What's Wrong with You? Reasons Why You Don't Know What You're Feeling

What's Wrong with You? Reasons Why You Don't Know What You're Feeling

Last update: 03 August, 2018

Feeling confused about your emotions is common. If you don’t know what you’re feeling in certain circumstances, it’s not because you have a problem or something is wrong. This is much more common than people think and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.

However, you can do something to fix it. Knowing why you’re sometimes blind to your own emotions will help you understand what’s going on with you and how to act accordingly. There is a series of steps you can follow to better understand what you feel at every moment.

To begin, it’s important to note that many people don’t know what they feel because they don’t know how to interpret the physical signs. Normally, we think emotions and feelings are the same thing. However, all emotions start with a physical sensation. This means that, regardless of whether or not you know what’s happening to you, you can be aware of the emotion because it’s affecting you physically.

Why you don’t know what you’re feeling

There are different reasons that explain why you don’t know what you’re feeling or what is happening inside you. Sometimes this disconnection from your emotions can make you feel frustrated or empty. You must be aware that this in itself is a feeling.

Next, we’ll look at a simple explanation as to why you sometimes don’t know how you’re feeling. This explanation will help you better identify emotions, manage them more effectively, and live more consciously.

When you don't know what you're feeling

1. The emotion is in process

When you first start to feel an emotion, it’s not always easy to identify it. The physical reaction (the body’s response) may be confusing or may not be identified as being the consequence of an emotional state.

Sometimes the action is so unexpected, we don’t understand what’s happening. This is the time when knowing we’re experiencing the emotion is almost more important than identifying the emotion itself.

2. There’s a mix of feelings

If you sometimes don’t know what you’re feeling when there’s only one emotion inside you, imagine how complicated it is when there are two or more. This can result in a complicated mix of confusing signals.

This clash of emotions can lead to discomfort and confusion. You don’t know what’s happening inside you. For example, when you feel pain and anger at the same time, the feelings can be so strong that they can paralyze you and make you feel helpless.

3. You can’t express how you feel verbally

Sometimes what you feel is a mix of emotions that you can’t express with words. It may be that there’s no word for it, at least not in your language.

In this case, separating your feelings into the basic emotions that comprise them can help.

4. It’s the first time you’ve experienced this emotion

It’s normal to feel confused when you experience an emotion for the first time. It can even scare you. You can even mistake it for something else.

This, fortunately, is solved by experience. The more times you have experienced a sensation, the easier it is to recognize it.

Sad man in a window.

5. You’re totally detached from your feelings

Dissociation can occur for many reasons. It’s very likely that you repressed your feelings in the past as a defense mechanism. This repression doesn’t let you see what you actually feel.

Generally, this starts as an attempt to not feel negative emotions. However, it ends up developing to the point you can’t feel anything at all.

How to connect with what you feel

The first thing you need to do to connect with your emotions is to be aware that they’re there and let them come through. Although this isn’t always easy, sometimes it’s as simple as breathing and letting your emotions flow. If it’s too hard for you, meditation or mindfulness can help.

Connecting with our feelings requires connecting with ourselves. However, if this becomes too difficult, you can always ask for help. Sometimes all we need is support to reconnect with our emotions.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.