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Posted by: forgotmyname ( )
Date: September 11, 2018 12:13PM

Where does the idea that you shouldn't talk about your emotions (especially if they're not "happy") come from? I ask because I understand this is a typically Mormon thing, but I'm reading a book about a woman who grew up in an emotionally distant family. She was completely non-religious, but never talking openly about emotions was a hallmark of her upbringing.

What causes people/families -- regardless of religion -- to do this? What are the roots of emotional suppression?

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: September 11, 2018 12:30PM

Mormons consider it poor form to show sadness. They think it shows that Satan and not the Holy Ghost is taking charge of you.

Mormons are expected to brag about their blessings and hold in disappointment and stress.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 11, 2018 12:33PM

Mormons are supposed to be the shiny happy people. I think many attempt to show their sunny sides a lot but I know of a bunch of Debbie Downers.

In the bifurcated world of Mormonism male patriarchy rules and so show of emotion requires divine intervention unless you are a woman who according to them is spiritual all the time so able to cry without the spirit.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: September 11, 2018 12:52PM

Emotions are complicated and require thinking and evaluation. All of that is problematic in a religion of pat answers and shallow inspections.

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Posted by: forgotmyname ( )
Date: September 11, 2018 01:39PM

I know why Mormons do it. I was raised Mormon. I understand why it would be problematic within a religious construct.

My question is about where it actually comes from, given that the woman in my example (in her memoir) was not religious, yet had this same family dynamic.

Does anyone know the root cause of emotional distance/disconnect? If there are no religious expectations of being sunshiney all the time, then what other reasons might there be for the inability to discuss a broader emotional depth?

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: September 11, 2018 01:41PM

Irreligious people might also find emotions to be too complicated to deal with.

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: September 11, 2018 01:54PM

I was never taught how to deal with anger. I just wasn't supposed to be angry at my sisters, who drove me nearly insane growing up.

When my ex had left me and I was back in a relationship with my old boyfriend, he asked me one day who taught me that I could be angry. I talked to my therapist about it and we have talked about it a lot over the years.

I tend to be passive UNTIL and then I explode. My therapist has tried to help me with this for years now. I'm not doing very well at it. Don't know if I ever will. I am incapable of getting my point across without "losing it." I don't know how.

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Posted by: GregS ( )
Date: September 11, 2018 02:19PM

Emotions can be messy if you never learned how to manage them, and you can't manage them if you were never even taught to acknowledge them.

Much like cl2, I was never taught how to deal with anger, and any displays of anger were quickly addressed by my father's anger. The same went for frustration, fear, sadness, etc. My dad felt all were signs of weakness and had to be tamped down...hard.

And like cl2 again, all I learned was how to ignore the emotions (mostly the negative ones, but also the positive) until the pressure built to a point where they would explode.

I finally learned on my own that there was no denying the emotions, and they were best managed by relieving the pressure long before they became unmanageable. I also learned that my dad didn't have any better idea how to deal with emotions than I did, and that it was another way we were more alike than either of us would care to admit.

Though my dad was a compassionate man, which he directed more outside our family, I had to learn compassion towards those closest to me on my own.

RfM is the pressure relief valve that allows me to remain compassionate towards my wife when I want to scream that she's in a frakking cult.

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Posted by: lisadee ( )
Date: September 11, 2018 08:50PM

Sadly, many people are reared in emotionally distant families.
Many people don't know how to show emotion because it was never positively modeled for them.
Husbands/fathers
Wives/mothers...every family dynamic

Many fathers and mothers think providing for their children is showing "love" to them. They never hug, kiss or tell their children so.

Little boys are taught not to cry.
Little girls are told not to be "cry babies."

Healthy emotional displays are never taught or exampled.

Many children DO express anger thru speech and behavior because that is what they see at home....either mama or daddy screams, curses or throws things at home. Sometimes, passive-agressive behavior is modeled at home. So, children grow up learning how to manipulate.

