Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sweet Emotion

I have been accused of being 'clingy'. I was angry at first but my accuser is a believer in ‘conditional’ friendship and not being ‘clingy’ was always one of the conditions so I should have known better but I was emotional - not 'bang down on the floor flailing around in tears' emotional but "Why . .what did I say . . I don't understand . .why are you angry at me . . please don't be mad . .I feel awful . . .what did I do? " clingy and over-stepped the mark! I’ve calmed down a bit now but basically, he was right - I am indeed an emotional animal!

It’s weird because only my most intimate friends see the emotional side of me – most see me as cold, organised and controlling. I’m the coper. The one that steams ahead through adversity. The one who gets things done. I’m the ‘responsible’ one. The one who doesn’t need any help. The pragmatist, the cold fish. The one who is aloof, comfortable in her own skin, capable, opinionated and ultimately sensible and ‘balanced’. If only they knew the half of it! I do tend to rush in with people I like - a bit 'full on'. But those in my inner sanctum see someone different. They are partial to the fragility and my deep and varied insecurities and fears and they understand the clingy thingy. I know I sound a little mad at the moment.

But which is better? To be an emotional cripple and guard your emotions so closely that nobody knows what you’re thinking. To walk away rather than confront issues and work through them? To be unable to enjoy fully functioning interactions and relationships or to be unable to interact with people? I'm sure there's a balance. I don't bottle things up. I let fly.

I looked up some definitions to see exactly where I fit or indeed if I fit.

e·mo·tion·al [ i mshən'l, i mshnəl ]


1. expressing emotion: relating to or expressing emotion

Lately I’ve been expressing a lot of emotion. Sadness at ClareBear’s departure, loneliness living on my own without DrummerBoy, anxious about my insomnia and the house sale, nervous about a new bout of bush rats playing soccer in my ceiling after midnight. Then I get disproportionately upset when someone who is normally pleasant and joyful is rude to me or ignores me. I feel lost when someone refuses to communicate with me or storms off in a huff. When I’m happy, I’m over the moon – seriously I get quite euphoric about the smallest things. When I’m sad I’m totally down in the dumps and disproportionately possessive. Whatever happens to me and around me arouses emotion and usually quite extreme emotion. It’s part of my being and who I am.

2. easily affected by emotions: being by nature easily affected by or quick to express emotions

Absolutely, if someone is nice to me I feel a warm and fuzzy glow it can sustain my psyche for days. If I'm ignored I feel rejected, if I think I've offended I'm remorseful. If someone else is in dire straights or suffering, my heart goes out to them whether I know them or not. If someone close or remote is in pain, I feel for them. If they’re experiencing wonderful things, I try to share their jubilation and excitement. I feel physically sick if there’s discord in any of my relationships, I can’t eat and I can’t sleep, I have this churning pit in my stomach if I think I've upset anyone. Yes, I’m very easily affected by emotions . . mine and those of others.

4. stirring emotions: arousing or affecting the emotions
I’m easily stirred by the sound of bagpipes (don’t ask), the raising of a flag, a gold medal ceremony, a wedding, a graduation, beautiful scenery, the death of an animal (except rats) or when someone unexpectedly does something selfless and completely nice to me I am overwhelmed with joy. Not to the point of tearyness. I don’t cry when I’m emotional generally, tears are saved for moments of abject anger and frustration. But yes, there are events, incidents and memories that significantly stir and affect my emotions on a daily basis. I think that’s pretty normal.

5. inspired by emotion: inspired or governed by emotion, and not by reason or willpower
Instead of listening to the internal voice of reason – it had been reduced to a whisper on Monday night – my heart ruled my head and I went off on all cylinders with an emotional tyrade. Reason was relegated to the back room and I ended up in a tizz.

Frankly I take things way too personally, relationships far too seriously, and I read meaning into random and casual encounters, my heart rules my head and my mouth runs off on its own! The fingers on the keyboard aren’t bad at doing that either!

Ah . . . but it’s better than the alternative . . if I seem ‘over attentive’ (I prefer it to clingy) . . it means you’re one of the few who know me really well and get a glimpse of what many cannot see. Annoying? Definitely. Endearing? Maybe . . .Part of my psychological make-up? Absolutely!

Anyway, me and my anti-clingy friend will be alright I hope. I just have to remember to put my emotions in a box and tie it up and lock it away if our friendship is to continue. Restraint has never been one of my strong points.

Crank it up punters! This is what my head looks like today!


Nick said...

Baino, I'm the sort of person who could easily accuse you of being clingy, I think! I'm just as emotional and easily affected by apparently trivial encounters, but I tend to hide my emotions rather than freely expressing them. So other people often get completely false impressions of me because I don't reveal enough. It's good that you're so open and communicative.

Ian Poulton said...


Remember those English roots - stiff upper lip, no shows of emotion, solid stoicism.

And if you have to do emotion, then let Merv Hughes be your role model!

Thriftcriminal said...

Be who you are, it'll either work or it wont. I heard that we have a base level of happiness, that regardless of what happens we return typically to that base level of happiness. It makes stressing about what might/could/should be one of the major things that undermines that state. Best of luck to you.

Baino said...

Ah Nick, I am what I am . . whatever that is!

Thanks Rev but I'm not one to lie back and think of England. Mind you if I had the sledging wit of the 'fat bus conductor', I'd be in even bigger trouble!

Thrifty: Good point. If we can’t tell what will make us happy, and if our happiness tends to revert to a base level, then we shouldn’t worry nearly as much as we do . . I'm not unhappy tho . . just a bit disappointed. It'll pass.

Grannymar said...

Put it down to the surgery! It will pass - I lnow cause I'm nearly there ;)

steph said...

Grannymar just stole my theory, Baino

Blame your hormones when things go wrong, and celebrate when things go well.

I'm really envious. I wish I had myself sussed like you do!

Keep raising that glass!

Baino said...

GrannyMar and Steph: Nah wish I could blame the hormones. It's the nature of the beast, especially when I'm tired and stressed . . I overreacted a bit. It'll work itself out one way or another. I might be emotional but I'm very philosophical!

Anonymous said...

You have one thing really going for you and that's knowing who you are! Communication doesn't work when someone won't admit or hasn't realised about what they're like themselves and how it affects others ...

Kath Lockett said...

Hey Baino, I'd rather have emotions like you than remain closed-off and only able to experience a tiny fraction of life. Just be yourself - I'm sure you have plenty of people out there who like you just the way you are.

Jefferson Davis said...

Wear you heart on your sleeve, I say! Tis better to show a little heart than to be a walking automaton.

Great video pick! Me loves Aerosmith! :)

Baino said...

Kath and JD: Yep, those who know me well like me well enough although after today's event's I'm wishing I was a cold fish. I'm on a roller coaster and can't get off!