Who needs feelings when you’ve got an I don’t care attitude?
Ahh yes, the things no one seems to enjoy talking about. Well, this isn’t completely true, more and more people are coming out of their shells, and telling the world how they really feel. Inadvertently, we all do this, whether it be through anger, frustration, sadness, fear, love, joy, happiness, irritation, pride, guilt, boredom, creative, and many, many more.
Human beings are primal animals, biological creatures with instinctual needs that drive us in all sorts of different directions. The layer of emotions is one step above our physical bodies, barely there and yet an enormous reason for our thinking and thus actions. Sometimes, our emotions are what completely control how we act, and push all thoughts aside.
Emotions are hard to pinpoint, describe, and because our culture in the western hemisphere has placed an emphasis on logical processing, we often become uncomfortable talking about our feelings. This is quite unfortunate, as being able to describe, understand, decipher, and thus determine what your emotions are can be your ticket to internal freedom.
The notion to ignore our feelings leaves us cold, pent-up, full of irritation and projecting anger or sadness. It confuses us, takes us away from our purpose, and tells others that we aren’t confident in who we are. While American society tells men not to show emotion as it is seen as weak, the most influential motivational speakers, writers, athletes, military personnel, and business leaders are in full control of their emotions.
Emotions cannot be controlled; they are understood fully, and only then reasoned with.
Controlling emotions is extremely difficult, and can only work through an indirect route. This route is not actually controlling, but rather an awareness of what you feel. Feelings come and go, like the wind, the rain, and the seasons. Some days we’re happy, others we are sad. Holding in emotions just leaves us bitter, resentful, and hopeless. Not forgiving others or ourselves means we are full of anger and push those who try to help away. It forms a hard ego.
Our emotions usually come in around the age of a toddler, where we establish our role in the world. This can be seen as dominant, top dog, “I’m in charge” or on the flip side submissive, bottom dog, “you’re in charge” attitude. Our ego hardens as we get older regardless, but the more open we are with how we feel about the world, the more flexible our ego is. This can be brought about in a variety of ways, articulating your feelings as well as seeing and hearing many different perspectives.
As stated above, our emotions cannot be controlled directly. We must first seek to fully feel whatever it is our body is trying to tell us. Then, once we have accepted that this is how we feel, we can start to articulate that feeling. In the link at the end of the first paragraph, there are pictures and lists of different feelings and emotions. Once we articulate them, we can begin to understand why we feel them, and why we are feeling them when we do.
Taking this idea from the book, “Never Split the Difference“ written by former head of FBI negotiations, Chris Voss, he quotes a negotiation model created by CNU, which stems from psychologist Carl Rogers, which goes like this-active listening, empathy, rapport, influence, and behavioral change. We listen to what our body is telling us, we feel it and accept where we are, we articulate it (repeat how we feel, build trust with ourselves), we decide what is the best action to take (influence ourselves through motivation, wait for a positive solution) and then do it.
Caring about how you feel is the best decision you may ever make.
It is more important than you think (feel it, don’t think about it or weigh the options) to feel what your body is telling you to feel. The more you hold in and try to “tough it up” or “suck it up”, the more those just below neutral emotions turn into dreadful explosions. Our body needs to release tension, whether it be through physical means such as exercise, talking, writing, sex, bodily fluids, or through meditation and consciously choosing to release the energy. This second option must be developed, so be sure to have a balance of exercise, a trusting social circle, a writing/art habit, and an understanding of what you need sexually.
In the beginning, our emotions are out of control, last for hours, days, months, even years. The more we try to fight them, the longer it takes. Changing may mean changing your habits, environment, people, diet, or certain substance intake. What works for some, may not for others. The general rule of “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” is very true, and applies to all. Surround yourself with positive people who support you and are open minded to you changing.
As we grow and begin to accept our emotions, they don’t last as long. Sadness doesn’t take whole afternoons, anger or irritation lasts less than a second. Yesterday, a friends dog chewed up a trinket on my keychain that I got from Australia. I was slightly irritated for less than a moment, felt worse that the dogs made a mess on the carpet. There is no reason to become emotionally attached to things or even people. Just like emotions, everything in life comes and goes.
Show gratitude for those around you, spend time with the people you love, as well as doing what you love. Having an I don’t care attitude is only beneficial once you have fully accepted who and where you are. Otherwise, it leads to bitterness and built up rage. These undealt with emotions lead to physical ailments, our body literally telling us to sit down with ourselves and listen to our emotions.
The more we deal with our emotions as they happen (with patience and kindness, things will take as long as they do. Trust it.) the more even our life is, and the stronger we become when more challenging events arise. I am at the point now where I have fully come to terms with the obstacles in my life, and am fully invested in becoming the best person I can, for myself as well as others. I am in no place to give others advice until I have taken care of myself.
Now, I don’t care what happens; I accept it, trust what god/universe/life is showing me, and embrace every challenge fully. If you listen to people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, Steve Jobs, Tim Ferriss, and many others, they all have at least one thing in common: they fully embrace who they are, and what they feel. They can handle anything that comes at them with a positive outlook and great strength.
Embracing your emotions may seem weak; that is quite the contrary. It is one the most important and vital decisions you will ever make. Your life will reflect how you feel. When you can accept who you are, and what you feel, you become unstoppable. Trust your gut, and follow your heart. Listen to what your body is telling you, it never lies.