empath Posted January 15, 2017 Share Posted January 15, 2017 Hi everyone! Longtime lurker, just now deciding to post! I'm going through being broken up with. For me, it was surprising, and it has meant I have been traveling alone after we split-off (by my suggestion) after her announcement that she is not in an exclusive relationship with someone else. There's plenty of backstory I'm skipping -- partly because my ruminative nature means that I can get carried away and pretty much spell the story and all angles out until I get to the Big Bang. So. I thought I'd maybe try a thread or two where I ask people's views on a particular aspect related to what I'm going through. (I guess this is primarily breakup-related, so posting here, my cozy little forum where I have decided to wallow while I very slowly recover.) I certainly do want to become both a better person and to understand people/ the world better (even if only a teensy bit) via this breakup. Hey, it's a goal! Here goes. One thing that I find alienating and just plain hard to understand is the ability of people to, I'll call it, switch it off. Other expressions for this are: become cold, become distant. Perhaps 'indifferent' or 'unfeeling' would count for some people, but I find those are a bit misleading, probably. I do not really have this ability. At all. I certainly have been unkind, uncaring, or angry in my life, no doubt. But extended periods of consistent coldness or anger (not the same thing, I know, but I do tend to find anger accompanies the coldness)? Not really. If I break up with someone, or vice-versa? I just don't think I'm really able to do it. The person who broke up with me exhibited this x100. She would bristle at even innocuous things I said. She had a hard time listening at all when I tried to talk about my feelings. She would not talk about her feelings much at all. She expressed openly that she was 'being selfish, but...' (followed by something unhappy to my ears). While it may seem like I am merely bitter, I actually understand, or think I do, at least some of the motivation for her -- being angry, 'switching it off' toward someone, makes it easier. And I think she really was angry with me, to some degree understandably (again, trying to keep this novella-length). I happen to think she is not only a great person, but one with potential for great kindness. At this time, there was zero for me. (It's also more than possible that I read the rejection as coldness -- seems natural, right? But let's just assume I'm right here -- and I really do feel like it's not even subtle in this case.) However, even if it were for the best, I cannot switch it off. Right now, it would help me immensely, I'm sure! Pick an available reason to be really angry with her (starting with my poor bruised heart), dust my hands, and be done with it! F her! When breaking up with someone else? It would help me cut the cord! Clean break! And so on. As a 41-year-old, I've tried it to some degree at various times in various relationships... but I kind of accept now that I can't. So, I'm curious: (1) Are you, or are most people, more like me, or are you able to switch it off? (Maybe it's just me and my experiences, but I kinda speculate the latter!) (2) If you're a switcher-offer, and can recall an example, what's going on deep down? Do you draw upon particular resources (anger? specific anger about an event or something? something else?) to draw it forward? Does it happen naturally? Are you simply able to hide your feelings, or are they really blunted? If they are hidden, how are you able to do that at opportune moments? (3) Finally, whichever you are, why do you think you are so? (I have my own speculations about myself, but will save them.) Thanks, all! Link to comment
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