Updated: Jul 19, 2019
Why are we so afraid of feelings?
It’s become normalised for people to shut down emotionally and to deny the way they feel. Especially for men in our society we become terrified of expressing ourselves if something actually hurts us and frightened of showing any emotion apart from anger. Perhaps our parents rarely expressed emotion in a healthy way or perhaps we where ridiculed when we where young for sharing honestly how we felt.
No one ever taught us how to process our emotions, how to acknowledge them and work with them, instead we shut them down and run from them absolutely terrified that the day will come when they will catch up with us. We cover them up with drugs, with alcohol, with sex, shopping, a relationship, work, pretty much whatever we can find to distract ourselves and pretend feelings are not there. Because of this we bottle up all the pain we experience and it never gets a chance to liberate its self as we begin to carry a heavier and heavier burden. It sits in our bodies and unconsciously drives our lives and everything we do ends up as a way to escape these deep painful feelings and we become kind of numb to life.
Men are taught they have to be “tough”. I used to have that belief and deny the way I felt, but life forced me into a corner where I couldn’t deny it anymore and the pain wanted to be felt, and it was going to be felt whether I liked it or not. after going through that experience my views have changed completely. It is much more brave to turn towards the pain, face the fear and allow it than to deny it. To express the way I feel authentically and drop the fear of what others will think of me. That is the most terrifying thing a person can do and takes more courage than the normal social standards of what “tough” is.
To deny feelings is to deny life, to be terrified of expressing feelings is to be terrified of being human.