Topic: Any way of logically beginning to understand personal feelings?

English Alexithymia Forum > Personal Experience

Any way of logically beginning to understand personal feelings?
25.01.2014 by MIJ123UK

So happy to know there are people sharing this experience. But I do want to cope with it somehow, it's led to me hurting too many people in relationships which i enter into to avoid boredom, lonely nights or simply because of sex.

Has anyone discovered any logical processes to analyse your own feelings? Not in a particularly emotion way though obviously. I just need to know why I do things. What I actually feel. I must feel something for people, I just dont know what.

Would beyond appreciate some help from someone who understands. Can't talk to anyone in my life about this, the thought of talking about feelings makes me gag. But if I could talk about it in a brutally honest, logical way, I think i'd cope.

Cheers.

looking for ways to cope
27.01.2014 _T('by') caseek

I´m new to this concept, and i´m just now adjusting to the fact that what i have and the way i see things and feel things has a name.

i´ve been in relationships before, most of them were rather superficial because i didn´t like the idea of having to talk about feelings, so i always ended up cutting ties before it became too serious.

I am now dating a guy and i´m happy. it´s not easy. I can tell there are time that he would like to talk about our feelings and that was the one thing i hated. The good part was that he didn´t care that i didn´t like to talk about it. since i know it is important to him i try to remember to, during the day, do small things that he likes. Things like giving him a kiss, a hug, or just a smile go a long way. I was all done rather mechanically...i did it because i knew he needed it. but there where times i did it because i wanted to. it made me happy to see him happy.

I can usually distinguish 3 emotions: happy, sad and confused. If i´m not happy, i´m sad; and if i´m neither happy nor sad then i´m confused. and my confusion usually leads to anxiety and more confusion until i just snap myself out of it and force myself to do something that i know makes me happy or i just go to sleep. After that i´m ok, and i try to avoid ever feeling like that again.

I try rationalize a lot of my feelings and other people´s, but only to an extent. I try to rationalize them into `HAPPY` and `SAD` categories. But there are feelings that can´t be rationalize and those are the worsts. they are the ones that causes my anxiety. So sometime, when it gets that complex, i just let them act out even though i have no idea what i´m feeling and i have no idea how to explain it. It usually come in an outburst of tears, if the feeling i´m having is close to sadness, or i might experience agitation and jumpiness if it is some sort of happiness, but i never try to figure out what or why i´m feeling because i just don´t understand. and if someone asks me why i´m like that i´ll just tell them that all that I know is that it will pass.

i hope this helps. i know that there are diferent levels of alexithymia and diferent ways people experience it, and i think we can help each other out.

Some words from personal experience
06.02.2014 _T('by') TheHumbleman

This is my first ever post on any website ever so I hope it helps XD -

Since there is no ONE SPECIFIC WAY to "solve" the problems we have, I will just share a fair portion of my own life and how I deal with "fitting in". It will be a long post, as I am known for my very longwinded but incredibly well thought out and detailed response to things, so I hope it helps you as well as anyone else who reads it. There's no way for me to do stuff like this quickly, so please, bear with me -

Hi, my name is . I am 17 years old, and I have been "aware" of what makes me "different" for the last 10 years or so. I can easily be confused for some sort of psychopath or something, but I'm not. I'm a hardcore Alexithymic and proud of it XD. The reason why I can be confused with something so incorrect, as the majority us can relate to, is my condition (the name of which I have only recently become aware of (about a year ago)), mine specifically being one of the more severe cases in our community; I can only feel and identify Happiness and Frustration within myself and others, both of which are still somewhat limited, but I am pretty much devoid of all others to the point that I simply cannot feel them. Over the years though, I have been working on ways to not only be able to "read" other people to great extents, but respond to them in a seemingly normal although still unique to "me" way. There is no single way I can explain all of this without being redundant and/or not completely thorough, as I am known for my longwinded but incredibly well thought out and detailed responses to stuff like this, so some of the things I will tell you about that I do might take a long time to explain. Some of these though will definitely seem ridiculous in "crazy awesome" way, but I have an IQ of 149 so it's all good for me. Don't let that discourage you though. I promise you can do it if you put your mind to it because I as a fellow human being can do with my human brain therefore you can do it too.

