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Emotophobia is the fear of unpleasant emotions, not to be confused with emetophobia, the fear of vomiting.
There is little online about emotophobia.
The few articles I found offered the suggestion to “stop treating negative emotions as if they are your enemies and can harm you.”
This is somewhat condescending and implies that emotions themselves cannot harm you.
The person offering this advice clearly has never been in a situation where showing negative emotions could harm them.
So, they think it is rather ridiculous that someone would associate their negative emotions with danger.
The problem with this thinking is that there are situations where someone’s emotions can cause them harm.
This advise shows a complete misunderstanding of emotophobia and its root causes.
People with emotophobia are not “treating” emotions as if they are the enemy.
For people that have emotophobia, emotions were the enemy and they were followed by consequences.
People that grew up in mentally abusive childhoods were not permitted to have emotions like other people are.
The expression of emotion, which represents being an individual, is often punished by abusive parents.
Even children who were not physically abused, could have had their right to individual ideas and feelings violated.
Narcissistic parents and other overbearing, maniplulative parents do not want their children to develop independent thoughts and ideas.
They do not want their children thinking in terms of their own needs at all. When their children expressed feelings, the parents retaliated.
Punishments from the silent treatment to aggressive verbal abuse of the child are used.
Physical consequences may also follow as a matter of course, when a child showed anything resembling disobedience, including not feeling what they were told to feel.
These mentally abusive parents, want the focus on themselves and their needs. They demand for the child to cater to their ever changing desires and demands.
In order to survive in this type of environment, the child must learn to constantly read the parent’s body language and tone of voice.
They must anticipate the desires and moods of the parent. If they fail to do so, it is met with negative consequences.
If the child expresses disagreement, or unhappiness with the parent, they will likely invoke the anger and wrath of the parent.
Even a facial expression of disagreement with the parent can bring out their anger.
For their own protection, these children and teenagers learn to disguise their feelings and push them down.
They do not want the parent to see their feelings because it will be used against them.
If you grew up in this type of environment, then feeling negative emotions was the enemy. It is not something we have suddenly developed an irrational fear of as adults.
This environment causes C-PTSD, which is Complex Post Traumatic Stess Disorder, in many people. This is carried over into adulthood.
So, the advice to “stop treating emotions as if they were the enemy” and to tell people that feeling emotions is safe, does not make sense to someone with C-PTSD from childhood mental abuse.
Adults can also develop emotophobia from ongoing abusive relationships with a partner. Women become afraid to disagree with their partner because they fear his anger.
Abusive people do not tolerate independence from their partner. When the partner asserts the fact that they are an individual person, it is met with extreme resistance or anger from the narcissist.
Again, the brain rewires the neural connections to avoid showing negative feelings. This is a necessary survival tactic at the time.
It is not easily undone. The brain considers it necessary in order to protect the safety of the person.
It takes years to develop this survival tactic and to detach from and avoid negative emotions. The brain becomes wired to discourage entering into situations that may cause negative emotions.
To undo what was a learned survival skill takes a lot of work in re-wiring the brain.
Telling someone “emotions are your friends” does not work, especially without any idea why the person feels such anxiety about emotions like anger and sadness.
The problem with emotophobia is that having it makes you easier for people to manipulate. People that want their way all the time, can use emotional manipulation to make you want to comply, rather than experiencing the pain of the emotophobia symptoms.
Realizing that you allow people to have their way, in order to avoid upsetting them is the first step to healing. Then you can understand that people get upset sometimes and unless you are in danger from them in some way, you can endure the feelings you will go through when they react to you.
You can begin to recognize when someone is trying to emotionally manipulate you. They will not take no for an answer. They use shame and guilt to get you to do things. Another sign is that their reactions to things will be far out of proportion to the “slight” they should be perceiving.
You have just as much of a right to your boundaries as anyone else does. People should not get their way just because they play on your fear of upsetting them.
If someone has consistently shown you that they do not have a desire to care about how you feel, then stop expecting to find kindness and caring from them.
They may not want to care about your feelings. They may not have the capacity to empathize with you. Either way, you cannot force people or convert people to the side of kindness and compassion.
