What makes you happy?


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AuthorMessageTime
Moonlight
What makes you happy?
2017-02-16
I'm involved with someone who thinks he may be Alexithymic. It's quite a new scenario, a few months in: we met last summer, we liked one another, we had things in common, we're pretty passionate about one another when we are together. He's handsome, has such a lovely face, he's clever, he makes me laugh, works hard. He's really everything in a person I could wish for and the kind of person I've always wanted to meet – except we keep colliding. Or rather, I leap in and bash him on the head with my emotions and he's unaware of why. He hates it.

This is because he is quite a functional person: so if we are not together, he's perfectly happy just going about his own things, getting on with his stuff (I admire this in him); but then I spin out and collapse inwards because I think this means he doesn't want to be with me. This makes things much worse!

He does try to reassure me: he says he likes doing things on his own. (I'm talking weeks, not hours or days.) He's not necessarily propelled to see me in the usual way. I want, and need, to spend time with him, because he's so lovely and I just want to see him and hug him. He doesn't necessarily "need" to spend time with me. My friends think this is weird and he's stringing me along: genuinely, I believe what he says! He's not a bad person. He's not a player. He's a really kind person, but he just doesn't engage emotionally like everyone else. There are lots of benefits to this: he doesn't judge me, he's not jealous, he doesn't demand anything of me (I hated all my other boyfriends being like that.)

If I send a nice text, he'll look at it, read it, think it was nice, and take no action – then is baffled why I am upset for not getting a response! He would never text goodnight sweetheart xxx or anything like that!

He thinks he is this way because of past things, but also thinks he won't change, because it's the way he is. He says other people have said this all to him before.

I sort of do get this whole no emotion thing, because for years, because of a lot of bad experiences ever since I was a child, I shut my emotions off to cope. So yes, I could just ignore things. Shut people out. Work – and not rely on others for support. People called me cold and selfish. I just didn't want to bother them. The more they wanted from me, the less I could give. Then I had a lot of therapy and now I'm full of 'sharing emotions'.

I've never been the type of person to cry, but this situation makes me want to cry for some reason. He's a good man, I don't want to cause him stress because of the way he is, but then having read up on this, relationships for Alexithymics don't appear to go too well (is it better for an Alexithymic to date another Alexithymic?). In lots of ways we are compatible, but this is a real rift.

What would be a better way of talking about things, that isn't a hissy fit, but gets my point across?
For example: 'I've had a stressful week I need some time with you, please you can you come over?'
Rather than my usual: 'You just shut me out all the time and I don't feel you care about my thoughts at all.'
(See I'm pretty bad at this stuff! my lonely screaming inner child and all that.) He's such a wonderful man, when he's off his own tackling everything alone I worry he is lonely, and I'm not a good girlfriend for leaving him alone, but he says he likes it.

Do relationships make Alexithymics happy? What would an Alexithymic gain from a relationship? I think we are both a bit stressed over it, but then I don't think the answer is simply for me to expect less. When he is stressed about it, he seems worse. I tend to move past it.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks.




CV
2017-03-03
16:24
Asking a bunch of alexithymics what makes them "happy" may be a bit of an oxymoron.
The closest I get personally is engaged. Primarily by interesting ideas. Things moving along harmoniously is also preferable, as I am able to understand and respond more appropriately.
It sounds as if your boyfriend lacks the social emotion of attachment. Understanding that he may be completely unattached to you may be both positive and negative - as you've said, he is not jealous, demanding, clingy, etc. You may just have to acknowledge that he may also not experience missing you or pining for your presence emotionally as would another. He may appreciate it when you are there if he regards you well, but not particularly mind if you aren't.
I believe this is one of the hardest things for emotional people to understand. They seem to think this kind of unattached regard conveys disinterest at best and dislike at worst, that the person in question does not care about them at all. Which is often untrue. It is just a very different method of cognition.
As regards how to communicate it without being overtly emotional - a clear statement of what your needs are and how you would like him to fill them may be more helpful than trusting him to respond intuitively and then being upset when he does not. If he is blind to emotional cue, stating what is going on for you may help him to understand how he can help you.
I don't know if relationships make alexithymics happy per se. It would depend on the individual. A relationship can also be a thing of mutual utility, stability, interest, social lubrication, companionship, etc. There may be benefits to the arrangement which are not purely emotional. But then again, depending on the individual, he may experience some of your more traditional emotions and simply be unable to identify and express them.
Looks as if you have discussed this to some degree. Would not a frank discussion between you on your differing emotional approaches make things clearer?
Athanasa
2017-04-08
02:48
The closest I get personally is engaged. Primarily by interesting ideas. Things moving along harmoniously is also preferable, as I am able to understand and respond more appropriately.