Identify and respond to the emotions people with emotion use frequently that I can't possibly imagine to be so easy for them but somehow is -

It has been a long-time wish of mine to be able to feel the emotions that I see other people feel and express so fluidly, even if it is a "Negative" emotion. (It just seems fun and interesting X3). But I know that I can't.... BUUUUUUT I can do the next best thing and express them like anyone else :D. (Nothing wrong with a little optimism -_^). Seems like a wild a crazy idea for an Alexithymic - "Express emotion? What is this craziness XD". But it's totally possible, but the misconception about being able to do that is is that you're learning how to express and identify what YOU feel. WRONG. While that is a nice thought, it's not what I'm getting at. I mean that as in, you have to figure out what expressions mean what and their corresponding emotions and body movements and all those silly things, and then figure out what cases are the most "societally correct" cases to use them in, yourself.
Definition of Societally Correct - Basically anything that a "normal" person would do in an everyday situation. EXAMPLE - Someone does something nice for you. It is "societally correct" to say "Thank you" and do a little smile or something. If someone is happy and expresses that to you, be all like "Oh hey, that's good ^_^". And if someone is sad, be all like "Aww.. I'm sorry.. Allow me to say some comforting words to make you feel better BECAUSE MAKING PEOPLE HAPPY IS THE BEST WAY TO MAKE AND MAINTAIN HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP AND YOU SHOULD TOTALLY DO IT." The main base expressions that you HAVE to look out for to do this are as follows. (You will base everything you learn and choose to express around it being Societally Correct, if you wanna be "the coolest person ever" as I have been referred to as by a few of my friends) -

1) Voice Modulation (the tones people use with their voices)
2) Facial Expressions (THE TELLTALE SIGNS THAT HELP A TON WHEN FINDING OUT WHAT PEOPLE ARE FEELING)
3) Body Language (not quite as important as the other two, but still pretty freaking important, but only in how YOU want to express something. 's not very helpful in Identifying)

All you have to do is learn what all of these are and mean, how to use them yourself, and WHEN to use them. You're essentially just acting. But the cool thing about doing that for a long time is, is that you start to feel like you actually "feel" that way when you "pretend" that you do. (You basically trick yourself into "feeling" these and express that "feeling" even when no one is around that you have to use your learned expressions on. A really good example I can share is One time, after texting my girlfriend late into the night like we normally do (only to 12:00 on weeknights, no later) (Side note - She sometimes tells me that I make her "curl up into a ball of happiness X3". This is my upcoming reference), she said something that would, in society, be considered "sweet" as the last thing she said, so I then turned off my phone and curled up into a ball of happiness (not the kind I "feel", the "I'm so in love right now X3" kind) myself and although I didn't really feel it, I "felt" really happy and it was fun X3.

I'll have to cut this "lesson" a little short because I have to drive home and do homework and all that boring shizwahz. BUT I will return to continue this because I'm definitely not done XD.

Part 2
07.02.2014 _T('by') TheHumbleman

HAHA I'm back! told you -_^.

So yeah, what I left off with was the "Pretending" part of this whole confound yet revolutionary concept that I am pioneering JUST. FOR. YOU. Jk, I'm actually doing it more for myself than anyone else, but helping people is also nice ^_^.

I personally have no "expertise" when it comes to Psychology and being a Psychologist. But after a few years of watching and figuring out exactly how people function, not just individuals, but how "general consensus" work as well (I.E., how a normal person WOULD react to a certain thing), you tend to learn a thing or two. In other words... I have a very profound understanding of the way people work.

But yeah, I'm going off on a tangent.

Anywho, pretending you have emotion seems like a silly concept, and may lead to certain levels of skepticism, but it totally works. For this, you have to work on becoming good enough with "acting in a socially correct fashion" to the point that it becomes a habit, and you start acting out certain expressions that you KNOW someone would use in your situation, that you just do it automatically even when no one is around. EXAMPLE - Normally, when I Skype with my girlfriend, I don't ever make facial expressions or use any body language because I have nothing that can see me "express" those expressions. But I notice sometimes that I do use them anyway. And then sometimes, when I go off to bed, I put myself in a mindset that says "I'm really in love right now" and act like I really by doing stuff that some person who can actually love would do while no one is around to see them; Smile all happily like my heart is melting, twirl and spin and hug stuff and all that junk. Nowadays when I do that, I kinda almost "feel" like I actually am experiencing those emotions and it's fun X3 (I don't ever actually feel them, but I THINK I do and sometimes find that that ALSO makes me want to be expressive XD, if that makes sense).

