I am a 20-year-old guy who is completely emotionless. I do not feel anything at all. I do not feel happy or sad about anything. Neither am I ever amazed at any strange thing. Everything is just ordinary for me. I do not remember laughing out at anything. If there is a funny incident and everyone around me is laughing very loud, I just give a simple smile and that’s it.
Ask Asad: My married cousins look down upon me because I am single at 30. Is it my fault?
I think my mind has grown far ahead of my age. I have become an extremely serious person. Is it alright for me to be like this? If not then what should I do about it?
An emotionless guy
Dear emotionless guy,
Becoming serious or more mature than your age is not a problem. Many people become solemn or more thoughtful than the people around them in their own age group. Thus if you have grown far ahead of your age intellectually then that is perfectly normal.
What is a bit worrying is the lack of emotions – happiness, sadness, amazement, etc. – which you do not feel. This is something that needs to be looked at deeply.
Emotions are essential to making connections and healthy, successful social interactions. Being emotionless can harm your ability to engage with others and can lead to social isolation and loneliness.
I wish you had given me more details about yourself such as your childhood, your relationship with your parents and siblings, any major events in your life, etc., whether you were always like this or is it a recent development? Knowing this all would have allowed me to help you better.
There could be different reasons why you may have become emotionless, such as:
Ask Asad: How to deal with negativity at workplace?
1-Being emotionless usually happens after an emotional shock. You may have become this way just to protect yourself and to stay away from further trauma. The lack of emotions could come up when you have had enough of something and being emotionless is just a defence mechanism.
2-You may have turned emotionally detached because showing emotion makes you feel uncomfortable and awkward.
3-Feelings cause you discomfort or confusion.
4-You may have been taught to hide and suppress your emotions.
5-You only listen to the logical side of your brain.
6-You have trouble connecting with others on an emotional level.
7-Being emotionless provides you with a sense of control in your relationship with others.
8-You might fear vulnerability. Being emotionless may be a way of not being vulnerable.
Spend some time thinking and understanding why you feel emotionless. Look within yourself for answers as this could be a helpful exercise.
Realise importance of emotions
To you, emotions – especially sadness – may seem pointless, illogical, and self-indulgent. But emotions are an essential part of decision-making, as is logic. Emotions can motivate you to change your life, as emotional discomfort is often an impetus to get out of a rut.
Talk to a professional
Talk to a therapist or counsellor about what you are going through. Your therapist may be able to help you realise something you are unable to alone, and give you exercises that help you achieve your goal.
Ask Asad: Should I leave Pakistan to escape terrorism or stay with my parents?
Cognitive behavioural therapy is an extremely effective form of psychotherapy geared towards identifying emotional detachment and the reasons behind it. It may also be worth trying emotionally focused therapy. This therapy can increase emotional expression and discussion.
If the problem still persists, then you should also consider whether you may have a certain psychiatric disorder that can affect your ability to feel emotions. Many personality disorders cause insensitivity to emotions. Personality disorders are a group of mental illnesses that cause long-term behavioural and thinking patterns that are unhealthy. For this, consulting a psychiatrist would be a more suitable option.
All the best!
Asad is a counsellor, life coach, inspirational speaker and a personal-development expert. He advises on social, personal and emotional issues. You can send him your questions for this weekly column at [email protected] with “Ask Asad” mentioned in the subject line and provide as many details as possible.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Express Tribune.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