Secret Emotions

I sometimes wonder why people who are not open about their emotions keep them private.  Is it simply because they are private people? Or is it because they are afraid of what others would think if they shared how they feel?  Or were they trained to keep their emotions to themselves?  Or is it something else entirely?

Depending on my mood, and I have plenty of them, I think keeping one’s emotions private is an act of self-preservation, a way of putting up a protective shield against being wounded. “If I don’t expose my vulnerability, you won’t know how to hurt me.” Yet people get hurt anyway. Or maybe it’s a matter of embarrassment. “If I were to let  you know I have feelings for you, you might laugh at me, or worse.” Or maybe it’s a sense that displaying one’s emotions is a sign of weakness.

I suspect there are dozens of reasons people keep their emotions private. I have plenty of emotions I keep private and I have a lot of reasons for not sharing them.  But I know, too, I would feel a lot better about life in general if I could comfortably share them. It’s a good thing, I suppose, I can write about them, or at least expose them tangentially, here on my blog; otherwise, I might suffocate in an air-tight bag of my own making.

The mind is a mysterious place.  I suppose that’s why I’ve always been interested in psychology.  The prospect of uncovering, or at least understanding, the mysteries is both fascinating and terrifying.

With all my writing about emotions, I wonder if I actually express them in the real world.  Am I the person I write about, the person who keeps them to himself?  I know I keep some of them bottled up inside me, but I wonder if I am not as open about the rest as I think I am.  Maybe a psychotherapist could answer those questions for me.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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