Ask E. Jean - Tormented? Driven Witless? Whipsawed by confusion?

Advice Vixens

Hi. I think I'm emotionally constipated and can't express myself in the moment and it becomes this dragged out misery fest. I don't know how to control myself when i'm feeling shy or insecure..and I don't know how to let people help me through it. I get crazy and shut down.

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    The only way I have ever found to get out of my own head when I'm trapped in those feelings is to reach out to help someone else.

    Come here and offer advice, or go to Yahoo! Answers. See if any of your Facebook friends can use a kind word.

    Reading about the kinds of things that other people struggle with can help put your own problems and feelings into perspective and maybe help you feel less alone.

    Also, it's very, very hard to be down on yourself when you offering honest, sincere support and encouragement to someone else. It's win-win for you both.

    reply to Robynne
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    My mother taught me to always serve others. So when I get all bunched up inside? I go listen to people tell stories, or do volunteer work.

    I have realized recently that I am an introvert. I have learned to ask people questions, rather than to try to talk about me. I will find ways to tell my own stories ... but I really don't want to talk about me very much at all. It makes me uncomfortable.

    Unless it's in writing. Then I can blab away for hours.

    reply to Maggie
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    So that was my advice: Focus on the other person. A LOT. Just keep asking about them. Because almost everyone likes talking about themselves.

    reply to Maggie
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    The other Vixens' advice about listening to others is a great way to get out of your own head and experience. When I get into an emotional funk I sometimes find it helpful to read a book about survivors of awful experiences (think books about the holocaust, natural disasters, diseases, genocide) and kind of let myself get immersed in their misery. I nearly always find myself hopeful for the person and awed by their story in ways that help me feel a little more gratitude in my own life, and it forces me through an emotional spectrum. Two books that I found that really drew out my emotions were Night by Elie Wiesel, and more recently Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

    reply to Kay
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    I'm not sure what you mean you don't know how to control yourself- yet you also say you shut down. Which is it?

    My advice is to find something that works for you. For me I hate the spotlight and I completely shut down if I feel like a group of people are paying attention to me. If I am expected to speak in front of more than 2-3 people I completely freeze up. When I am one on one I am my true self and you would never know I have this shyness. In fact, when I confide to people that I am shy - and they have spent a lot of time with me one on one - they don't believe me. What works for me is when I am introduced to a new group of people, I make a concerted effort to make contact with 1 person 1 at a time. Then when I am in a group with all the people, its not so overwhelming.

    Also realize that everyone else has their own insecurities. So be the bigger person and put yourself out there first. You will be amazed at the results!

    reply to Blondie
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    Ha! I'm the exact opposite...I can't STOP expressing myself in the moment!

    I've found people are almost always fine with whatever you have to say. Sometimes they'll disagree with you, but I know a lot of times when I blurt out my feelings I get a positive reaction like "Thanks for saying what we were all thinking!"

    My experience is that most people aren't as judgmental as you fear they are. And the ones that ARE judgmental are the ones that everyone thinks are assholes anyway. So who cares what they say?

    reply to Ashley
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    Turn that craziness into art. Write about it. Write your feelings. They're like poison, you've got to bleed them out. And then read some Anais Nin. Read anything. When you read you remember that you're not the only person who feels this pain and that there are people out there who understand what it's like.

    And I promise you, you're not crazy.

    reply to Luciferia
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    I have found that pretending, playing a bit with the idea of you being an outspoken person also helps. Pick a person you admire a lot and just let his or her energy go right inside you and play this person's part, you are charming, you are funny, people like you.

    Indeed, asking people about themselves helps a lot in social situations, it takes the focus away from you, allowing you to relax. Most people love to talk about themselves and their lives.

    But if you feel you cannot express yourself emotionally, such as letting out what is upsetting you, bothering you, good feelings, establishing boundaries etc, I would suggest seeking a therapist to help you find ways to express your basic needs. Good luck!

    reply to Gerbera
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