For better or for worse, I think about every situation logically. I try to see every side there is to see before I consider what I should be doing about it. It makes it pretty easy to deal with a lot of stuff, admittedly, but it also makes it very difficult to vent when I need to. For example, I’ve never been upset by anyone dying in any movie, or from anything bad happening in a book. I always think “Oh, that’s sad,” or “Whoa, did that author really write that scene? Dark.” It’s nice, but it comes at a price.
Most specifically, it means I’m bad at comforting people. I never know what to say when somebody is having a hard time. I can say “Well, think about it this way”, and offer a logical reason to be less sad, when realistically I’m trying to make them think like me when that’s not how it works. Instead, I should just nod when they need help and be a metaphorical (or physical as may be the case) shoulder to cry on. It’s difficult on my end because what that entails is me saying “Yes, yes, you’re right, there there” when I’m really thinking something like “You’re so single-minded” or “This isn’t even a big deal”. I guess that speaks more to my lingering narcissism than anything else.
But when it’s something big, I find I’m left speechless because I don’t know what to do. When tragedy happens and the people I know and love are overcome with grief, I can’t help but feel a little broken when I don’t feel the same way. Am I stronger for being able to hold things in better? I wouldn’t say so. Though it may seem otherwise, I do have emotion, and not being able to sound sad when everyone else is makes me feel unsympathetic. It makes me feel that much more alone in that sense, which doesn’t help.
The worst part is, I have no advice to give here. If nothing else, perhaps it can provide some insight into the minds of those that may seem careless. I would be more empathetic if I could, but the fact is a fake emotion would be obvious and likely do more harm than good. The best I can do is be there for people and hold my tongue when necessary (which in many cases like this would be always).
Tears are cathartic. With a lot of situations that bring high levels of emotion, it can be necessary to vent. I think there are few situations in which one should rein in one’s emotions, because being open with them helps the natural coping mechanisms run their course. If you’re like me and you have a hard time expressing your thoughts and feelings, it can be detrimental.
It’s not good to keep your emotions bottled up. What I used to do (before my blog) was write about the situation I was in, what got me there, and how I feel about it. But in the end, it doesn’t really even matter what you write. It’s a method of getting things off your chest/mind, and even if you don’t share it with anyone, it can bring a lot of release. It doesn’t have to be public, but you never have to handle things alone, whether you tell yourself that or not.