Emotions, Relationships and Break-Ups
Emotions are a funny thing - they creep up on you, surprise you with their strength and can often be difficult to decipher. Emotions are powerful and complicated.
Our emotions are so closely related to those around us. If those around us are upbeat and happy, usually we are too. If our best friend is upset, we can’t help but feel some of that ourselves. And as little as a smile from a stranger can bring unexpected joy.
I write this in regards to relationships, which are undoubtedly a cobweb of affections, sentiments and feelings. When you invest in a relationship, you invest your own emotional state in someone else. You allow that persons mood to affect your own, their actions to influence yours and you allow their opinion to determine how you see yourself. As a relationship gets closer, the more control you give that person over your emotions - its a powerful and delicate business.
Having gone through a break-up in the previous year I’ve learnt a great deal about emotional investment. I see it as a pile of pebbles (for lack of a better analogy). Within a relationship you give your other half a huge proportion of these pebbles; regardless of whether you know you have let them go or whether they know they are carrying them. Within the relationship this can be such a joy and privilege - a chance to shape each other and to grow together, developing a deeper connection. However, when things don’t work out, you suddenly end up having these peebles returned to you. In the initial stages of a break up you get a large proportion of these pebbles handed back, and usually you don’t know how to process this new weight; Who am I going to share my happy times with? Who is going to remind me of my self worth? (Who am I going to share this hilarious gif with?) This is why break-ups are so difficult. Its unsettling having all your investments jumbled and dislodged. And this is also why getting over a break-up takes time - relocating your pebbles isn’t done overnight. Gradually you redistribute these pebbles in new places. For me it was friends. Those hours spent with my boyfriend and the support he gave me was now coming from others around me. As our friendships grew deeper so did our investments in each other. I learned the value of spreading the load, trusting 4 of my closest friends to carry them - instead of just one boyfriend. I guess its analogous to the phrase ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’.
This analogy is a bit naff but I think its a good depiction of how relationships work. I hope it makes you think: Who have you invested in? Who do you allow to affect your emotional state? Who’s mood do you allow to affect your own? And who do you thing has thought you trustworthy enough to invest their own emotions in?
As I write this I am thankful for my friends, my flatmates, who undoubtedly carry many of my pebbles. And I am thankful for circumstances that lead to me having to reshuffle my investments. They have allowed me to develop deeper and closer friendships that I could ever have before and they have provided me with such a good, healthy support system.
I guess all I hope from this post is to emphasise the power of emotions. Hopefully to make you consider your own, and make you think a little more about the people you allow to affect them. But also to create in you a respect for them - I plead with you to remember their strength and delicacy in situations where you have the power to sway the emotions of others. Carry the pebbles people have given you carefully: don’t underestimate the influence you can have.