For those of you who can "feel" but don't really know WHAT it is you're feeling and how to express said feels, the "Studying people" part really helps, or at least, should. If you become aware of what expressions are used in specific cases, well, this is one of those things that I said can't really work without the other. Once you learn all the expression, you should then look into yourself in a certain situation (PAY VERY CLOSE TO THE SITUATION), you then have to decide, based on your personality, the thing you wish to express.
MOAR EXAMPELS -
- I have just been told that I am really good at what I do, and begin to feel a funny feel that feels like it's in my lower back and stomach area or something. I tend to take the Formal And Mature approach to stuff like this, so I, with my knowledge of expression, decide to thank them in a polite and humble way. Not sure what said funny feeling was, BBUUUT I have a suspicion that because I was complimented, I "feel" good about myself and have had a small ego boost because it was nice of them to say that and BECAUSE I KNOW THAT IT IS PROPER TO THANK THEM which is what I might be feeling.

I have to cut this one short again, sorry friends >_< (See that? I apologized because I anticipated some sorta Negative response to me cutting it again, and it is societally correct to apologize for something like this, even though I'm not).

Until my next post, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors -_^.

Part 3
13.02.2014 _T('by') TheHumbleman

And so, continuing on with my post in the middle of class because we are quite literally doing nothing.

So yeah, I left off on talking specifically about expressing what you "feel". Learning and then acting on what you learn is one way to do it, but there are multiple methods that you can also employ at the same time to help with the process. This is the other way I work on fitting in as well as that thing I mentioned earlier about being "Crazy awesome but difficult". I don't really recommend doing the "crazy" part of this for it is completely optional (and pretty dern difficult) but you totally can if you want. But to start this whole lesson off, I have to bring it down the the most basic level. It doesn't cover every single feeling ever, but it does give you the exact base knowledge you need to be able to express yourself.

For now, imagine you are a computer who's only purpose is to evaluate and judge decisions. Your must only find the most efficient and most "socieltally correct" decision and act on that alone. You do not listen to your gut ('specially not on your feelings), you only listen to your thoughts. You do not feel, you only evaluate.

This is where you must now figure out what you are feeling.

(This is not the crazy part, and you should definitly do this) At the most basic level, how you feel about something is all based on a system of preference, that is then backed by emotions to be expressed because that is the nature of a social animal. The main trouble us people usually have (I think) is not knowing what you prefer. Instead of asking yourself what you prefer based on feeling, take the decision you have to make and break it down into a Cause and Effect section, and a Good/Bad section. (You must do this consciously, or, "manually"). Based on what you have broken down, looking at each part individually, you as a computer must decide which of your choices is the best to do. Example -
I have been told that for my next birthday, I am going on a family trip to Disney World. While there, it is planned that we will visit the Kennedy Space Center as a birthday gift. After that, I will have to fly home alone while my parents stay to have an Adults Only Get-away Vactation. This is also not a mandatory trip, although it is highly HIGHLY suggested that I go.

Evaluation -

Going on vaction isn't exactly something that I "need", so I could stay home.
BUT - Deciding to stay home would make my parents feel bad, especially my dad which is a bad thing regardless of my morals. I would also rather stay home so I could spend a "special day" with my girlfriend, but then again, she would also be made happy by me going to do something that I really find awesome (I'm a tad bit obsessed with space exploration and stuff, esp. the Apollo program) and having a Positive experience. So the "Happiness of other" is satisfied if I go.
I also get to miss a few days of school which is only good as far as not having to go. But I will end up missing work and having to make it up and I'll be behind which is a bad thing. BUT I can catch back up. Plus I'll get some slack from my teachers given that I was gone because of Family Vacation. This however, is not as impactful as to the question of satisfying the happiness of myself/others, so this point is not as important.
I also have to fly home alone. I've never done this before, but how hard can it be? My grandmother will be picking me up from the airport upon my arrival, so it's good that I don't have to drive home because it's not something I would want. I also get to be home alone for a whole week, and that's awesome because I don't have to deal with the social needs of my parents as well as not having to deal with listening to them talk. This makes this point Positive.
After a thorough evaluation, I have decided that it would be best to go. Therefore, because my evaluation says I should go, I should EXPRESS THAT I WANT TO GO (From the expressions I've learned, specifically the kind that's "Yeah, I'm really exited about going :D" or something).

Now, at first, that whole process may take a while in conversation-time standards, like a few seconds or so, but you get faster at doing that the more you actually work on making it fast. Aaaand this is where that crazy thing I've been telling you about that all of you are just DYING to know (sarcasm) comes into play.