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Posted by: thedesertrat1 ( )
Date: September 12, 2018 02:22PM

It is my opinion that repressing emotions can lead to a buildup and eruption similar to Krakatoa east of Java. Or perhaps Mt. St, Helens. The internal pressure reaches a point where it just blows the lid off.
I have occasionally seen this in my lifetime. It is terrifying to observe. However a periodic release of emotion will allow the person to stabilize and pursue life in a productive manner.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: September 12, 2018 02:41PM

My mother always appeared to be as tough as the proverbial nails - until my father died. She had always been nasty, judgmental, and angry (except with him,) but after he died, she was so lost that she could only find release in alcohol.

She was, in the words of my son, "a nasty sober, but an even worse drunk."

She was always uncomfortable in discussing emotions. I remember asking her, once, how a friend of hers was doing following the death of the friend's husband. After a moment of icy silence, Mother replied, formally, "It is never discussed." I exploded, "WHY?? She is your FRIEND! What DO you talk about?" She replied, "News, world events, things like that."

I was stunned. My best friend and I shared EVERYTHING. Isn't that was close friends are for?

And we weren't even Mormon, back then.

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Posted by: gemini ( )
Date: September 12, 2018 06:48PM

I observed this trait in reading some of my mormon ancestors' life stories. It was all facts and very cut and dried. Deaths were stated matter-of-factly (even children). I wanted so much to hear about how they FELT when these things happened, but I never gleaned any emotion from any of it.

Now, I've started to sort out my life experiences and figuring out what to save for posterity. I wrote stuff down during some very emotionally devastating times and some of it almost seems like TOO much emotion. But, it was what I was experiencing at that time and I am inclined to let it pass to the family.

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Posted by: badam2 ( )
Date: September 12, 2018 11:52PM

I still don't know what feeling emotions means exactly. Been stoic without personality for so d#mn long. I do feel fear though.

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Posted by: Nottelling ( )
Date: September 13, 2018 12:54PM

I am a non mormon and same in my family, we are Jewish (not religious) and everyone is happy all the time.

My mother (parents are divorced) never shows anything but happiness and laughter and she is surrounded by dysfunction but never complains about it.

I think this is a universal problem and not related to religion at all. If we really dig deep we will have to make some uncomfortable life choices if we are honest, so I believe people are taught to hold everything in and make the best of it.

"It is what it is" is my favorite quote and to me applies to most life situations.

I do talk about my emotions frequently to my husband and he says I talk to much about it and he is so proud that he is able to feel the same way but doesn't talk about it (he was raised catholic).

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Posted by: mightybuffalo ( )
Date: September 13, 2018 01:33PM

Idealism.

It plagues me. It suppresses reality. And reality doesn't feel good all the time. And if you don't feel good, how can you "feel the Spirit"?

Thus, happiness becomes a "choice"-- the same way many mormons consider faith.

And if it is a choice, that means you can exercise agency. And if you can exercise agency, that means one option must be "better" than the other. Faith became better (holier, less sinful, righteous, more coveted) than doubt. Happiness became better (holier, less sinful, righteous, more coveted) than adverse emotions.


I think I believe that we should seek contentment and acceptance of our current states- regardless of belief or emotion. After a certain point, those things are just biochemical experiences our body goes through.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 13, 2018 02:12PM

mightybuffalo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think I believe that we should seek contentment
> and acceptance of our current states- regardless
> of belief or emotion. After a certain point, those
> things are just biochemical experiences our body
> goes through.

This is ideal. :)

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Posted by: Nottelling ( )
Date: September 13, 2018 04:45PM

mightybuffalo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

After a certain point, those
> things are just biochemical experiences our body
> goes through.

Exactly!!

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: September 13, 2018 04:16PM

The gospel brings JOY into our lives. If we exhibit a lack of
OY then we're obviously not living the gospel. So make it a rule
to NEVER exhibit a lack of JOY to anyone.

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