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lacking emotions
Posted by joao
24th Feb 2019

Probably nobody will read this and I don't see why anyone should care, but I don't think that matters really. It feels extremely relieving to simply write stuff down into the abyss of the internet. I have done so anonymously before and whilst it probably isn't as profitable as face to face conversations there are certainly upsides to the anonymity and freedom with which you can express yourself, especially if you have difficulty doing it in person like I have myself. Talking about myself always makes me cringe inside and feel like I am being extremely vain and arrogant and attributing a huge amount of self importance about such trivial and insignificant (and uninteresting) things about my life.
I wouldn't describe myself as shy person, nor as a confident person either. I think I am as fair and accurate as one can be in assessing their own strengths and shortcomings. I am the type of person who has a relatively moderate group of people I would consider very close friends with whom I could potentially share personal things, and in the past I used to have conversations with them about topics such as mental health or personal issues each of us may be facing in our lives but as time has moved on and we've gotten older I no longer feel comfortable talking about such things. Perhaps it is insecurities but often when I speak to somebody, I can get quite strong anxiety that what I am saying is boring to them and that they want to leave. This sense of being a nuisense is hightened when the topic is of a more personal nature which is why I deliberately steer conversations away from people and towards ideas and things. There are two other reasons I can identify which might be causes for this as well.
1. I am quite a selfish person regarding other people's problems and emotional difficulties. I want to stress that this is a very specific brand of selfishness. I am not at all sellfish in the traditional sense of not sharing things or not paying for things - if anything I would say I am very generous in this regard, and I have a high degree of empathy and compassion towards individuals and a genuine desire to see people happy, even people who have hurt me. The kind of selfishness I speak of here is simply disinterest in the activities and events going on in others lives which aren't 'inherently interesting', ie. which aren't interesting from a non-personal perspective. I have never understood, for instance, why people feel the urge to post updates on their social media about what they are doing, where they are right now, whether they got engaged, got hired, got fired etc etc. It always strikes me as desperate, self-centered, and seeking validation from other people about your own life. Be it positive sharing ('likes' from friends upon news of getting a new job) or sympathy sharing (writing a poem of a recently passed loved one) I do not understand the urge. Because I feel bored to an extent listening to other people talk about themselves, I feel it would be hypocritical of me to talk to other people about myself for the same reason.

2. I am inherently more interested in 'things' and ideas than people and relationships. I would describe myself as a rational thinker and I value science, reason and skeptical, logical thought and it's application towards all things one does in life. I love learning about new things all the time, in almost any topic (science, history, english, fiction and non-fiction) but my main interest is definitely in biology, chemistry and computer science, as well as space travel and thinking about mankinds future and what our presence might be (if any) in the cosmos in, say, a hundred thousand, or a million years time from now. I find the conversations I have with people about things like this to be by far the most enjoyable and memorable, but unfortunately you can't just start a conversation with someone and delve straight into them because of social conventions we have acquired as a society. I wish, for instance, that on a first date it would be acceptable to immediately ask the person a bunch of technical questions on stuff your interested in, their opinions of things I consider stupid (such as religion, nationalism, modern pc-culture for example) then play them a bunch of your favourite songs and if the feedback on any of those was negative you could leave it at that and save both of you a lot of time and hassle.

Recently not only has my anxiety in talking to others regarding anything remotely personal intensified, I have developed an increasingly cold interior and I fear I am losing my emotions entirely if that is even possible. I used to get upset when negative things happened to people I cared for. Nowadays I don't even feel much for negative events impacting my own life in drastic ways, I sort of feel indifferent, like I am a passive observer witnessing the movie that is my own life (I should add that I do not believe in free will here) and not feeling a thing for the main character. For example, recently me and my girlfriend of two years have been having some arguments and on two occasions we almost broke up. On both occasions she was crying a lot and seemed very distressed whereas I was just bored and annoyed at how dramatic she was being. In the end I simply gave in and agreed not to break up just to end the conversation quicker and get back to whatever it was I was doing.... this is supposed to be the person I love - and I do love them very much! Yet at the same time I find myself wholly disinterested and disconcered with what is causing them to be upset. I feel a similar way with my friends and my family: a feeling that if they were to disappear completely from my life, I don't think it would bother me that much as I my favourite company by far has always been my own anyway and I have never understood the concept of 'missing someone' apart from my grandfather, who is an exception. I have only ever felt the burning sense of loss and longing to be with somebody for my grandfather, and even then it has only been intense on a handful of occasions. He died 9 years ago and I have deep regrets in not spending more time with him or telling him I loved him. But besides him I have only experienced the 'missing' sensation for places, times and events, rather than people or their company.

I do not think much of what I have said here is coherent, but it has nevertheless been nice rambling on about all this meaningless self-absorbed nonsense. For as long as I can remember I have used the same technique for dealing with everything from embaressment to stress to depression which is to simply place my own life in the context and gendeur of the universe. The milky way galaxy alone has between 100-400 billion stars, that's 1-4*10^11 stars!!!, and there are estimated between 100 billion to trillions of galaxies. Think of how many exoplanets there must be. Furthermore, the big bang happened roughly 14 billion years ago. Depending on how rare life is to come about, especially life evolving to the point of self-conciousness, I am fairly confident we are only of many civilisations, most of which went extinct, some which are likely so much more advanced than us we wouldn't comprehend their most basic technology. Soon we will die, and the molecules which make us up will get recycled back into the earth and find their way into plants, bacteria, soil, air, water etc. Perhaps one day in the not so distant future we might be able to upload our conciousnesses to some digital format, perhaps into some cloud service. Doubtless this is the natural progression of a stage II or III civilisation and the only solution for long term survival and inter galactic space travel on a large scale. I find thoughts like this, of the individual insignificance of each of our lives and the eternalness of our deaths very comforting and beautiful.

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