Thursday, July 5, 2007

Being the Switzerland of Emotional States

It’s not exactly the same as Emotional Flatlining – which I would define as the absence of feeling – although it’s not exactly different.

I visit this metaphoric neutral zone when people/situations/self/life threaten to kick my ass to the middle of next week. It’s essentially a “Don’t freak out and it’ll all be good” mode, and I’ve become adept at switching it on as needed. Very self-preservationy.

BTW, the statement “Emotional Flatlining,” when Googled, gets 99 hits. "Switzerland of Emotional States", on the other hand, gets ZERO. This leads me to believe one of two things are true:

Either I’m a bigger freak than even I imagined, or

(*Gasps*) I’ve just had an Original Thought!


Jim said...

You aren;t the only person to come up with the concept of emotional flatlining. I am using it in the context of teaching people telephone connecting skills. I was preparing a lesson for this training and googled "emotional flatlining" and came accross your website. I too think it is a unique concept.

Like minds think alike so I would be interested in learned more about how you use emotional flatlining concepts in teaching and business.


Papillon said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks for dropping by. I tried to visit your blog, but as you no doubt know, it's limited access.

To address your comment:

I'm not a teacher, although I did teach ESL several years ago. The concept of "emotional flatlining", as I define it, is a state of feeling no emotion at all. One isn't sad, but neither is one happy.

A therapist once told me that depressed people placed too much value on happiness. Gee, Sherlock – ya think? Then, obviously doubting my capacity to recognize "real" happiness when I felt it, he proceeded to try and sell me a soul-less, watered-down notion of existence that, by his definition, constituted happiness. I dubbed the concept he was selling Emotional Flatling, and needless to say, I'm not buying it. Going through life feeling just okay isn't okay. Not for me.

When I talk about "the Switzerland of Emotional States", however, I'm talking about a personal coping mechanism. It essentially comes down to me convincing myself to chill out and relax even though, for instance, I may feel like putting my fist through drywall. So this isn't actually the absence of emotion; it's more a case of turning the volume down on feelings that may be too overwhelming at a given time.

Hope the above made some sense!

Please visit again if I haven't scared you off. ;-)