If someone never listens to your thoughts and feelings then they possibly never will. Communication goes two directions. If you always listen to their side, and they never listen to your side, then see it for what it is.
If your communication is consistently not being heard, no matter what the circumstance, then most likely this person has no intention to hear you.
Holding onto beliefs that you can “make them” care about you, is not productive. Find alternative ways to deal with conflicts and situations with them.
Evaluate what they do with information you give them. What has happened in the past, when you explained your reasons, and your thoughts to them?
Do they end up using it against you?
Do they completely disregard it?
Do they hear and remember what you say?
Do they claim later on, not to remember what you said?
Do they make fun of what you say and belittle you?
Do they laugh at you?
Do they become angry when you present your side of a situation?
Do they give you equal time to explain yourself or do they cut you off?
Do they bring other people, who seem inappropriate, into your conversations?
Look at the history and make observations in present time. See if they are the same way with other people.
Learn what their usual tactics are, in order to get their way.
Observe their responses to situations where you or others try to stand up for an opposing or alternative opinion.
Making these observations will help you to learn things about this person’s behavior, attitude and patterns.
Often people that are rigid, unbending, and always right, have observable, predictable response patterns.
If you can learn this about them, then you can use it in order to find ways to deal with their rigidity.
You have to work around people sometimes. Most importantly you have to protect your mental state and not allow people to cross into your emotional boundaries.
You cannot make them care. You cannot logically or rationally convince them that they should care about the feelings of others, or your feelings in particular.
But you may notice that you have been doing things to put yourself in their line of fire. You are giving them the advantage, by assuming that deep down they are really a caring person.
The more you believe that an abusive person really wants to work with you , the more advantage they have over you.
Not only that. They are probably fully aware that you want them to care and that you believe they want to.
There are people that will use your kind beliefs about them really being a caring person inside, against you in situations.
Observe people like this with an objective, scientific like mindset. Take notes on each situation and how they respond.
If you are dealing with a rigid person that never has empathy, then you need to know their response patterns. It should not blindside you, when they respond with a completely narcissistic attitude.
Dealing with these kinds of people can be stressful and crush your self esteem and feelings of self worth.
Situations where people like this are harmful to you are: as bosses, supervisors, neighbors, therapists, doctors, landlords and other positions where they can affect you.
Intimate relationships with anyone who has no empathy or compassion for you are even more dangerous.
People will not always believe what you have experienced with someone who lacks compassion. You cannot always get your opinions and observations about them validated.
Also be careful talking about this person to others.
You do not know who they have manipulated into doing what. In a work situation, there may be minions who will report back to the narcissist about things you say.
That is why it will help you to take personal notes. Write down what you said and exactly what they said in response.
If you are on the phone, you can do this with a pen and paper during the conversation. If the interaction is in person, then take notes when you have privacy to write them
Keep your notes as “word for word” as possible. Do not change their wording to what you think they must have meant.
The exact wordings will help you later on, when you look over lots of interactions on paper. You can find inconsistencies and gaslighting tactics this way.
There are compassionate people, but all people are not compassionate. There are people who care about what happens to you and there are people who never will.
Your Peace of Mind matters,
You are beautiful and worthy. If you feel that your life has no purpose then you might just be off course. You may be in a job that is not serving you or following a path that is not serving and supporting you.
You can make changes that create opportunities for you to explore your value and worth. You may not even know why you ended up where you are. Other people may have influenced you more that you realize.
You have a right to make changed in your life, even of other people will feel disappointed or not understand. You have the right to live your own life and make your own choices. Other people are often concerned with their own agenda and will tell you what they need to tell you, to get their way.
You do not have to believe everything other people tell you or want you to believe, especially when it come to who you are, what you are capable of, how you should feel, what you should feel obligated to or how you should live your life. You are the one who has to live this life of yours, not them.
If you feel that you can do something better or different , then you probably can do it. You just need to be supported. If the people around you are not supporting you then you surround yourself with people who will.
Once you set onto a path of pursuing what you want to do, many doors will open to you. You have to take a step in the direction that you feel called to walk towards. There are possibilities that you cannot even see yet.
