I recently realized that the media and society (I just wonder if the media just reflect the current state of society or if society copies off what the media show us?) cherish emotions wherever they can but that when you show emotions or, even worse, put them into words, you are frowned upon and people back off.
We are told that it is good to have emotions, that emotions make us human and that we should not betray our emotions by hiding them – so the tenor is basically “follow your heart and instincts”. Whatever channel you switch on (and independent of its national origin) you see expressions of all kinds of positive and negative emotions – from the big wedding and people getting saved somewhere to kidnappings and murder on the news and basically the same topics in daily soaps and movies. The feeling you get is that even though emotions can make you vulnerable to being hurt, they are good because they are what makes you a living and breathing human being.
When it comes to real life though, things are suddenly different.
When you get emotional in public you’re often either frowned upon or even laughed at, at any rate not understood. When you get really angry at something your boss did you have all the liberties to feel angry but God forbid you show him your anger or, even worse, put it into words. When it comes to interpersonal relationships, there is hardly anyone, neither friend nor foe, who wants to be the target of the full load of your emotions. And if you are the type of person who is too old to play games in matters of the heart and you just say what you feel, at the same time making clear that you don’t want to bother the other person with any kind of emotional declarations but that that is just who you are, you might be told that in today’s world where, for instance, women seem to be much more willing to give their bodies than their hearts to someone, you are an exception and that you should stay faithful to yourself. However, as soon as you show those emotions you were asked to stick to or if you put them into words, those same people back off, suddenly scared of the emotions they know exist (and that they may even secretly be happy about) but that they don’t want to face – maybe because they can’t deal with them, with their own reactions to them or just because they get plain scared.
So in this weird world that we’re living in, everyone tells you that emotions are good and that they make you human but you’re not supposed to express them neither in your actions nor verbally.
So it may very well happen that someone is really happy to be the “target” of someone else’s affection, may even have similar feelings toward that person (maybe without being able to define them as clearly as the other person but they still feel there is something worthwhile) and their actions and words might actually frequently hint at what they feel. However, once they realize they let their emotions take the upper hand and/or that the distance between them and the other person is getting increasingly smaller – either emotionally or spatially – they back off, leaving the other person wondering if they did something wrong, if they misunderstood something or even if they’re dealing with only one person that keeps drawing them close to push them away or if there is one person who (at least secretly) wants to be close in some way (I am only talking about a lasting and sincere emotional bond and not necessarily of spending 24 hours a day together!) and the other who tries to undo everything the first one did.
Now, I am not saying that this is everything I see, of course I do see positive things, too, but it’s the negative things that I see that really seem to get to me … maybe just because I am an emotional person and cannot ignore the sadness this triggers in me.