You know when you have an argument over the dinner table, one that actually has managed to get to you. Half the battle is however to pretend that you aren’t affected, that it’s in one ear and out the other because this nonchalance helps you win the argument… for some reason. So you keep moving your fork and knife across the plate feigning ignorance and calm, swallowing the food which suddenly tastes too dry to swallow, but the second your argumentee gets out of sight, you drop your cutlery and fume. You hold your face in your hands and shake your head. You need concentration to fume. You need effort, time and space.
I’m relatively certain that this scenario is incredibly generalizable. The display of non-emotion is often relied upon, particularly if you are able to control yourself for that amount of time.
Why are we afraid to surrender to our emotions? Whether that is anger or hurt or anything at all? Why does this response often naturally become our go-to?
Denial; it denies the effect this argument has on you. It denies your input and you refuse to acknowledge it. Ultimately, it is avoidance. Far be it from me to tell you to punch the wall if you’re angry or break down in a flood of tears. By all means, if the situation calls for a controlled response, do exercise it. Yet, by refusing to give in at all is simply constructing a wall around yourself and you don’t want to be that guy do you (Trump)?
So engage. Communicate. Verbalise. Discuss. And yes, open the fuck up. If you need time to get some composure to do so effectively, say it. Let them know that that is what you need and why. You’ll find a hell of a lot of improvement in your conflict-resolution skills when it comes to your relationships by simply opening your mouth, allowing yourself to be just a little vulnerable and speaking honestly. There is nothing to be gained by the pretence of it all, that nothing has or can affect you emotionally but everything to be lost.