advertisement
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-05-2019, 03:30 PM   #1
Lonelyinmyheart
Member
Lonelyinmyheart has no updates.
 
Member Since: Jun 2019
Location: Earth
Posts: 116 (SuperPoster!)
77 hugs
given
Default Difficulty showing feelings outwardly

I don't normally post on this part of the forum so please forgive me if this has been asked before.

I grew up in an atmosphere of significant emotional neglect. It wasn't intentional but a by-product of my mother's mental illness and other extremely difficult circumstances when I was young. There was considerable fear in the house I grew up in as a young child. I also had a difficult time at school due to bullying and having no friends.

I've come a long way in dealing with my past, mostly through therapy but also journaling. One thing I find really hard to deal with is my difficulty in expressing feelings. No matter how I feel inside, nothing shows on the outside. I'm nearly always expressionless. The exceptions are when I have managed to cry a little bit in company (usually in therapy) but these instances are pretty rare. It's not just negative emotions but I find it hard to show happiness or show that I'm pleased for someone's good news, or my own. I feel those things to a greater or lesser extent, but the feelings don't translate across.

It seems logical to me that the atmosphere I grew up in made it important for me to hide how I'm feeling no matter what. I'm also naturally an introvert, so I'm not someone who carries a lot of energy in interactions.

Does anyone else experience this? Have you found a way to deal with it? I probably should say that I'm also really paranoid about my looks to the extent that I believe people are always thinking about how ugly I am when I talk to them. This puts me off showing too much in case they think I look even worse. So I guess there are a lot of factors that contribute to it.

I feel I can't connect properly to others because I look as though I couldn't care less.
Lonelyinmyheart is online now   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:

advertisement
Old 08-06-2019, 01:40 PM   #2
Skeezyks
Apparition
 
Skeezyks's Avatar
Skeezyks has no updates.
 
Member Since: Oct 2015
Location: L'Etoile du Nord
Posts: 18,103 (SuperPoster!)
3 yr Member
13.2k hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Smile Re: Difficulty showing feelings outwardly

I can't really address your concerns myself. But I noticed no one had yet replied to your post. So I thought I would. Are you familiar with the condition that is referred to as alexithymia? Perhaps this is akin to what you're experiencing. Here are links to 3 articles, from PC's archives, on the subject:

Do You Have Alexithymia?

Alexithymia: The Cause and The Solution

Alexithymia: A Personality Trait | The Exhausted Woman
__________________
Speak only if you can improve upon the silence.
Skeezyks is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 08-07-2019, 12:47 PM   #3
Lonelyinmyheart
Member
Lonelyinmyheart has no updates.
 
Member Since: Jun 2019
Location: Earth
Posts: 116 (SuperPoster!)
77 hugs
given
Default Re: Difficulty showing feelings outwardly

Thank you I appreciate your response and links. No I've never heard of it but I will take a look, thanks again.
Lonelyinmyheart is online now   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 08-07-2019, 01:10 PM   #4
Mopey
Poohbah
 
Mopey's Avatar
Mopey remove
 
Member Since: Oct 2018
Location: California
Posts: 1,438 (SuperPoster!)
1,100 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Difficulty showing feelings outwardly

[QUOTE=Lonelyinmyheart;6599027]I don't normally post on this part of the forum so please forgive me if this has been asked before.

I've come a long way in dealing with my past, mostly through therapy but also journaling. One thing I find really hard to deal with is my difficulty in expressing feelings. No matter how I feel inside, nothing shows on the outside. I'm nearly always expressionless. The exceptions are when I have managed to cry a little bit in company (usually in therapy) but these instances are pretty rare. It's not just negative emotions but I find it hard to show happiness or show that I'm pleased for someone's good news, or my own. I feel those things to a greater or lesser extent, but the feelings don't translate across.

It seems logical to me that the atmosphere I grew up in made it important for me to hide how I'm feeling no matter what. I'm also naturally an introvert, so I'm not someone who carries a lot of energy in interactions.

Lonely, I don't exactly have the answer for you, except when I read your post I felt such compassion. Besides, I can relate. As an adult, it was years before I could cry. If while you were growing up it was important for you to hide all of your feelings, how can you possibly expect yourself to be able to show them now? If when you do or did show your true feelings you were criticized or punished in some way, naturally you would learn to hide them. But if you're feeling them inside at least you have them, and that's a good start. If you want to put them out more you might start by observing what other people do who are more expressive. What works for them? What words? Facial expressions?

And then cautiously try some of your own. You might have to fake it for awhile but maybe after awhile it would feel more natural.
Mopey is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 08-08-2019, 05:04 AM   #5
sarahsweets
Threadtastic Postaholic
 
sarahsweets's Avatar
sarahsweets has no updates.
 
Member Since: Dec 2018
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,511 (SuperPoster!)
123 hugs
given
Default Re: Difficulty showing feelings outwardly

A Psychologist Explains How to Get Better at Expressing Your Feelings - The Atlantic
I do not know if this will help but it was interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonelyinmyheart View Post
I don't normally post on this part of the forum so please forgive me if this has been asked before.

I grew up in an atmosphere of significant emotional neglect. It wasn't intentional but a by-product of my mother's mental illness and other extremely difficult circumstances when I was young. There was considerable fear in the house I grew up in as a young child. I also had a difficult time at school due to bullying and having no friends.

