That sneaky, sneaky truth…

It’s publicly broadcasted introspection time! Hip-hip, huzzah! (It’s a writer thing. At least, I think it’s a writer thing. Other Writers, you do this soul-searching-and-exposition thing too, right? Please say yes. Anyway.)

I’ve recently come to realize that if I reveal an emotion I am capable of concealing, especially if the feeling is negative, I feel manipulative. I even feel that way with happiness or thankfulness or other such things, at times.

So if I show a fraction of my sorrow/angst/pain/exhaustion, when I KNOW I could hide it with a stiffer effort, I feel as though I’m acting it on purpose to play on people’s empathy, like a sneaky douche. In other words, I feel like I’m being my main character, Syawn.

There’s one major difference, fortunately—very major. When Sy is acting, it’s exactly that: an act. He conjures the emotions for the express purpose of displaying them to manipulate people to his nefarious ends.
That’s different from revealing a little of your truth, even if concealing is your natural state.

For instance, I recently let myself wince in front of my sensei, when I knew I could stop myself. It only showed about a half of my pain at that moment, but I still felt like I was manipulating him into going easier on me.

Now, to be clear, I reveal these fragments rather regularly, based on the idea that it would be a bad idea to conceal my emotional/physical pain too much, that going against my natural grain is the wise thing to do in this case.
But I still feel a little guilty about it. Like my bad feelings are things I should be working out and coming to terms with in private on my own time, not something the people in my life ought to be burdened with. Better to step quietly into the bathroom to bite my lip and run warm water over it. Better to step quietly into the bedroom to cry and talk myself through it. Except that it’s not.

I don’t do this. I know better. I talk to people about my drama. I ask Mom for a homeopathic when something hurts. Usually. But it goes against my bent, and sometimes, it feels unfair to people.

Why, my natural bent is so reserved in display that, even though I’m a teen-aged poet, I only wrote two angsty poems about an unrequited crush (Some of my friends tell me it’s love. Whatever my thoughts may be, I prefer to call it a crush. See what I mean?), and both poems were very restrained and actually wryly perky in nature.

Yes, even my little-teen-girl-heartache poetry is largely upbeat.

No, I don’t know why.

No, I’m not posting them here! What if he found them? I’d feel like a dreadfully manipulative sneaky douche…

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7 comments

  1. PS: If my sensei should happen to read this, I wish to assure him that I don’t carry this idea into tapping out. I know tapping isn’t manipulative; it’s clearly agreed-upon communication. Don’t worry. About that, anyway.

  2. Don’t worry, I think if you’re worrying about it, it just shows that the negative intent isn’t there. I find myself worrying about manipulating people as well, but then I think ‘well, if I really was, I probably wouldn’t be worrying about it, I’d be going “Yay, I got what I wanted!”‘.

    Bottling isn’t good though. How people think and feel is the reason we connect with them. Having feelings (even negative ones), and expressing them doesn’t make you a bad person, or a manipulator, or some kind of super villain luring people into your evil torture lair by tricking them into thinking they can relate to you because you have emotions. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s part of how your mind works, and the only reason anyone likes anyone is because of how their mind works (OK, and maybe a bit more superficially how they look, but only sometimes).

    As long as you don’t post every five seconds on Facebook about how you’re feeling, you’re fine. If you start posting on Facebook every five seconds about you’re feeling, well, then it’s time for an intervention, by which I mean cutting your internet cable and locking you in a dark room…

    1. Re: luring people into your evil torture lair via the expression of your feelings? It doesn’t work. Believe me, I’ve tried.

      And just so you know, Ink Caster, wearing your heart on your blog like this totally manipulated me into leaving a comment. Go write a perky angst poem about your soul-deep remorse, why don’t you.

    2. Oh noes! My wicked ways have forced people into commenting! This will haunt me all me days, or at least for the next week or so!

      Wait, you say such machinations don’t work? Well crap.

    3. First of all, thanks for assuming a lack of negative intent. It’s sweet. For all you know, I AM, as you put it, “some kind of super villain luring people into your evil torture lair by tricking them into thinking they can relate to you because you have emotions.” Still loling over that phrase, fyi. XD

      But yeah, that makes sense. There would probably be less guilt and more satisfaction in such a case.

      In any event, I make up for it by feeling stupid for feeling guilty. Or, wait, does that compound matters?

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