I used to think I was the most sensitive emotional person to ever breath air on this rock. I have mood swings that will give you whip lash. I can make any topic about myself. Its an art really. I have the ability to take any situation or comment and make it reflect on me negatively. Its pretty self centered when you think about it, but most emotional people don't see themselves that way. They think that they are the great givers of the world. We are the bleeding hearts who are feeding the poor and caring for the orphans. While this may be true, we are also the ones taking the most offense at benign every day things. It could be a remark, or the lack of a remark. It could be body language or the way a person breathed. We can read into anything and when we do it ain't pretty.
After a lifetime of perceived affronts, heartbreak and snubs we can get pretty touchy. We can build up defenses and shrink our circles down to a precious trusted few, but the fallout is inevitable. Even among the chosen we can be hurt. And here is the kicker. We mostly do it to ourselves. Here are a few things that I have learned as an emotional train wreck going through life. And if you're like me, take notes because you are probably doing some of these.
1. Your emotions are not truth. Let that sink in. When was the last time you questioned an emotion? They can come and go as quick as the wind so why do we always believe, and in most cases, act on them? It would do us all a great deal of good to have one of those practical people in our lives that will tell us the truth as they see it. Just because we feel like that person was rude, or snide, or in love with us doesn't mean they are. We get it wrong a lot and we need someone who is not clouded by feelings to give us a clear perspective.
2. You cannot protect yourself from real or imagined hurt. You cannot build walls tall enough to keep out the bad ones because as I just stated some of the ones we think are out to get us really aren't. We misjudge people quite a bit and most of it is due to our own insecurity. We are so ready for people to not like us or judge us that we listen to them through that filter. New people never have a chance. What we need to be doing is learning to recover. We need to learn how to give people the benefit of the doubt and move on. Recoiling from society is wrong. It just is. God tells us to go. Not sit at home or in our virtual world trying to protect ourselves.
3. Stop reading between the lines. We are professionals at finding hidden meaning. We can take any comment and twist it until it suits our perceptions. We never take a conversation at face value. We think we are so deep and perceptive that we can actually read minds. I have news for you, you can't. You cannot determine the intentions of a person based on body language and normal every day communication. If a person says they are not mad at you take that at face value and move on. Stop jumping the gun and working yourself into a frenzy trying to figure out the rest of the sentence.
4. Start listening. If you have people in your life who are grounded and mostly logical listen to them. I am not saying that you do everything they say without question, but open yourself up to the possibility that you may be wrong. ( I know, shocking!) God rarely puts an emotional person on this planet without a logical person close by. We need each other. We balance each other out. You can help them understand your kind and they can help you understand how to maneuver through life without always thinking someone is mad at you.
5. Last thing. COMMUNICATE! Just like we are not mind readers, our spouses and friends don't posses that ability either. Speak up for yourself. Are you sad no one complimented your new shoes? Say so! No one knows why you are moping around and upset. Stop expecting people to just "know" or figure out how they offended or let you down. And for Pete's sake, if you misunderstood and got upset over nothing have the integrity to say so.
These are things that I work on daily. If you see yourself in any of this know that you aren't alone, but also know you have room for improvement. We all do. So get to work!