Article 1 - Emotional Assumptions

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I have always been an emotionally robust guy. In high-stress situations, if there was a guy who was keeping his calm and on top of things, it was Yunus.

The highs and lows of life just seemed to be managed effortlessly. I could just alter my mindset to see things productively and proactively. I was never anxious, because angst was just wasting energy on things I could not change right now. I was never scared because in almost all cases, there was no immediate danger. I was almost never upset because in the balance of things, there is ample amount of happiness coming my way. I was seldom angry because anger or aggression was never the solution to my problems. I was emotionally efficient.

To help me reach this level of efficiency, I had developed "Yunus 2.0". "Yunus 2.0" was just myself in any situation, but who had harnessed anticipated hindsight to view and react to things in the most "productive" way to help me get over things. So say I was angry, I may be inclined to express this as aggression and lash out, but "Yunus 2.0" recognised that aggression did more harm than good and thus would remain calm and de-escalate the situation. So that is what I did.

The danger was "Yunus 2.0" could be applied to everything. The more I would ask myself "what would Yunus 2.0 do?" or "how would Yunus 2.0 think?", the more I started to forego those questions in the first place. The more "Yunus 2.0" became my natural modus operandi. My "natural" state became incredibly efficient. I was incredibly emotionally efficient.

I say I "was", part of me still is; I think my natural state is to skip a lot of the "unnecessary" emotions altogether. However, I do not think it is necessarily a healthy state. I do believe every human is supposed to experience and express the full range of their emotions on an almost daily basis. The problem is that I had become so efficient that I was failing to actually listen to myself. I would think before I felt, assuming that the logical way to process my emotions was the correct way. That has led to most of my thoughts of how I am dealing with things being based on assumptions. I assume I am not at all bothered by the fact that I am swiftly racking up £70,000's worth of student debt. I assume that I am fine with again not securing an internship or job for this summer. I assume that I am fine with the job market, house prices in London, my deepest regrets, the state of my friendships, the state of my family, my relationships and my fears. I assume I am coping with everything because I know that at the end of the day, I will come out the other side alright and if I had to sit there and think things through, I could easily give myself a pep talk which would straighten things out in my mind and allay any worries.

The last year of my life has been several orders of magnitude more tumultuous than anything preceding it. This has had effects vastly differently to what I am used to and what I had previously adapted to cope with. It has misaligned my emotional calibration and torn holes in my primary coping mechanism; the guard of my emotional assumptions. I have assumed I had been just fine all the way through it. Earlier in the year I realised I was not, and dangerously so. That realisation came from something that seemed unnatural to me. It came from not assuming I actually dealt with things the way "Yunus 2.0" would - the cool, calm and collected way. It came from simply not assuming I was indeed fine, from foregoing any emotional assumptions altogether and abandoning the definition of how I dealt with things. For the first time in what felt like a lifetime, I was asking myself how, deep down, I actually wanted to let myself feel, not think, about all that was going on. Without any filters or logic or defence.

I am of the opinion that there are two sources of truth; emotional and logical. I think that they exist optimally in an equilibrium, neither suppressed, both just as relevant as relevant as the other, and deserving equal consideration despite often being quite contradictory. As you can probably tell, I exist very much on the logical end of what is a fluid spectrum. On the one hand, it is highly beneficial; it is efficient. However, it does make me susceptible to a number of vulnerabilities, the first of which I am noticing is a tendency at times to suppress emotional function. What I am experimenting with to counter this, and what I think may prove beneficial for a lot of us, is to cease making emotional assumptions about the way we deal with things.

If you are naturally inclined to wear your heart on your sleeve and are emotionally rocked by everything that comes your way, every now and then try listening to your other half, the logical half, by asking yourself "is this actually how best for me to react?", "is this actually a problem worth letting effect me in this way?", "how would I view this in hindsight, and what would that person say to me now?" Should the answer be to let your emotions loose, then by all means do. If you feel like releasing emotionally, let down that guard and feel what is is like to be human. We need to express our emotions in order to understand them, so that we are the ones in control, not they. If, like me, you are inclined to do quite the opposite (and I certainly feel like I am in the minority here), question this intuition and take your emotional buffer off of autopilot. I think we all have a lot to learn about ourselves in doing so.

Written by Yunus Skeete


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