Emotionally distant people are generally thought of as ‘heartless’ and ‘mean’, but more often than not they’re trying to navigate their ways around a society that fails to understand them. It can be difficult being a detached individual when you have family and friends who expect you to feel a certain way that you can’t relate to. While indifference certainly comes with being a detached person, it doesn’t necessarily translate to being unkind. It can be a lack of display of affection, or being overly pragmatic. It’s up to you if you want to cater to those around you, and here are some of the things you can use to be more thoughtful:
Thinking before any reaction (or lack thereof)
One of the biggest problems we have is not knowing how to react. This is due to the fact that a lot of things can’t induce emotions in us. It looks cruel when you don’t feel sad about an unfortunate accident or don’t make time for someone, but it can be difficult to realise when we’re causing someone else pain. And personally, I’ve met a lot of emotionally distant people who struggle with not knowing how they hurt others, and feel guilty about it. The simplest thing to do here is to just stop and gauge what to say, how much it matters to them, how they’ll receive your apathy, and if it’s wrong to stay indifferent to it. Sometimes, the best thing to do is just honestly ask what they expect from you, or make your outlooks clear.
This might sound basic, but opening up about your lack of emotions can be a great way to ease tensions. It may not work with conservative family members, but you can try talking to your partner, friend, or even your parents! It’s better to let them know that you aren’t a very emotional person, than them feeling like you don’t care. This doesn’t only stop them from feeling bad, but also reduces their expectations towards you, cutting you some slack. Furthermore, if you’re lucky enough, they might even help you deal with things better. For example, figuring out how your emotions work or growing into more considerate person.
Fake it till you make it
Science shows that it’s actually possible for us to change our personality to a certain extent. That’s to say it’s never too late to learn empathy and thoughtfulness. One of the most effective ways of self-growth is to act the way you think you should, until that’s the behaviour that comes naturally to you. So, listen to what someone has to say, offer them support when they need it, learn to give importance to promises, and little things that matter to them.
You don’t necessarily have to change yourself or let go of your individuality to become a kinder person. Being emotionally detached isn’t wrong, until you’re hurting/harming individuals around you intentionally.
If you’ve read this far, it means that you want to be conscious about not making others around you feel bad; and that will is enough to help you become a understanding person. It’s easy to feel guilty about being this way, but once you realize that it’s not your fault, and that you can take steps to bring about substantial changes in your life, it gets better!
Aahir Mrittika likes to believe she’s a Mohammadpur local, but she’s actually a nerd. Catch her studying at firstname.lastname@example.org.