“I've been alone my whole life. I've given up on love. All my friends are in relationships and I don't like to be around them anymore. I'm embarrassed, lonely, bitter, and angry. What should I do?”
I think you misunderstand emotions.
Those emotions you’re feeling…
- Are not because you’ve “failed” at anything.
- Are not because you hate your friends for finding what you want
- Are not because you’re “less-than” in any way
The reason you’re feeling all those emotions is that your brain is simply trying to motivate you.
That’s the only purpose of emotions.
They motivate you towards things that your brain thinks are good for you, and away from things that your brain thinks are bad for you.
We classify those simply as pleasure, and pain.
How to Decipher Your Emotions
Your emotional brain is trying to motivate you towards or away from things in your world. What are they?
Let's do an exercise. Grab a piece of paper and a pen.
In order, ask yourself these questions, and write the answers...
- What emotions, exactly, am I feeling? Write those down, as a complete list, vertically. Be as thorough as you can. Leave some space between them.
- What is each emotion pushing you towards, or away from? What is it that it wants for you? Is it friends? Family? Sex and romance? Write those next to each emotion. Be as thorough as you can.
- Now why does it want those things? Does you brain imagine that these things would improve your security? Your self-esteem? A sense of social connection? Write that down too.
Go as deep as you can on this exercise.
The better you understand what you’re feeling and why, the more clearly you’ll see what you need to do.
Your next step is to make those things a priority, even when... especially when... they push you out of your comfort zone.
I’ll make two predictions now…
#1 - Giving up on love isn’t the answer.
That approach certainly won’t give you what you want, so your emotions will just continue to amplify. Your emotional brain is smarter than you think- when you ignore your emotions, your brain just turns up the volume.
It will get louder, and louder... until you simply can't hear anything else.
#2 - Avoiding your friends makes things way worse.
Humans are mammals, and the reason you have these emotions is that mammals know that friends & family mean better survival. We’re driven to be social because it works.
Sure you can decide to cut that out of your life, but your emotional brain probably isn’t on board with that. You’ll struggle with low-serotonin, which means feelings of depression and low self-esteem.
It’s really not fun.
Creating your Happiness
Yes, you can absolutely have what you want, but it means directly confronting your fear of rejection, failure, and abandonment.
It's actually easier than you think, and those fears are what is holding you back from what you want in your life.
Ultimately, we don't control much in life.
We don't control how much time we have. We don't control what will happen. We certainly don't control the other people in our world.
Relationships are complicated, and uncertain. Some of them will be fragile. That's what makes them special beautiful things.
Ultimately you want to be able to wake up and smile, and think “today is about creating experiences, moments & the memories, I know what I want.”
Control your actions and choices, and let life unfold however it does.
In the end...
We can steer the car, but we don’t control where the road goes. We don't know what’s over the next hill, or whether we'll get where we plan to. That’s OK- that’s called Life.
But parking the car… won’t get us anywhere.
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