A few years ago, I decided to force myself to do it quickly, and the way I chose to do that was to train myself to be able to think about multiple things at the same time. Yes, that's right, I have trained myself to have multiple voices in my head that all evaluate different parts of things together. To be more exact, that number is 4. I use all four of my "minds" to evaluate and my options to in the time it takes for one person to say something and then the other to respond. It all happens very quickly, and I am known for making split second decisions that are still the best kinds of solutions. This does help a lot, but not with as wide of a variety of things as you would think. It only helps with being social, since that's what I trained myself to do with them. This step is probably the hardest part to be honest XD. Don't let that discourage you though if this is something you would like to do as well. The only standard of difficulty to rate stuff on is the amount of time you have to put into it. The only real downside to being able to do this, is that I sometimes get multiple songs stuck in my head, and sing them in my head at the same time which can be annoying and chaotic. But if you're really looking into doing this, here's a mini tutorial -

Try playing to different songs in your head that you know well at the same time. Work on being able to separate them and not trip-up on the rhythm of one song while trying to play the other. It takes practice, and you really only need to have to do it until you can play two different songs in your head, and think about them separately and not "merge" them until it basically become as easy as any other habit. And then you work on a third, and maybe a forth. I don't want five, it's too much chaos XD.

I hope all of what you read makes sense and is helpful. Helping people when I get the chance is always a good thing, because it makes people some sort of happy, which is also a good thing. Also, please disregard all of the grammatical errors you may come across because I type this quickly and don't go back to spellcheck because I'm lazy and hate reading XD. I'm probably not done with my posting; there may still be things that I think of along the way that I might want to post about, and will do so assuming I have the time.

Again, I hope all this has been helpful and stuff, and I will still keep an eye on this sight and post on other topics that I deem worthy enough of my grace (more sarcasm). Oh and if you have the need/want to tell someone about this post, please do.

Best of luck to you, and you're welcome ^_^ (assuming you have the feels to thank me XD). Oh, and, don't be "afraid" to reply to this or something XD. I would like to get some words from people who have read this, so please, do that as well.

This was long but I'll never regret reading it
27.02.2014 _T('by') RottenHeresy

For now, imagine you are a computer who's only purpose is to evaluate and judge decisions. Your must only find the most efficient and most "socieltally correct" decision and act on that alone. You do not listen to your gut ('specially not on your feelings), you only listen to your thoughts. You do not feel, you only evaluate.

This is great, this is really good. Maybe even if I like it because I'm playing Portal and I'm a little obsessed with GLaDOS.

Btw, I have so many questions! I assume I am the only one who read the whole thing...but it was so brilliant! Well...

QUESTIONS
1) How do I learn to communicate with the body language and how do I make it seem real and not clearly fake since I'm not a good actress?
2) Since I feel emotions but I don't understand and recognize them and even less those of others (until they yell at me for my stiffness of course), how am I supposed to externalize them properly?

"FUN"FACTS
-I've been told my voice tone is really constant and it never changes even when I am sad or angry. Ha ha.
-How cute, I deal with 4 voices too, and I've been training myself the same way you do.
-My sight is always setted on an mischievous mode, can't figure out why and totally can't change it.

NOW, I don't want to be rude or something, but try to explain me this sentence because I want to know if it's me (and I'm here so of course it is) or whatever:
"When you look at me thinking you're being sweet and cute, you are totally not. Your eyes tell me that you are infatuated, BUT YOUR BODY DOESN'T."

What the...frick is this supposed to mean, what am I suppose to do? Should I do some birdish love dance or something?

By the way, I hope you reply soon, I'm too curious. That really helped! So...thanks.


p.s (how much are an alexithyminian thanks and social convention evaluated? Ha ha.)


Response to RottenHeresy
27.02.2014 _T('by') TheHumbleman

"Some birdish love dance or something" XD. I love it, so funny XD.
But no, no need do that.

I would like to have a little bit more information first before attempting to shed some more light on your inquires. For instance, who exactly are you talking about? I assume it's someone in close relation to you.. Buuuuut it's hard to deal with assumptions XD, and I don't like being wrong XP. So yeah, some more details would help me help you more if you're willing to provide them.

Post Script (because aberrations can be silly XD) - Oh hey, I'm not the only one who separates their mind as well XD. That's good I guess ^_^

to: TheHumbleman. Here's more.
05.03.2014 _T('by') RottenHeresy

So well...yes, I was talking about my boyfriend. Gosh we're all so selfish, we can't give pure (or not even impure) love but we want relationships.

