How Emotional Cut-Off Is A Form Of Passive-Aggression
Have you ever noticed that sometimes a person being very dry, aloof and stoic can have the effect of crazy-making? The person on the other end of this can become ‘over-emotional,’ seeming to overcompensate for the stoic’s lack of emotion. One might be considered “cold” and the other as “freaking out.” But there is much more behind this surface dynamic. The stoic is, intentionally or unintentionally, repressing or denying his own emotions. He is not owning his feelings or being truthful with himself or the other.
In any given interaction, there is a Shared Emotional Body. And emotions can only be stuffed for so long, and need to be acknowledged and brought out into the light. So the other person tends to ‘feel the emotions’ that the Stoic is suppressing. This is often seen in couple’s dynamics where, typically the man, is calm and cool, while the woman is having a nervous breakdown. Or it can be seen in a business interaction where a Stoic is hiding behind a stuffy business persona, over-focused on legalities, while the other party is trying to facilitate an authentic business relationship with real and genuine warmth.
As I wrote about in my recent EBook,
we are unfortunately becoming very cut-off from each other as human beings by feeling so fearful and acting so defensively. Why are we so afraid of emotions? Ironically, the one expressing the emotions can be considered more brave than the one so terrified of himself that he has to hide all the time. Let’s face it, it is a manipulation to point fingers at someone who is expressing the emotions that you are unwilling to acknowledge within yourself. It’s downright backwards and upside-down!
So, if you’re on the other end of this passive-aggressive Stoic type energy, do yourself a favor. Be Unwilling to hold their negative emotions for them. And don’t fall into the co-dependent feeling of self-blame or thinking there is something wrong with you for “freaking-out.” This is a myth. And if you’re acting as a Stoic in this type of dynamic, remember you are just as involved in creating this emotional exchange as the other party, so own your feelings and find a way to express them appropriately! We are all responsible for our feelings, and we can each be accountable by acknowledging how we really feel underneath all the ego-play, rather than projection-vomiting all over each other. Have some emotional courage!