The journey to emotional health can be challenging. Each of us suffer from things that need to be healed. It is nothing to be ashamed off. It is something to recognize and overcome.
In this post I am going to quickly chronicle the types of traits that people have that indicate an unhealthy emotional foundation. You will notice that you may have traits in several categories. I think the more traits you see the more emotional damage you may have. It doesn’t necessarily indicate deep emotional damage, but it can point the way to a deep seated damage that is in your subconscious.
Remember this is just what is SHOWN and not the ROOT cause. As we delve deeper into our emotional health series we will start to talk about root causes and how to overcome them!
Also remember that God doesn’t condemn so we shouldn’t either.
Romans 8:1 says this, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” If you belong to Jesus there is no more condemnation for you. The Holy Spirit will convict you, but He will not condemn you. Only the devil condemns…
Just for fun I gave the traits relatable names. They are gender neutral, and not meant to be leaning to one side or the other. These are only meant to show the types of ways we deal with emotional damage.
Also, when you go through these please resist the “Oh that is so and so…” thoughts. Use these as a self reflective model to determine where you are in your emotional journey.
The Tough Guy: This reminds me of all the old New Yorker mobster movies. You know the ones. Everyone would go around and hurt people and then chest bump as if they were on top of the world. Throughout the entire movie they were continually hurting people. They either they ignore the real problem or they don’t want to admit that they have a problem. To admit there is a problem is a weakness to them. You will never see vulnerability from these guys. They are too tough for that. So they will continually hurt people, and act as if they are just fine.
The Hero: This is perfectly seen in the movie The Incredibles. It is a story about Mr. Incredible. He has to be the savior. He has to be the Hero. He desperately needs people to look at him as someone who made a difference. However, he is closed off emotionally. He does not want people to see how weak he really is. The entire movie he pushes everyone important to him away. His excuse? “I have to be strong.” The whole movie he uses his savior complex to hide the fact that he is truly a messed up individual.
The Exploder: Some people are a bomb waiting for a place to go off. You know the type. If they feel threatened, attacked, or in anyway backed in a corner they will go on the offensive. The Exploder is someone who will use their offensive ways to defend. If you bring anything up they go into a verbal assault. The exploder will often hide what they truly feel until they explode then you will discover EXACTLY how they truly feel about you. Often times this damages relationships to a point of being unrepairable.
The Brooder: Sits around and thinks all the time, but does nothing about it. If they get hurt they brood on it, but never want to talk about it. They will hide their true hurts and feelings deep down were no one can see them. The whole time they will continually brood on the issue, justify their actions while condemning yours, and then secretly become overly critical and judgmental. Often times lacking the courage to speak about the hurts that they have.
The Gossip: Did you ever hear the one about the person who…. The gossip will talk to everyone else about you, but never actually talk to you about the issue. The gossip needs to talk about the issues, but the problem with this is that they are not talking to the right people. Deep inside the gossip is a need to feel superior to the person who hurt them. They use their words to tear another down, and make themselves look like the victim. This produces a sense of justification for their gossip. Over the years I have noticed that those who yell about others being gossips are often the biggest gossips.
The Deflector: It is always someone else’s fault. It is never their fault. To take personal responsibility is hard for this type of person. To admit responsibility is to admit weakness and vulnerability. I have also noticed that many who show this type of personality often times deflect everything and anything that approaches their emotional base. They don’t want to talk about anything, because they feel it makes them vulnerable. The deflector avoids vulnerability at all costs.
The Overly Needy: When an individual needs you to the point that they are utterly dependent on you it creates a problem. If you are overly needy it is generally because you feel that your needs were rarely (if ever met) in the course of your life. The overly needy attach themselves to certain people in order to gain what they feel that is lacking. The overly needy person will often times become very jealous of others. This happens when another takes time from the person that the overly needy is attached to.
The Isolator: When someone faces conflict they become emotionally and physically unavailable. They withdraw from the world. They do not want to deal with the issue. They want to run from the issue. They cannot emotionally handle situations so they run from everyone. They may stop coming to events. They may not come to fellowship or functions. They withdraw because they do not want to to deal with emotional overwhelmingness of life.
The Control Freak: They need to exert control in every situation. They truest form of the micromanager. Every aspect of their life must be under their control. They often are very outspoken people who show little to no compassion for others. Their lives have been in such chaos that they need to bring their perception of order to their lives. The control freak struggle just participating. They justify it by saying they are wired to lead, but truth be told they don’t like to be told what to do. They also have a hard time trusting others. So to allow others to be in control is difficult for them.
There are more then these, but I wanted to leave it to a smaller list.
Each of us struggle. Each of us have emotional damage. Each of us deal with a level of unhealthiness. Our job is to recognize them, put them before the Lord, seek counseling, and strive to be the healthiest version of you!!
May your journey to health be filled with victories!