Sometimes who we hang around with, who we believe and what we think about our skills, is just habit. These are habits if the brain. Thought patterns and thought behaviors can be changed by you. They are only habits that have been learned and ingrained into us, but they are not permanent.
You are beautiful the way you are because of who you are inside and what potential you have. But you can make changes to make yourself feel more beautiful and more worthy. Your environment, your friends, your work and your surrounding should support you in the best way possible.
You can become what you feel you are called for. Reach into yourself and listen to what you really want and think you can do. Do not let bad programming that others infected you with, stop you from believing in yourself .
Go after your dreams and explore what you want out of your life. Realize your ability to be supported by life and those around you. Get links to more articles by adding your email and info and subscribing HERE.
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If you are always finding yourself at the bad end of unfair and unbalanced relationships, then you might have People Pleaser Syndrome.
Most people who have People Pleaser Syndrome, including myself, have come from a background of being emotionally and mentally abused, manipulated and scapegoated.
It may not be readily apparent to you that you had emotional abuse as a child, because this syndrome will cause you to question any abuse that you have experienced. People may have manipulated you into thinking that your childhood was free of abuse, as part of the mental abuse itself.
Gaslighting a person into doubting their own feelings of being abused, is mental abuse. When you feel like you are being treated unfairly and cannot communicate about it, your reality about the abuse can become confused.
I have done a lot of research recently about People Pleaser Syndrome. There are many lists that you can find that will describe various characteristics and qualities of people that suffer from it. I have also gone through my own situations in my mind, to identify what characteristics that I have tended to demonstrate over the years.
I recommend that you do your own research about this topic, if many of things on this list seem to ring true for you.
I have written this list off if the top of my head. Some of these characteristics have been brought to my attention from articles that I have read.
Some of them are direct examples from my own life. All of the things on this list have caused me problems in my own life over the years.
Characteristics of People Pleaser Syndrome
1. You take on the feelings of others as if they are your own.
2. You feel the need to fix the problems of other people
3. You feel responsible for other people’s problems and guilty about them
4. It is easy for other people to make you feel guilty
5. You can easily be forced by others to feel shame
6. You carry toxic shame
7. When other people are unhappy, angry or disappointed with you, it makes you feel like you have the responsibility of fixing their feelings
8. You have trouble doing, not-doing or saying anything if it will get a negative reaction from the other person
9. You want people to always approve of you, your beliefs and your actions
10. You feel the need to always justify your actions and decisions to others
11. You have great difficulty in saying “no” to people
12. You are often talked into doing things you really do not want to do.
13. You are talked into not doing things, that you do want to do
14. You tend to do whatever will keep the peace, even if it is not good for you
15. You have trouble standing up for yourself, but always listen to other people who are standing up for that they want
16. You give other people their way, much more often than you just do things the way you want to
17. You question the validity of your personal wants and needs, when it conflicts with those of others
18. You often put your own dreams and goal on the back burner, in order for someone else to fulfill their dreams
19. You do not express your anger about being treated unfairly by others
20. You tend to allow your partner more benefit of the doubt than they allow you
21. You cover for other people, even if they would not cover for you
22. You have C-PTSD from some sort of childhood abuse
23. It is sometimes unclear to you how you feel about things and if your feelings / thoughts are being “put into your head” by the other person
24. You allow other people to tell you “how you should feel” about some things
There are a few reasons that you need help for People Pleaser syndrome. If you are recognizing very many things from the above list, then I encourage you to do some further research, get materials which will help you and work on a plan of overcoming this.
In some cases, professional mental health treatment may be appropriate. I am not a therapist and this article is not intended as a replacement for professional mental health treatment. I am just validating your experiences with my own and hopefully helping you to take a look into your own tendencies and patterns.
If you have the characteristics of People Pleaser Syndrome, then you are likely to be a target for predators that will take advantage of your good intentions. There are narcissistic people and other toxic personalities that look for people that are easy to manipulate with guilt and shame.
There are people that actively seek “people pleasers” in order that they can subject their will upon them. If people can easily push our anxiety buttons about confrontation, then you are the type of person that can end up in domestic abuse situations and abusive relationships.
