• Feelings 101

    If you are uncomfortable with positive emotions you are not alone, and there are likely some good reasons for this discomfort. So, let’s look at two common reasons.

    The first is that in infancy there may have been some lack of attunement or nurturing between infant and mother. One of the tasks in this relationship is for the mother, or other caregiver, to help the infant to learn to tolerate emotions, both positive and negative. The infant feels an emotion, gets overwhelmed.

    If their caregiver is attuned and notices that the child is overwhelmed and has a sense of being able to help the child with that, then they will reassure the child with a soothing voice and gentle touch. This in turn teaches the child how to handle their distress or overwhelm.

    But if the caregiver does not notice, or respond, or know what to do, the child does not learn to be okay with feeling those feelings.

    And the second reason this can happen is if there was abuse in the home. Sometimes this comes in the form of the parents having no tolerance for happy, joyful, noisy expressions of youth. The child then learns it is not okay or not safe to express those emotions. Those positive emotions are associated with a negative outcome, so they may go underground or get dissociated.

    Leave a reply:

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*