To RottenHerecy
08.03.2014 _T('by') TheHumbleman

Took a bit longer than I would have liked to respond because school and homework and all that junk.. XP

BUT ANYWHO

1) You basically have to treat the study and practice of natural expressions like an art form, is that makes sense. Like a ballet player will practice by him/herself and kinda over express the natural fluidity of their expressive form, but not ACTUALLY over express, but would practice the calm, mature, and professional side of practicing expression.

I picked up a lot of stuff from watching movies and cartoons, and memorized faces and body movements that I see every now and again that are things I see REAL people do. I generally didn't practice a lot except for "live action" scenarios where I would have to actually use a certain expression, and try to get it as close as what I think I see on TV on the first go. But to actually practice, I would pay VERY close attention to your facial muscles and how you can move them, and try to mimic what you see. Like, if you see someone move one side of their lips down at a 45° angle, try to make your own lip go down at what you would feel as that angle on your own face. Or your could just practice in a mirror and try to "mirror" (haha..) what you see WHILE still paying very close attention to your facial muscles. Here's something you can practice with - Move one of your eyebrows up, and bring the other one down a little, and also turn your head to the left a bit. This face is what I can the "Questionable 'not sure what you mean'" face. You don't need to be any sort of Leonardo DiCaprio type actor quality person dude bro, but like any human action, it just takes practice.

2) You basically just have to pay attention to everything your body is doing, and do what you learn to be societally correct in/for whatever situation you may be in. If you're stiff, just "melt" and loosen all of your muscles (lower shoulders, relax arms and legs, exhale as you do those things, stuff like that), even if it's to the point that you slide out of your chair and onto the floor. Just let that happen, but don't do that in front of other people of course XD (the sliding out of your chair part unless you're trying to be some sort of "Weird Silly"). But just loosen up, take note of where your muscles naturally fall to, and go from there to express... well.. expressions.

"When you look at me thinking you're being sweet and cute, you are totally not. Your eyes tell me that you are infatuated, BUT YOUR BODY DOESN'T." - Basically what this means is that when you think your do some expression or say something in a certain way to try to be sweet, it isn't done correctly and looks like you're "trying" to be sweet which leads to a sense of something similar to sarcasm but without any.. I guess actually, someone who's in love and acts like it but you can tell they're faking it kind of thing. Not saying you're faking love, but it's something along those lines is what the other person takes from the situation, which is where the negative perception of you comes from. It's kinda like being that one hopeless guy on TV who always tries to get the girl, but approaches the situation WAAAYY to strongly or in the wrong way and puts the girl he's trying to get into awkward feelingness which then leads to the girl throwing water into his face or something. He still TRIES to be cute and sweet and wildly attractive, but does it in the wrong way. Again, not saying that's exactly what's going on, but it's just that kind of effect. You have to follow the lines of what the person who you are trying to be sweet perceives as sweet, which, little known bit of info that's totally helpful, follows the ideals of those seen in a Romantic Comedy. You see, relationship-conscience people generally try to hold what they want to see from their special person to the standards of a romantic comedy. You don't have to be the perfect storybook Prince/Princess, but doing a few sweet and unexpected things you see in romance movies can really turn someone on as far as liking you as their significant other goes. Like (because I'm a guy, Imma use an example for something sweet a guy would do.. because you know.. I'm a dude.) Say your wife/gf is having a long and stressful day at work, and tells mentions that over text. Offer a few "Aww.. I'm sorry"s and stuff like that, and then secretly but discretely to something small yet sweet like this - Leave a little note on the table or whatever counter-top surface is near to the door where she comes in at. Make it obvious and easily spot-able when she walks in. And also don't let her see you (but don't hide behind something because that's weird) until after she's read it. I imagine this note to be one of those tri-fold papers things, with a little heart on the outside front of it for her to see. Then on the other side (she'll check to see if there's something on the back, don't worry) it would say something sweet like "Sorry you had a rough day. But everything is okay now because you're home and I'm here for you. I love you ^_^". SOMETHING like that. That would make her feel happy and THEN you come around the corner and be all nonchalant about the note. But see, it's the little unexpected and cute things that are the real kicker.
I just realized I went off on a tangent.
BACK TO YOUR QUESTION
As for your eyes and body - I think he means that you have the little "I hope you can see that I'm trying to be sweet (or) I love you" twinkle in your eyes, but the rest of your body is kinda like that one awkward guy on the dancefloor who can't dance for crap but is still doing so, and doing all of these weird and crazy spasms to the beat of le moosik. You just have to find out what normal people would do when confronted by or when saying/doing sweet things for their significant other, and practice practice practice until you feel fluid and correct with it. The internet is a surprisingly helpful place for those kinds of things.