People pleasers try to avoid confrontation that makes them feel guilt or shame. Abusive personalities will sense this about you and deliberately force you into anxiety, in order to manipulate you.
Other problems you probably experience are in work situations and social situations. Dominating people will overcome you at work and in social circumstances. It is just the way they are.
It is hard to compete and get ahead at work if people take advantage of you. Even if there are nice, kind people where you work, there is always one that will destroy you, when they realize that they can use you as a means to get ahead.
It is nice to want to believe that the world is full of people who are compassionate and caring, but we realize that this is not the case. You may be around many good people in your situations, but it only takes one person to really injure you.
We will talk more about this issue and ways in which we can retrain ourselves to have different habits. These are habits that are rooted into us, but they are not unbreakable.
The most important things are to be able to identify when we are being treated unfairly and not to feel guilty for standing up for ourselves, or otherwise protecting ourselves from abuse.
You have a right to your boundaries, your self confidence and your self esteem.
In fact these things are necessary for you to live and thrive well. Your dreams matter and your happiness matters, just as much as anyone else’s.
I got the following idea from a Teal Swan video about how to make the decisions that are best for you. What she suggests is to ask the question “What would someone who loves themselves do?” If you keep this in mind as you are interacting with people, then you will have a frame of reference for when to say “no” to people.
Blessings to all,
gentlekindnesscoaching.com – sign up for email specials and discounts- or reserve your coaching time
There is a great healing that comes along with accepting ourselves just as we are. You are not a compilation of your mistakes. You are the beautiful person inside that is more meaningful to life than you realize.
Once we can do that then we can begin to explore who we can become. We do not have to be entrapped in a perception that because we have not done things in the past that we cannot do them.
Others say things about us. They label us, describe us, talk about us. They tell us what we can do, what we can’t do, what we should do.
They advise us on our careers, families, religious beliefs. Other people’s opinions can limit us if we choose to believe their perception of us.
They can limit our potential.
They can limit our possibilities.
If we allow them to keep us in the little box they have assigned to us then they will destroy what we could have become.
We do not have to take on the perception that other people have of us. There are great gifts deep inside of you that have yet to flourish. Because others in our lives do see our possibilities, we do not explore them. We feel like we need to conform to who other people think we are.
To reach out for possibilities and explore untapped gifts inside of ourselves is to upset the apple cart. It upsets people who have their reality based on who they think we are. They have assigned to us roles and levels.
You are far more gifted and intelligent than you let other people see. You keep those parts of you hidden and give up on them as unattainable dreams of who you wish you were.
If you have a vision…a picture in your mind’s… eye of you want to become…of things you wish you could do…then do not let other people determine your boundaries or keep you in their box.
It might be inconvenient for other people to get used to you becoming more of who you are. People like to keep things the same. Some people are better off when you are struggling and kept down. Your true self may intimidate them.
But you are not living your entire life to fit into another person’s perception. That is not your purpose.
But there are so many things you can do and so many other people who can benefit from your stretching beyond just going through the motions of your designated roles. Some people may not even be worth keeping in your life, if they are always minimizing you and telling you what you cannot do.
It is not for others to determine our giftings and our potential.
We are each of us on our own path. We are on a path of discovery. Discovery of knowledge, beauty and spirituality. Discovery of our own potential and possibilities.
Reach into your heart and mind. Feel what your soul is calling you to do. The people that see you day to day can sometimes be the ones that know you the least. They just know the role that you play.
You have a purpose that is beyond the people in your family. your workplace, your school and your group of friends. You can start right where you are. It does not matter what choices you have made in the past.
The past has gone and you are not the person that made those choices anymore. You have already lived through the consequences of bad choices and good choices. The future is now.
The future is now and it is flowing freely moment to moment.
Each new moment is a fresh opportunity to think differently and see things from a completely different point of view….to see yourself as much more significant than you have ever considered before.
I have been working on a new Life Coaching web site. It is still a work in progress. It is functional but I am still tweaking it.
Take a look and see what you think so far. You can see Gentle Kindness Coaching Blog Here.
