Dysfunctional Feeling

Feelings are some of the best things we have been given as humans. We are deep, beautiful, and complex. However, I think the most beautiful things are most vulnerable to perversion.

I enjoy noticing things and forming conclusions about them. From my years of living and experiencing my own strong emotions, I’ve observed two distinct kinds of dysfunctional feeling that I’d like to share with you. Of course there are more kinds, but these are two that I’ve viewed and experienced.

Sometimes, people’s emotions tend to flow in towards themselves and get trapped in there. They don’t find healthy ways to express their feelings, so they just let their feelings fester, and ruminate on them constantly. The outside world becomes a blur as their own musings become their own realities. Other people serve only as dumping grounds, as the dysfunctional feeler desperately seeks for a way to escape their minds. Nobody else’s feelings matter; in fact, the person can’t even recognize anyone’s emotions but their own. They become so self-absorbed that any wrong move is interpreted to be against them. The person can become obsessed with their rigid senses of personal identity. Maladaptive coping skills are developed to either escape or exacerbate pain. The world just becomes a mirror–another way to look at themselves, usually in a negative, seethingly self-hating way.

And then, sometimes feelings are lost in others. The person becomes so occupied with pouring into others’ lives that they lose sight of themselves. Their needs no longer matter; it is all about somebody else. After a while, the dysfunctional feeler can no longer tell if their emotions are theirs or someone else’s. All sense of personal identity is erased. Internal needs are ignored or overlooked, and any attempt to care for the self is judged as selfish. Maladaptive coping skills are developed to manipulate others into giving them love, because they cannot love themselves without feeling greedy.

I have personally never had much of an issue with the second dysfunctional feeling I’ve mentioned. I very much tend towards self-absorption and neglect of others’ needs. Which of these do you tend towards? Or is there another way your emotions become dysfunctional? Do you consider yourself emotionally healthy–why or why not? Think about it.

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