Emotions are a topic that doesn’t come easy to me for lots of reasons. However, recently, there have been a number of instances where strong emotions were evoked or where emotional interplay has been involved in my life in a very significant way, which has made me really want to dig into this topic a bit more so as to try and understand a bit more of just what the fuck is going on.
As an INTJ (google it if you don’t know what it is), and/or as someone whose emotions are not particularly prominent in my moment-to-moment interaction with reality–but whose emotions actually run pretty deep and are pretty strong–I’m not the most adept person when it comes to dealing with emotions–whether my own or all the emotions/feelings that are part and parcel of numerous social interactions.
Now–when I was younger, I just thought emotions were dumb and should be avoided for the most part. This is typical for an immature INTJ who really doesn’t have a lot of access to their emotional sides with the kind of skill that they have with other types of mental activities or processing. Quite often it is the case that because we (INTJ’s amongst many other rather cerebral geeky types of individuals) are not skilled with our emotions and because we cannot really control them that well (although we often can contain them with much skill–but containment is not the same thing as being dextrous/skillful with something..), we often tried to disregard their importance and/or just bury them and hope that they go away.
Life usually shows us, however, that such strategies are not only limiting, but that they are downright stupid when you have to interact with numerous individuals who not only are much more in touch with their emotions and employ them quite frequently and ubiquitously in social interaction–but some whom who are so skilled in grokking their own emotional states as well as the emotional states of others that they can be exquisitely skilled in emotionally manipulating you into doing things that you never thought you would do… and you will be mostly defenseless against this.
Ignorance is not bliss, in this regard. Denial does not help you here. Both are crutches and the sign of an immature response to important issues in our lives.
For this reason–I’m going to try and flesh out my thinking in a number of posts about how I see emotions and also try to work through some experiences to try and get a better handle of just what the fuck has been going on recently. This does mean that many of these posts may have a half-finished feeling to them as they are going along–and that is because I am using this writing as a means of processing.
Additionally–I am going to talk at some points–probably more early on than later–about how emotions seem to be connected to certain functions in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) system (which is where INTJ came from..). Now, let me state up front that I do not actually subscibe 100% to all of the theories/components of the MBTI system. I have found many parts of the system to be helpful and useful in understanding my own personality as well as the personalities of others, and it has helped me in various social interactions. However, I’m less convinced that a lot of the superstructures that are built into the MBTI theories are necessarily always that accurate. There are times–and I will try to point these out later when they come up–where I think the desire for a pretty form/structure is pushed in the theory without there necessarily being any good evidence to connect it to the reality of how humans actually act. In any case, I wanted to mention this caveat before I went any further.
So.. consider this the introductory post to a number of posts that will follow. It is likely that not every consecutive post will be about emotions, but many or most of them will. Any and all contributions to this extended meditation will be most appreciated.