I was able to get the web address of http://www.gentlekindnesscoaching.com/
This blog is at Weebly. So far I would recommend them. I am still learning some of the functions and other ins and out of how to create the blog and set the links within the blog etc. It is a lot to learn and I see why people pay to have a web design expert do this for them. I would if I could.
I will be offering specials for the month of September and I still need to add those to the web site. Additionally if you are a follower of this wordpress blog, I will offer you an additional discount.
I will update you when the blog is updated. Please drop by and visit. The store page is not finished but the other pages are functional. If anything jumps out at you that could be better or different feel free to leave a constructive comment below. Thanks.
This has been very time consuming in addition to doing a few YouTube videos. My blogging should get back to normal once this web site is fully complete.
I was able to make an upload two new videos to my YouTube Channel today.
The first one is a Part One in a series of videos dispelling the myths about abuse victims.
The second one is about the idealization phase of narcissistic abuse. What is it? Why does it work? Who does it work on? How can you avoid being duped by this tactic?
Saying “no” to people comes very easily to some and is nearly impossible for others.
I have found that many people with C-PTSD have trouble saying no. If you were brought up in a mentally or otherwise abusive childhood, saying “NO,” may be associated with severe consequences to you.
If you lived with a parent that had narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder, then they probably used confusion tactics on you, to the point where there was “no” way to say no to them.
Gaslighting can confuse our ability to trust ourselves and our perceptions. It may be difficult to tell what situations that “NO,” would be perfectly okay, and what situations where saying no, would really cause a problem.
If you grew up in an environment where your feelings and thoughts were not considered relevant, then you probably feel that your feeling of wanting to say no, just does not count. Even though the same person may say “No” to you all the time, you do not feel that you have the same right to say no, that they do.
If you were even in an abusive situation where disobeying meant punishment , then you probably have a fear of retaliation from others. There is an anxiety response triggered by saying no and refusing to comply with another person’s request.
The act of saying no, can trigger a very uncomfortable physiological response. In order to avoid feeling severely uncomfortable, we just say “yes” when we really want to say “no.”
Triggers are very real and the tendency is to want to avoid feeling the bodily sensations associated with them. Ignoring triggers and going against our conditioned responses, is a very difficult thing to do.
It is perfectly normal and acceptable for you to say “No” to people when they are asking you to do something that you do not want to do or something which crosses your boundaries.
You are allowed to set personal boundaries for yourself. You can also set boundaries for certain people that you do not want crossed.
You can set boundaries in regards to your emotions, your time, your energy, your work and your social interactions. You can set boundaries in regards to dating, doing work for people and doing favors for people.
You can set boundaries about your personal space and your personal items.
Any situation where someone is trying to get you to do something by using your emotions against you, is a situation where your boundaries need to come into play.
Sometimes people do not accept your simple NO or your reasons for saying NO. They try to convince you be making you feel guilty or by shaming you.
They are trying to use your good and caring personality against you. They want you to feel bad and they do this by intentionally pushing whatever buttons they know you have. If they know that you want to feel like you are cooperative they will call you uncooperative.
If they know that you have helped them many times in the past, they will lie and tell you that they do not remember the last time you did them any favors.
Don’t fall for these manipulative behaviors. If someone feels the need to make you feel guilty in order to do them a favor, then they really do not deserve the favor.
People should accept No, especially if you have perfectly good reasons for saying no, even if the reason is that you just do not feel comfortable doing it or do not want to do it.
Here is a list of ways to say NO…
No, thank you.
No, I really cannot do that.
No, I do not want to do that.
No, I am not interested in that.
No, I cannot find time in my schedule to do that.
No, I am just too overloaded right now, to do that.
No, I am not interested in doing that.
No, you go ahead without me.
No, please ask someone else.
No, I do not have to think about it. I would rather tell you NO right now.
I said no. Please respect my answer
If you have a history with this person that tells you that they will counter any reasons you give them for saying No, then you can try something like this..