If you have anymore questions, just send them my way and I'll gladly answer them.

Totally spelled your name wrong.. Oops XD. Sorry XD.
08.03.2014 _T('by') TheHumbleman

RottenHeresy
There XD

...
29.03.2014 _T('by') ttme123

Luckily since I was really young when I began to notice that I didn't "feel" like everyone else, I've had plenty of practice faking emotions and can generally convince people if I want. Obviously doing this 24/7 can be exhausting, and I want my friends and family to at least kind of know me, so I've made sure they know that I don't care nearly as much. We joke about how I'm "completely emotionless" but they don't realize how literal it is.

And the computer thing is also very accurate, I've always compared my thought process and especially my "imagination" (which is generally more logical than someone who doesn't have Alexi, and I utilize it for my benefit) to that of a computer, and think of and treat myself like a robot. In fact, I actually wrote a paper about all of that, and I'll probably post it somewhere on this site at sone point.

Uhhh just sharing?
12.05.2014 _T('by') Erina

Just stumble upon this website and it's my first time posting. The word Alexithymia is kinda new to me, cause I always thought I have some brain damage injury and what not. I had a really bad knock on my forehead, twice, when I was younger. I don't know if it's one of the causes of it. Just wondering does MRI helps to tell what's going on with the brain? MRI in my country is incredibly expensive and there's so many 'specialised doctors' you have to go through before doing the actual thing. Plus. even if officially diagnosed, I'll be labelled entirely in my health records.

So basically my test score was 163 points and sometimes I do really feel that I'm not even normal. And yes, like what ttme123 mentioned, you just have to 'feel' what people wants you to feel cause you don't know how to actually do it.
At times people tell me I don't have a funny bone and why am I being so serious all the time. When people tell me their problems, in my mind I'll be like, "Okayyyyy, why are you asking me? I can help you to solve but I won't understand how you feel even though you're crying, or mad." By the way, I have a personality test result of 'INTJ'.

When I tell people about my problems, some say I'm delusional or maybe just thinking too much. I'm the cause of being of what I am now. Oh, change yourself for the better. These are all just things that people wants you to believe in cause I always read up about disorders and such. Or maybe, just full of assumptions.

Apparently this condition of me not feeling anything is getting out of control. I have a fiance and of course, kinda obvious I'm getting married, but maybe not. He always tells me that "The things that you do doesn't show that you love or cherish the relationship", which obviously I do care. Then what do you want me to do?

There goes the time he'll be like "You still don't know how to make up to it", usually after I done something wrong. I'm not referring to sexual stuffs, but more like an apology. Sometimes, I don't know what is an apology cause as far as I know, apology is with feelings, being remorseful or guilty but I don't feel that way. It 'feels' like saying a word for the sake of saying it.

So now it's on the verge of breaking off and for some reason, I felt nothing. He's actually a perfect guy btw but I just seems to not understand him, like what he always says. Probably neither do he understands me what I'm going through. I mean, it's ultimately insensitive to tell your partner that, "Hey, I actually don't feel anything and neither do I understand how you feel but actually do care about the both of us". Obviously it's a trip to hell.

But the funny thing is, when I watch movies or maybe just cartoons or just a short videos, the part whereby you're supposed to cry you don't and vice versa. When I did cry, it's just words that are touching but I actually don'y understand what the character is feeling. Probably that's why I hate watching movies and rather read encyclopedia.

Sometimes I don't know what I cry or laugh or get mad for and when people ask, it's like "HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO ANSWER THIS HARDEST QUESTION EVER?" I felt like I have major split personalities, a Gemini btw. At times it just comes naturally and sometimes I actually do realise, only after reflecting. So, there's me with being an elitist and superb leadership skills. There's me being all so depressive and rather die. Then me, wanting the perfect life of having perfect relationship, a normal job and education. And there's me, stuck in a twelve year old body, I still love watching cartoon shows though I'm already in my 20s. And finally me, rather to be alone cause I can do everything all by myself cause I don't have to deal with people feelings.

Okay, that's all for now. Gonna have breakfast.








