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Why is everyone trying to hand me a Kleenex?

I need some advice from "feelers" or more emotionally-based people.  

I am not a very emotional person and emotions are very draining for me. This is why I don't talk to my language partners/correspondents about my personal feelings or how I am on any particular day. My relationship with my language partners is a cordial business arrangement. That's how I'm most comfortable.  

But, very often, when I mention an abstract problem I'm working on, or my opinion about something, I get an enormous emotional "It's okay! Sometimes we all have bad days!! The sun will come out tomorrow!! No need to panic!! I'm here for you!! " response that shocks me.  

I don't understand why my mental thought patterns are being so vastly misinterpreted as a cry of emotional distress. 

I tell them "thank you for your concern, but I'm not an emotional person. If I mention an abstract difficulty I'm having to you,  it's just something I'm mentally working on....I don't need a shoulder to cry on. I'm not having an emotional breakdown. "  

But, the next time I mention anything similar...they do it again! "It's OK! Life is worth living! Don't jump off a bridge! You can always talk to me!!!" 

Tell me...all you feelers out can I get them to stop this? Explaining the situation doesn't work, and I don't want to be mean at all. I understand they want to help me....but there really is nothing to help! And I can't seem to make them understand this.


(PS: all of the ones who do this are women. If that makes any difference. )

Mar 1, 2018 4:00 AM
Comments · 18
Lots of good answers above. I would only add that one of the reasons for this is that there are lots of lonely people in the world. And they are desperate for any chance to make a difference in the life of another person { especially a stranger }. It validates their existence. 
March 1, 2018

Don't worry about it so much, Berengaria. They did it out of politeness. Nothing more than that.

P.S. Sorry for saying "Don't worry". It was out of politeness. Nothing more than that)))

March 1, 2018

Whenever you mention a problem you are having to any decent human being, you are likely to receive either:

A. unsolicited practical advice consisting of suggested courses of action you could take to solve your problem, or

B. emotional support in the form of soothing statements intended to cheer you up. 

That's just the way most people are.

If you don't like being given sympathy or unsolicited advice, don't talk to people about your problems. Simple.

(I have learned this from experience).

March 1, 2018

I understand the problem. I don't have to deal with that myself because I am pathologically introverted and I never discuss things that are important with... anyone really. But I get that for a non-emotional person this whole "Oh, don't worry, it'll be fine" sounds like an accusation. You are just saying things to practice the language and all of the sudden get a label of a wimp. This has to be irritating.

I would try not using the word "problem" or anything that could trigger this "empathic mode" in people. So instead of saying "I'm afraid that if I use a nonstandard approach to the perspective, most viewers won't get it and dismiss the painting as  incorrect technique-wise", say "I have a choice between making a statement and pleasing people who are not really interested in art. I haven't decided what to do yet. It's tricky because I know viewers will leave comments under the image", or something like that, whatever. No problem - just options; no worries - pure calculation. You could also end such stories with a question about their suggestions, but that's risky as they may not know anything about the subject.

And that's another thing - if you describe something your partner doesn't understand (doesn't really know how the light changes the painting), they will always go for what they do know - emotions. It's better than say nothing and look stupid. 

March 1, 2018
I wish I weren't an emotional person, as this part often causes trouble in my personal life. You are very lucky not to be emotional. Not sure the "feelers" can really do anything else when they hear about a problem. We do what we would like someone else to do for us in that situation, and it's often a spontaneous response. While you may prefer someone to tease out the different aspects of the problem and talk through a solution, I don't think this comes easily to "feelers" nor do I think they would be good at it. When it comes to the less emotional people in my life, I think I annoy them more than anything if I try to talk to them or offer comfort or reassurance, the way I would hope they would for me. So I give them the space to 1) figure out the problem themselves 2) discuss it with other less feeling-oriented types. It's a bit sad, but I think when the people we are close to have such a different thought process and level of emotional response, we have to turn to ourselves or people more like ourselves for support that is beneficial to us.
March 1, 2018
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