Satisfaction might be the right word.

I get satisfaction when I make other people happy.
I get satisfaction when my hard work is acknowledged and praised by others.
I get satisfaction when my actions are acknowledged as good.
(Conversely, I feel awkward when I myself am praised by others, as I do not know how to react.)

These examples are probably the closest I get to happiness.
tiger91
2017-04-11
14:10
"What would be a better way of talking about things, that isn't a hissy fit, but gets my point across?
For example: 'I've had a stressful week I need some time with you, please you can you come over?'
Rather than my usual: 'You just shut me out all the time and I don't feel you care about my thoughts at all.'"


Yes, just ask him to come over like that.

But, if you need more time together and he doesn't, dump him. Find someone else who's also handsome and whatnot AND is willing to spend more time with you. Simple as that.


As for the question in the title, I never think about "happiness". I have contentment by default, I have involvement in my interests and my goals, I have an intense celebrating mood when I reached an important goal, I can even greatly enjoy time spent with my (few) friends and so on. But happiness? That just sounds cheesy and vague/diffuse.
manarina2000
2017-05-28
08:56
I'm involved with someone who thinks he may be Alexithymic. It's quite a new scenario, a few months in: we met last summer, we liked one another, we had things in common, we're pretty passionate about one another when we are together. He's handsome, has such a lovely face, he's clever, he makes me laugh, works hard. He's really everything in a person I could wish for and the kind of person I've always wanted to meet – except we keep colliding. Or rather, I leap in and bash him on the head with my emotions and he's unaware of why. He hates it.

This is because he is quite a functional person: so if we are not together, he's perfectly happy just going about his own things, getting on with his stuff (I admire this in him); but then I spin out and collapse inwards because I think this means he doesn't want to be with me. This makes things much worse!

He does try to reassure me: he says he likes doing things on his own. (I'm talking weeks, not hours or days.) He's not necessarily propelled to see me in the usual way. I want, and need, to spend time with him, because he's so lovely and I just want to see him and hug him. He doesn't necessarily "need" to spend time with me. My friends think this is weird and he's stringing me along: genuinely, I believe what he says! He's not a bad person. He's not a player. He's a really kind person, but he just doesn't engage emotionally like everyone else. There are lots of benefits to this: he doesn't judge me, he's not jealous, he doesn't demand anything of me (I hated all my other boyfriends being like that.)

If I send a nice text, he'll look at it, read it, think it was nice, and take no action – then is baffled why I am upset for not getting a response! He would never text goodnight sweetheart xxx or anything like that!

He thinks he is this way because of past things, but also thinks he won't change, because it's the way he is. He says other people have said this all to him before.

I sort of do get this whole no emotion thing, because for years, because of a lot of bad experiences ever since I was a child, I shut my emotions off to cope. So yes, I could just ignore things. Shut people out. Work – and not rely on others for support. People called me cold and selfish. I just didn't want to bother them. The more they wanted from me, the less I could give. Then I had a lot of therapy and now I'm full of 'sharing emotions'.

I've never been the type of person to cry, but this situation makes me want to cry for some reason. He's a good man, I don't want to cause him stress because of the way he is, but then having read up on this, relationships for Alexithymics don't appear to go too well (is it better for an Alexithymic to date another Alexithymic?). In lots of ways we are compatible, but this is a real rift.

What would be a better way of talking about things, that isn't a hissy fit, but gets my point across?
For example: 'I've had a stressful week I need some time with you, please you can you come over?'
Rather than my usual: 'You just shut me out all the time and I don't feel you care about my thoughts at all.'
(See I'm pretty bad at this stuff! my lonely screaming inner child and all that.) He's such a wonderful man, when he's off his own tackling everything alone I worry he is lonely, and I'm not a good girlfriend for leaving him alone, but he says he likes it.