Re: Erina
13.05.2014 _T('by') ttme123

Don't worry, Alwxithymia isn't a mental problem or anything like that, it's just a persinality trait (one that, in other circumstances, I wouldn't mind, but with the ways that society reacts I realize that it is generally a troublesome trait. Also, I realize that a non-Alexi me would likely hate the current me, which is anoyher reason why I see Alexi as being troublesome.) You don't need any tests or MRIs.
I know exactly where you're coming from. I believe that at some point I nade a post on here saying my personality type was ISTP, but the test score I was using was a but outdated, and I recently retook it and got INTP, which I hve found to be more accurate regarding my current self. One personality trait of INTPs is a weird and har to appreciate sense of humor, as well as the incapability to understand feelings. (Both of which apply to me). Also, as rationals and as thinkers we tend to remove ourselves not only from emotions but also in some cases from our bodies as much as we can. Basically, by the sounds of it, Alexithymia is a quality of INTPs, and possibly other personality types as well. Really, there is not any way to change this, it's just who you are. One thing that really helps is explaing all of this to your friends and family, and possibly showing them this website, to point out which posts describe you and how you feel. If/once they understand that you're not just being stuck up, they will be much more likely to understad and deal better with it. Also, when making new friends/relationships, looking for other INTPs is ideal, as well as other rationals (xNTx) and other Thinkers (xxTx), as they will likely understand better. If you look up INTP, you can find advice on which personalities best supposet you, and how to work on interacting with people you already know better.
Once again, be sure to show the people you know articles on Alexithymja, so that they understand that you do actually care, and then show them this website to show that you're not just crazy, this is a real thing that other people have too.
Apologies can be very hard, or seem pointless. This is especially true since/when you're generally arguing over feelings, which you ignore and look at things from a rational point of view. This leads you to believe that you're right, and that there really is no room for opinions when, logically, you're right. Apologizing can therefore feel fake, but its important not only to slavage you're relationships, but also because you need to realize and admit that logic doesn't necessarily doninate over feelings, feelings are also important. (Unfortunatly, we tend to have it ingrained in our minds that logic is better than emotions, and is always right. Even though I told you to acknowledge that they're equal, I don't truly believe so myself, I just hope you can.) If you cannot, then you must at least admit that feelings are important because they're important to other people, who are important because they are necessary for you to accomplish anything, and that attending to others' feelings will benefit you.
I do the same thing with movies, when sad scenes are on screen I'm more likely to sneer than to cry, and when I do get upset over stuff in movies, its because I realize the terrible consequences of something that's happened. This is also a trait of INTPs (because we are theoretical, logical, and are best at seeing the big picture and how things connect.)

RE: ttme123
12.08.2014 _T('by') Eye

Wow, I've learned a lot by reading your post. I will admit I'm not really alexithymic myself, though I have had some of these experiences before, it helps me to understand alexithymic people better. I know the post is old, but I would like to add that from what I have gleaned from scientific papers and the personal writing of some alexithymics, the cause can be rather complicated. It is not always just a "personality trait", but can be precursors to certain disorders. It can be the result of upbringing or brain injuries like Erina may have sustained. We just don't know enough about it like a lot of other disorders/personality traits for lack of a better term. I think scientists are reluctant to try and differentiate alexithymia brought about by "physical" things like a brain injury and those that happen through neglect or abuse or a predisposition from birth because it is...well, complicated at this point. I stumbled across a website from someone who claimed to be alexithymic (and some scientific papers) who believe it is important to make that distinction because it can be better treated based on its cause (granted you want to be treated and feel it impedes your ability to live a full life) which I find makes a lot of sense. The alexithymic individual claimed therapy and "immersion" with emotional people helped him "recover" so to speak.

Example, if it is a brain injury, it is not something that will be "fixed" by therapy because it is a permanent part of the brain structure at this point, but they can taught to cope, similar to all the suggestions you have listed for yourself ( not saying you have a brain injury). If it's someone who was neglected as a child, it may be possible to improve through therapy. I will admit it seems a bit disturbing to me that some alexithymics start to "act" for others, which seems rather deceptive and unhealthy for everyone. I realize emotions have a heavy weight in our society so one needs to "get with the program" so to speak if you want to survive, so I don't mean it in a disparaging way. I just felt it would be appropriate to let some alexithymics know that there is hope if they do want to change and they meet certain criteria. Some seem comfortable with it and may possibly be "born with it" as a trait, so as I said before, it is a very complicated issue from my understanding. I just find this all very fascinating and I know a couple people who I think are alexithymic, so yeah.