I've come a long way in dealing with my past, mostly through therapy but also journaling. One thing I find really hard to deal with is my difficulty in expressing feelings. No matter how I feel inside, nothing shows on the outside. I'm nearly always expressionless. The exceptions are when I have managed to cry a little bit in company (usually in therapy) but these instances are pretty rare. It's not just negative emotions but I find it hard to show happiness or show that I'm pleased for someone's good news, or my own. I feel those things to a greater or lesser extent, but the feelings don't translate across.

It seems logical to me that the atmosphere I grew up in made it important for me to hide how I'm feeling no matter what. I'm also naturally an introvert, so I'm not someone who carries a lot of energy in interactions.

Does anyone else experience this? Have you found a way to deal with it? I probably should say that I'm also really paranoid about my looks to the extent that I believe people are always thinking about how ugly I am when I talk to them. This puts me off showing too much in case they think I look even worse. So I guess there are a lot of factors that contribute to it.

I feel I can't connect properly to others because I look as though I couldn't care less.
__________________
"I carried a watermelon?"

President of the no F's given society.
sarahsweets is offline   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 08-08-2019, 09:08 AM   #6
Lonelyinmyheart
Member
Lonelyinmyheart has no updates.
 
Member Since: Jun 2019
Location: Earth
Posts: 116 (SuperPoster!)
77 hugs
given
Default Re: Difficulty showing feelings outwardly

[QUOTE=Mopey;6600377]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonelyinmyheart View Post
I don't normally post on this part of the forum so please forgive me if this has been asked before.

I've come a long way in dealing with my past, mostly through therapy but also journaling. One thing I find really hard to deal with is my difficulty in expressing feelings. No matter how I feel inside, nothing shows on the outside. I'm nearly always expressionless. The exceptions are when I have managed to cry a little bit in company (usually in therapy) but these instances are pretty rare. It's not just negative emotions but I find it hard to show happiness or show that I'm pleased for someone's good news, or my own. I feel those things to a greater or lesser extent, but the feelings don't translate across.

It seems logical to me that the atmosphere I grew up in made it important for me to hide how I'm feeling no matter what. I'm also naturally an introvert, so I'm not someone who carries a lot of energy in interactions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonelyinmyheart View Post
Lonely, I don't exactly have the answer for you, except when I read your post I felt such compassion. Besides, I can relate. As an adult, it was years before I could cry. If while you were growing up it was important for you to hide all of your feelings, how can you possibly expect yourself to be able to show them now? If when you do or did show your true feelings you were criticized or punished in some way, naturally you would learn to hide them. But if you're feeling them inside at least you have them, and that's a good start. If you want to put them out more you might start by observing what other people do who are more expressive. What works for them? What words? Facial expressions?

And then cautiously try some of your own. You might have to fake it for awhile but maybe after awhile it would feel more natural.
Thank you for your kind reply, it really means a lot. Yes it does make a lot of sense why I can't express anything. I said to someone recently that even if I receive terrible news while with others, no one would know. I suppose one good thing about it is that I'm great in a crisis, but I feel so frustrated and also jealous of people who can cry etc.

I like the idea of observing what words for others. Thanks for the suggestion.
Lonelyinmyheart is online now   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 08-08-2019, 09:09 AM   #7
Lonelyinmyheart
Member
Lonelyinmyheart has no updates.
 
Member Since: Jun 2019
Location: Earth
Posts: 116 (SuperPoster!)
77 hugs
given
Default Re: Difficulty showing feelings outwardly

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
A Psychologist Explains How to Get Better at Expressing Your Feelings - The Atlantic
I do not know if this will help but it was interesting.

Thank you for posting it, will take a look.
Lonelyinmyheart is online now   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Hugs from:
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 08-14-2019, 04:02 AM   #8
seeker33
Poohbah
 
seeker33's Avatar
seeker33 has no updates.
 
Member Since: Nov 2017
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,160
1 yr Member
1,345 hugs
given
Default Re: Difficulty showing feelings outwardly

I'm sorry, I can't help you but I can relate. I think this is common in people with trauma or neglect. I'm very similar and describing my emotions is difficult. On the other hand, when I do allow myself to feel, I can't stop or control the intense emotional state and it overwhelms me completely, I can't control it.
__________________
Complex trauma
Highly sensitive person

I love nature, simplicity and minimalism
seeker33 is online now   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Old 08-14-2019, 05:04 AM   #9
Yzen
Poohbah
 
Yzen's Avatar
Yzen has no updates.
 
Member Since: Apr 2016
Location: North America
Posts: 1,471
3 yr Member
1,930 hugs
given
Default Re: Difficulty showing feelings outwardly

I can relate too. I think for me, when I was a child, not showing expressions was a way to stay safe. As an extreme introvert and living in an environment of circumstances that caused me fear, I didn't want people to pay attention to me. As an adult, people say they can't 'read' me. Trying to force expressions feels fake, but I have tried.
Yzen is online now   Reply With QuoteReply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:30 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® — Copyright © 2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.



 

advertisement

Psych Central Forums

Psych Central is the leading mental health website, overseen by mental health professionals since 1995.

 

Helplines and Lifelines

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider. .

Always consult your doctor or mental health professional before trying anything you read here.
Please read the full disclaimer.