“In the past my giving reasons for my No, seems to have just been an opening for someone to tell me the reasons are not good enough or to dispute my reasons in some way. So this time I am going to say simply No without going over my reasons with you. “
If they refuse to accept your “no”, then you still do not have to do what they want just to make them stop complaining. Just because they are going to upset that you told them “no”, does not mean that you are responsible for their feelings. As long as you were not intentionally trying to hurt their feelings, then you did not cause for them to feel bad.
If someone is an adult then they are responsible for their own feelings. Much of the time, manipulative people are acting when they get dramatic with you. They can be very dramatic about how disappointed they are in you or about how selfish they think you are.
These are more reasons not to tell them “yes” every time they demand something from you. The more times they are able to manipulate you, the more they will resort to the same tactics over and over again.
**Please note that this article is not talking about partner relationships where the person will physically abuse you or will otherwise punish you for saying no. Those relationships are volatile and should be escaped as soon as possible but I never recommend to ignite retaliation in a severely abusive person.
It is designed more for situations where you are in no immediate danger or impending danger.
This article is also not a recommendation to tell your boss no to doing work, thus risking your job. If your boss is abusive it is a different topic and must be handled with a different strategy that is not discussed in this post.
Many people that some from abusive backgrounds have forgotten or never learned how to love and care for themselves. What comes naturally to most people does not come naturally to everyone.
If you have a codependent personality, suffer from People Pleaser Syndrome, or just seem to keep ending up putting the needs of others over yours, even to the point of it causing you harm, then you probably never learned how to care for yourself well.
It probably puzzles you how other people seem to have it all together and you always feel behind. You feel like you are always the one who cannot do what other people can do.
One of the reasons for this could be that other people are spending a reasonable amount of time taking care of the things they need to take care of in order to be okay. They make sure that other people do not guilt them into doing things for them, when there are important things they need to do for themselves.
It is not a matter of not helping other people. It is a matter of not putting yourself and your needs last. You have bills to pay just like everyone else. You have a right to eat well, rest and exercise just like everyone else.
When people try to cut into your time that you need to take care of yourself, then you have to practice telling them no. People may be shocked at first, because they are not used to you setting normal boundaries. But think about what they would do of you demanded that they neglect something that they really need to do, in order to take care of something for you that you could take care of yourself.
Many times we agree to do favors for people who could take care of it themselves but they are just making time for themselves to do something extra. In the mean time, you are neglecting something that is much more important that if it were them, they would never even consider allowing you to interfere with by asking for a favor.
Other times they could easily get someone else, who has more time and more ability to do it, but that other person is also busy taking of themselves and they are keeping the free time to do something they want to do.
There should be a fair balance between people. You should not be guilt tripped into doing something that someone else could find another way to get done, at the cost of your basic needs being neglected.
You have to prioritize
3. Exercise and health
5. Your money situation
6. Your personal space and time
7. Personal hygiene
8. dr appts
9. Your comfort about situations
10. Your plans
11. Your schedule
12. Your mental health
13. Your physical health
14. the relationships you value
15. the time you need to clean the house or any other chores
16. time to get your errands done
17. your family situation and responsibilities
18. your personal emergencies or urgent situations
19. taking care of your car repairs and maintenance
20. Relax time for you
21. Anything that you feel frustrated about if it does not get done
22. Anything that you feel frustrated about if you do not have enough time to do it properly
People who have People Pleaser Syndrome are easily manipulated into neglecting these very basic needs because they do not really know if it is okay to prioritize themselves. In the mean time everyone else makes sure that they take care of these basics and then they use the extra time to do some extra things which puts them ahead of you at something.
You are the one who does not get the promotion at work even though you worked harder than everyone else. That is because while you were helping other people with their job, they were using the time to get ahead of you. People will take what they can get a lot of the time.
Everyone is not like you. They will not try to balance out the favor . They will not all cover for you just because you covered for them.
Learn who is taking advantage of you on a regular basis and cut them off. Tell them that you has a certain amount of favors allotted for each person in your life and that they have already used up their lifetime of favors.
Take care of the people who care about you. Look at the actions of people and not just their words. Notice when people are only nice to you when they want something. Notice when people expect you to do something rather than asking you with no expectation.
See what different people do when you say no. The ones who try to guilt trip or shame you are manipulative people. Anyone else would accept and respect your no.