I have to put it into mathematical formula
06.03.2015 _T('by') DXS

Sometimes I have to generate mathematical formulas to guage the "reaction." That's the only "logical" way I can do it.

For example, in dating, I have a math rule:

It's not a "relationship" unless it's been six months or 26 dates, whichever comes LAST. This rule used to just stymie people who wondered why I needed a math formula to guage a relationship.

Logic doesn't work
10.03.2015 _T('by') Franmail

In my experience logic really doesn't work. It is not what people who are into feelings want. I have been told by people that I am too logical, or logic isn't what I need right now. I am a caring person and people I've known do recognise that but I don't seem to react in a caring way as instantly as I should. It takes me a few seconds, or minutes, or sometimes even longer to realise that they needed something caring from me and often it's too late by then. Sometimes I can explain it to people. One of they ways I've explained is by telling a story of when me and my brother were playing trivial pursuit, the question was a science one (actually maths) and he said - you're too good at maths you've only got 10 seconds. So I said OK and he said the question: what's 40% of 40. So I said 16 immediately without needing 10 seconds. The reason I could do that is because I know 4*4 is 16 and 16 felt the right size. I liken my ability to do that to the way most people can read emotions and react appropriately. They can gauge the situation and feel their way to the answer by intuition. Most people might need a calculator or maybe a bit more time to work out 40% of 40 and that's the way I am with emotional stuff. Which is why I don't always pick up things on time and people think I'm cold. But I'm not.

Things that help: Always speak up when you do finally figure it out and apologise for taking so long. People generally appreciate that.
React emotionally even if you don't feel it. So if someone tells you a sad story you need to say something like "Oh my god! That's terrible. How did you feel?" Asking them how they feel helps, even if you're not feeling much they like to get it off their chest so just by asking them you help them and they won't notice that you don't feel much. If it's some good news you need to say "Wow! How exciting!" and sound like you mean it.
Be appreciative. Say thank you to people when they do something nice. Apologise if you are not being immediately helpful because you are in your own little world and didn't notice. Thanking people and saying sorry always goes a long way to making them feel OK about you.
Listen to music and try to get into the feelings expressed in the music, that can open you up to more emotions and also it can help you communicate your emotions better because I lot is expressed in songs and you can quote bits out of songs when you're trying to explain yourself.
If you can't express your emotions ask for help. Explain that you feel emotional confusion and ask them to help you untangle it. Then you can listen to their suggestions and pick the one/s that make sense. Be careful with this one though, make sure you only do that with people you really trust.
Ground yourself. I read a great book once about how to get out of our heads and into our hearts and it talked about grounding, which is basically an exercise where you consciously try to feel the soles of your feet on the ground. It makes a surprising difference if you do it religiously.

OMG!
10.03.2015 _T('by') DXS

Fran, I know how you feel! I am SOOOO into logic, but people get upset when you "Mr. Spock" them.

I would ask my mom, "Why did you do that, it's not logical" only to have her shut me down and *I'm* wrong for asking the question.

Let it happen
14.03.2015 _T('by') DXS

I'm female, but as I child, I saw, in my environment (school and home) that "crying" was kind of a "girlie" thing and I didn't want to identify with the "girlie" things. So, I sort of taught myself not to cry. Generally, I don't cry easily unless animal cruelty is involved. (I cannot watch a TV ad from the Humane Society, I have to turn the channel. Meanwhile, the "starving kids in Africa" doesn't even phase me.)

I have found that it helps to just "let it happen." If you feel like crying, let it happen (Male or Female). Then, look at what it was that made you cry. This will give you some insight into what motivates and moves you.

The whole 9/11 thing brought tears to my eyes, even though I didn't personally know anyone. The Flight 93 thinig, too, and the A&E movie on Flight 93 brought tears to my eyes. (On the other hand, the UNITED 93 movie that was shown in theaters just didn't do a thing for me. I think the difference is that on the A&E version, the characters were "named" but on the theater one, no "names" were used....)

A few years ago, I saw the movie THE GUARDIAN with Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher. This movie was about Coast Guard rescue swimmers. The ending of the movie was very powerful. Made me cry.

I have concluded from these experiences that "courage" is something important to me.

I also recently saw the movie WILD, with Reese Witherspoon. There was nothing sad in the movie, but I burst into tears at the end. I'm still trying to figure this one out.

But as I said, it helps if you note when you have an emotional reaction and then see what caused it.

Login