Emotional Permanence – Signs You Are Dealing With It
Are you constantly craving closeness? Do the emotions of abandonment haunt you? If so, you might be struggling with Emotional Permanence. In the world of emotions, it is a concept that refers to understanding that emotions still exist even when you can’t see them.
It is about understanding that feelings remain, even when not at the forefront of our minds, and is an important part of connecting with others. Emotional permanence explains emotional development and is interconnected with empathy and being socially aware.
In this post, let’s understand emotional permanence in detail, the difficulties you might face because of it, and how to cope with it.
What is Emotional Permanence?
Emotional Permanence is the understanding that emotions persist even when not actively felt or expressed. It’s like knowing that a favorite toy is still in the box, even if you can’t see it. In relationships, this means realizing that someone still cares about you, even if they’re not always showing it.
It is a sense of being emotionally connected and feeling secure even when two individuals are not in contact physically. It is understanding that even without physical proximity, the emotional connection remains, and you can feel the emotions of others.
Usually, when you are in close relationships, emotional permanence is needed as it creates the foundation of trust and makes individuals feel that someone is always there for them. Emotional permanence makes one feel safe and secure.
How does Emotional Permanence Develop?
Emotional permanence is an emotional milestone the individual achieves during various life stages. Here’s how emotional permanence develops:
During early childhood, the child primarily relies on sensory experiences (sight, touch, sound) to form attachments with caregivers. As they grow, they understand that the person and things exist even when they can’t see them. They develop a sense of trust and security in the presence of the person or thing.
During this stage, object permanence starts to develop. This is when the child understands that objects exist even when invisible. This lays the foundation for the construction of emotional permanence in an individual.
This is when emotional permanence starts to take a share, and the child begins to understand the emotions of others. They begin expressing themselves via expressions and emotions.
As the child grows, emotional intelligence develops, and they get more acquainted with emotions and learn how to manage and express them. They also become more attuned to the emotions of others.
Emotional permanence becomes more refined during this stage. Teenagers can build new relationships and understand that feelings can be felt even when the person is not around.
Now that the child is grown up, an understanding of emotions develops, and there is a solid understanding of emotional permanence. They can now maintain stable, long-term relationships with a deep understanding of the enduring nature of emotions.
What Does It Mean To Have No Emotional Permanence?
Having no emotional permanence, also known as emotional object permanence, means struggling to understand or believe emotions persist even when they’re not expressed or felt. It’s similar to the child’s concept of “object permanence,” where they believe things don’t exist if they can’t be seen.
When this thinking crosses ways with emotions, it becomes challenging to manifest emotions, preventing an individual from maintaining healthy, stable relationships. Here’s what happens when there is no emotional permanence.
Signs You May Be Struggling with Emotional Permanence:
1. Difficulty Trusting Feelings:
During childhood, you have never experienced how people can care for one another or feel for others. When you grow, if you see someone caring for you, trusting them and their feelings will become difficult as you cannot resonate with them.
2. Fear of Abandonment:
When the loved one is not around, or you cannot see them, you worry that they don’t love you or might leave you as they are not actively expressing love by being present.
3. Seeking Constant Reassurance:
You often need others to affirm their feelings for you to feel secure in the relationship. You want them to express their feelings through words and actions and always assure you they are there for you.
4. Difficulty Expressing Emotions:
Communicating your feelings and how you feel becomes difficult, and others cannot understand you.
5. Feeling Overwhelmed by Change:
Changes in a relationship, even small ones, can lead to anxiety or insecurity about the other person’s feelings. You always want things to remain the same and can’t accept or welcome change.
6. External Validation:
You rely on expressions of love and affection to feel loved and valued. If there is no validation or the person fails to express your feelings, you feel the love is fading, and you no longer share the same bond.
7. Avoiding Emotional Attachment:
You may subconsciously avoid forming deep emotional connections to protect yourself from potential emotional pain or loss. Also, you often dissect and analyze the behavior and actions of loved ones, trying to find evidence of their feelings for you.
8. Difficulty Coping with Alone Time:
When you’re alone, you might struggle with insecurity or fear that others have forgotten about you. Recognizing these signs is the first step towards better understanding your emotions and working towards healthier, more secure relationships.
Do I Have Emotional Permanence Issues?
If you relate to the signs explained above, you may be struggling with it. However, this doesn’t mean there is no hope, and you are alone. You can manage it by following certain tips, and as you have acknowledged, you have already taken the first step toward growth.
Tips to Manage and Improve Emotional Permanence
1. Practice Mindfulness:
Engaging in mindfulness exercises helps you stay present and connect with the emotions of yourself and others. This practice helps you stay connected and understand why you feel how you feel.
2. Mood Journaling:
Keeping a mood journal and writing your emotions helps track and reflect on your emotions over time. This can help you recognize patterns and gain insight into the feelings. Also, it is a reminder that there are several emotions that you can feel. You can return to the journal when you get confused or overwhelmed due to unhealthy emotions.
3. Communicate Openly:
Emotional impermanence affects relationships; hence, you must learn to express your feelings to trusted friends or family members. This helps develop an understanding of your emotions and keep the connections intact. When you communicate your feelings, you can find resolutions for the problems and can connect with others in a deeper way.
4. Empathize with Others:
Put yourself in others’ shoes to better understand their emotions. This practice can strengthen your awareness of the enduring nature of feelings. When you try to understand how and what others are feeling and how your actions affect them, you can understand why you feel in a particular way and how you can manage things when you feel uncomfortable.
5. Practice Self-Compassion:
Be kind and gentle with yourself, especially when dealing with difficult emotions. Understand that it’s normal to experience a range of feelings. The way you handle the feelings of others, you should handle yours, too. Try to see how your emotions have evolved in response to different situations. This reflection can provide valuable insights into emotional permanence.
6. Set Emotional Goals:
Establish specific goals for improving your emotional intelligence, such as recognizing and validating your feelings. Read books that can tell you about emotional intelligence and psychological development to understand emotional permanence better.
7. Be Patient with Yourself:
Developing emotional permanence is a process that takes time and practice. Allow yourself room for growth and learning. Do not push yourself too much or question your feelings.
8. Seek Therapy or Counseling:
Professional therapists or counselors can provide guidance and support in developing emotional intelligence, including understanding emotional permanence.
They generally incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy to understand what is happening and help you develop an understanding of emotions and how your thoughts affect them. This technique helps them learn how to react and connect with others and their emotions.
Understanding and Overcoming Emotional Permanence Challenges
Struggling with emotional permanence is more common than you might think. Recognizing it is the first step towards healthier relationships and better emotional well-being. Therefore, if you want to live a happy life and have healthy relations, overcome emotional permanence by taking the help of tips and talking to people you trust. This will help overcome a lack of emotions and give you a grip on your life.