Emotional Barriers: The Stigmas By Katherine March

The common displacement of thought over emotion is often thrown hard at women in today’s world of dating and/or overall romance. It projects onto the stigma that women are overall more emotional than men and don’t put thought into situations once their feelings are involved. While women tend to project out the feeling that men lack both empathy and sympathy when it comes to emotional expression. I wouldn’t say those notions are completely wrong but it has built up a very big emotional barrier for the genders when it comes to romance. The stigmas that divide us emotionally can divide us all across the board.


Why do I say this? From having a multitude of conversations with women and a few men, I have come to find that in their previous and also current relationships women are pointed out to being the over emotional counterpart who lack critical thinking when issues arise. They deal with being told they are overreacting when they feel discomfort within their relationships and decide to speak up about it. On the other hand, their romantic counterparts are derived as having little to no emotion when things are possibly bothering them within the relationship. It is true that women can at times be far more emotional than men but men do have their own emotional battles which make them feel less open to releasing their feelings. That within itself causes patterns of distance in men when it comes to displaying their emotions to others.

Imagine being a man and feeling like “men don’t cry” or “men have to always be strong”. The emotional stigmas follow both genders which can make what should be a prospering relationship somewhat hard. I’m not a love doctor or scientist but I have lived through a few horrific yet decent relationships. It’s a push pull kind of thing when both people have been twisted and turned into not feeling as if expressing their emotions can be perfectly normal actions or something that’s not effective.


The hardest part I have found for men is opening up to their woman and their woman gets upset later down the line and brings it up to hurt them or make them feel less masculine for doing so. That will always be a big no. For women the biggest issue is opening up to their man only for them to express little to no concern or change as well as making them feel that they are crazy for feeling the way they feel. That’s a big no also. I have heard of many reasons why the dismay to express emotions to a loved one occurs but those are some of the most heard reasons between genders. It matters how you react and it matters how you don’t react. Learning when to comfort someone and when to back off is a gift. Learning when to not be self pretentious and instead be empathetic is an even greater gift. These can cut down some of the egocentric and psychosocial negative responses and reactions couples have when they express themselves to one another.


The gross part about why people don’t express their emotions in relationships is because often times the people we get comfortable with use our truths as well as traumas against us when anger approaches. People can do this to each other in relationships. The discomfort in that will teach them to be more standoffish and silent when it comes to opening up. Communication is always keen and key when trying to build a foundation and future. Our emotional balances as well as imbalances come into play when trying to implement this. Where is the common ground? How can we begin to take the emotional stigmas placed upon emotional freeness amongst the genders in relationships off the table? No matter what your preference is with whom you date; you deserve to feel free in expressing your feelings with that person you plan to love and build with without it making you feel on edge any moment you even think of doing so.


In my suggestion, it’s called self respect of personal boundaries and emotions. Have we every really given ourselves an open ground to express our feelings as well create healthy boundaries? Most times, no. How can we expect what we vaguely know nothing of from others when we haven’t yet explored them amongst ourselves? As I always say, you can wish to have anything in this life but it doesn’t mean you’ll always get it. Imagine being in love, exclusive for months to even years, and not knowing the emotional boundaries of your relationship because you both have a fear of being misjudged because of stigmas that have led you to believe your feelings are useless or overbearing. Imagine that discomfort lingering for periods after periods of time building up more resentment within you. The resentment you carry from relationship to relationship. That’s not a safe or secure psychosocial approach to dating or relationships. It’s being built on unsteady ground. Once we learn to respect and be open in those areas we can respect our lovers as well. Always stop and put yourself in their shoes before you undermine or misjudge them for their emotional aspects towards you all’s relationship. They are allowed to have boundaries within the relationship just as you are. If you cross them knowingly or unknowingly be able to sit down and discuss it and work towards fixing it without an argument arising. The same respect you want others deserve as well, especially your mate. That’s why it’s always good to listen, reflect and then speak. Too often we are quick to speak and slow to listen. In relationships we have to grasp the emotional comforts and discomforts of our partners. Everyone deserves that luxury from their partners. That’s one way stigmas can be beat. Emotions in a relationship from both counterparts are important and nothing to be seen as “too much”, “extra”, or “too sensitive”. Those are natural humanistic traits we all have and should feel free to release especially with those we love, desire to trust and commit to.

Listening and becoming objective and not subjective is one great method for communicating. When we learn to be objective in our communicative process we teach ourselves not to be biased when our mates come to us in need to express themselves. I know sometimes in relationships we feel we have become one but not really. Our counterparts are entitled to not feel how we feel at all times so be mindful not to always project your views and emotions onto them when they want you to understand the differences they feel in certain situations or circumstances. That’s when it goes into subjective interference; something we are all guilty of at times because those are our own biased thoughts and feelings. We can sometimes push those off on others even when the scenario doesn’t fit that bill at all.


Overall, the emotional barrier between people of all genders lack both empathy and sympathy. It also lacks both innerstanding and understanding. What are we as a collection in the black community doing to lessen this stigmas? Some of us are getting therapy. Some of us are turning to spiritual healing while a few of us do absolutely nothing. Those of us who are getting the help we need will and are going on to build healthier and more loving relationships. We will also enter into the dating world healed and willing to not be a burden to the right one. It’s ok to listen to your partner sometimes instead of always trying to get a word in. Learning to share collective emotions without it ending in turmoil makes for a more comforting relationship as well as a more open relationship. Never make your partner feel like their feelings are a burden or something to use to dangle over their heads when the times are rough. It should always be understood and accepted that you both have feelings that are equally as important and should be taken into consideration. When it comes to relationships we all require attention, love, commitment and dedication and that’s on all spectrums. So, with that being said, let’s start breaking away those subconscious emotional barries we have built and heal and do away with the love disconnection stigmas we have started in relationships in our community. Let’s be open minded, willing to understand and able to commit to the healing process.

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