away, so that they are not exposed to hurt and pain... and therefore the 'cold' exterior prevents the initial relationship from occurring so that a situation where they are a victim or casualty... can never occur.
Obviously this isn't the thought process behind every individual... however the avoidance of pain and hurt is the common denominator.
If this is you, what you are basically doing is keeping the world at arms length.
Unfortunately this is more of a reality than practicality as emotion will always be manifesting inside of us, and at some point will start to show through bursts of anger, and how we decide to treat those closest to us.
Building the Bad guy
The biggest movie monsters, Marvel villains like the Joker, The Wild Boar from Beauty and the Beast, all have one thing in common in the all films. They all craved two things before becoming “evil”.
Love and Acceptance.
They didn’t feel loved or accepted and instead they were misunderstood,
And until love and acceptance is shown to them... they can't heal.
With movie villains its always because they were different, acted different, looked different, or didn't conform to society... Outcasts.
They were never taught to embrace their differences but instead their insecurities were used against them. The 'world' makes the villain hate themselves first... which triggers the villain to return this hate to the 'world'
The Joker is a perfect example of how a Bad guy can be built. The feeling of always being discarded from the world. Never experiencing love. This is Emotional Unavailability at its finest.
All the experiences and events that happened to him due to the worlds original misconception of him caused his cold exterior to build over time... he felt hated, and so decided that by stepping into the role of the most hated, no one could hurt him again. He became the bad guy. Even if that is not what was reflected once in his heart.
So this brings me to throw at you this question,
“Cold, or Misunderstood?”
The “strong person” may seem to push away what they desire the most emotionally, sometimes it is triggered by selflessness and other times, selfishness.
They may feel that their loved ones deserve to see them in a better and more loving state, and their distance could come across as passive aggressive in the perspective of outsiders.
Sometimes some of us may act this way because this sense of “coldness” has become somewhat of a pandemic (no pun intended), starting with mannerisms, and in perspectives, some of us just simply lack empathy.
The Emotional Unavailability Bug has become somewhat contagious, and for most young people cold mannerisms are being learnt, some are watching the ‘respect’ that colder people receive and they believe that by ‘losing their feelings’ then it will seem like a leadership quality.
When its not about NOT having emotions, its about being able to intelligently use them to our advantage... The key is Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to monitor one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour
The switch up : Emotional Intelligence & Emotional Availability
The important point to remember here is the difference between lacking Emotional intelligence and being emotionally unavailable.
If this doesn't make sense... Don't worry I got you.
Emotional intelligence is something we all have whether we are emotionally unavailable or not. We just have to recognise it first. Emotional intelligence can be developed over time through creating experiences and learning to grow in a relationship settings.
Being emotionally unintelligent is simply lacking in articulating and showing emotions, this then makes it harder for them to also recognise emotions in others... But only because they haven't achieved the emotional intelligence to even recognise it in themselves.
Someone who is emotionally unavailable, but emotionally intelligent, may have the ability to be highly manipulative, as they recognise emotions in themselves and others, and are able to use this to their advantage as they do not register with their own emotions, and therefore may not feel empathy or sympathy, and therefore do not care for the consequences of their actions... a key characteristic in sociopaths.
Someone who us emotionally available but emotionally unintelligent may be able to feel the emotion and show someone how they feel, but they may not know what the right way to go about an emotional situation is, this is a situation where building relationships is an important way to help them become emotionally intelligent and therefore be in control of their emotions and how it influences their life.
However an emotional unavailable and emotionally unintelligent person is simply nonchalant, and are simply unable to communicate their emotions properly, and may instead show emotion in ways that not all people will understand or tolerate... for example, they may have short patience spans, they may be passive aggressive or talk 'aggressively' which makes it much harder too communicate and opens up this type of individual to be misunderstood much more than others.
Their emotions are basically being kept in a locked room that they are unable to access.
Someone who is both emotionally unavailable and unintelligent could have had their emotional growth capped at a certain age (usually due to events in their childhood or previous relationships)... this makes it hard for them to really feel emotions or communicate them effectively, this is what then creates this unintended feeling of a ‘nonchalant’ or ‘cold’ person.
That’s why we really have to understand that being emotionally unintelligent is something that people cannot force, and being nonchalant should not be trend, as it is frustrating watching emotionally unavailable people struggle with their relationships and friendships because of something that is such a large part of them, it’s a big journey to alter.
If you are able to be in touch with your emotions. Don't ignore them. As is is something not everyone has the privilege of doing.
Don't be a coward... embrace the hurt... and don't hurt others just because someone hurt you.
And please read in-between the lines and don't feel insulted by someone who is clearly emotionally capped... if you have the ability to see when someone is hurting, you are emotionally intelligent... and therefore have the ability to help them.
Don't fall a victim to the Emotional Unavailability Bug. Because being 'Nonchalant' is spreading like the flu these days.
Anyways the point i am trying to make is don’t force the emotionless lifestyle if in reality you are really a loving and warm person, as the world has nothing to gain from wannabee nonchalants. But has everything to gain from more loving people.
Keep bouncing back to your real personality even after hurt, because there is always something worse happening to someone out there that is still smiling and empathising with the world.
Following up from this will be a conversation on misconceptions and building the bad guy.
In this world, people want to know the idea of you, instead of the real you, this is because of this image idea we have of people’s lives portrayed on social media. There is already a misconception of you online, as everybody take things from a personal eye lense reflected by what they are currently going through, and so that sometimes determines how a person sees you or looks at you on social media.
By Shiroe Zita