Do relationships make Alexithymics happy? What would an Alexithymic gain from a relationship? I think we are both a bit stressed over it, but then I don't think the answer is simply for me to expect less. When he is stressed about it, he seems worse. I tend to move past it.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks


for this... i would like to tell u that i thought he was really appreciate to have u as his gf..just he dont know how to express it.. he felt ur love..n really happy..in my opinion..u should told him what to do..so that he can learn to do whats right for u..he want to do something..just he do not have commen sense to do so..oke? fighting!!


manarina2000
2017-05-28
08:56
I'm involved with someone who thinks he may be Alexithymic. It's quite a new scenario, a few months in: we met last summer, we liked one another, we had things in common, we're pretty passionate about one another when we are together. He's handsome, has such a lovely face, he's clever, he makes me laugh, works hard. He's really everything in a person I could wish for and the kind of person I've always wanted to meet – except we keep colliding. Or rather, I leap in and bash him on the head with my emotions and he's unaware of why. He hates it.

This is because he is quite a functional person: so if we are not together, he's perfectly happy just going about his own things, getting on with his stuff (I admire this in him); but then I spin out and collapse inwards because I think this means he doesn't want to be with me. This makes things much worse!

He does try to reassure me: he says he likes doing things on his own. (I'm talking weeks, not hours or days.) He's not necessarily propelled to see me in the usual way. I want, and need, to spend time with him, because he's so lovely and I just want to see him and hug him. He doesn't necessarily "need" to spend time with me. My friends think this is weird and he's stringing me along: genuinely, I believe what he says! He's not a bad person. He's not a player. He's a really kind person, but he just doesn't engage emotionally like everyone else. There are lots of benefits to this: he doesn't judge me, he's not jealous, he doesn't demand anything of me (I hated all my other boyfriends being like that.)

If I send a nice text, he'll look at it, read it, think it was nice, and take no action – then is baffled why I am upset for not getting a response! He would never text goodnight sweetheart xxx or anything like that!

He thinks he is this way because of past things, but also thinks he won't change, because it's the way he is. He says other people have said this all to him before.

I sort of do get this whole no emotion thing, because for years, because of a lot of bad experiences ever since I was a child, I shut my emotions off to cope. So yes, I could just ignore things. Shut people out. Work – and not rely on others for support. People called me cold and selfish. I just didn't want to bother them. The more they wanted from me, the less I could give. Then I had a lot of therapy and now I'm full of 'sharing emotions'.

I've never been the type of person to cry, but this situation makes me want to cry for some reason. He's a good man, I don't want to cause him stress because of the way he is, but then having read up on this, relationships for Alexithymics don't appear to go too well (is it better for an Alexithymic to date another Alexithymic?). In lots of ways we are compatible, but this is a real rift.

What would be a better way of talking about things, that isn't a hissy fit, but gets my point across?
For example: 'I've had a stressful week I need some time with you, please you can you come over?'
Rather than my usual: 'You just shut me out all the time and I don't feel you care about my thoughts at all.'
(See I'm pretty bad at this stuff! my lonely screaming inner child and all that.) He's such a wonderful man, when he's off his own tackling everything alone I worry he is lonely, and I'm not a good girlfriend for leaving him alone, but he says he likes it.

Do relationships make Alexithymics happy? What would an Alexithymic gain from a relationship? I think we are both a bit stressed over it, but then I don't think the answer is simply for me to expect less. When he is stressed about it, he seems worse. I tend to move past it.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks


for this... i would like to tell u that i thought he was really appreciate to have u as his gf..just he dont know how to express it.. he felt ur love..n really happy..in my opinion..u should told him what to do..so that he can learn to do whats right for u..he want to do something..just he do not have commen sense to do so..oke? fighting!!


tiger91
2017-05-29
13:23
...of my previous post.


"Yes, just ask him to come over like that.

But, if you need more time together and he doesn't, dump him. Find someone else who's also handsome and whatnot AND is willing to spend more time with you. Simple as that."


I meant, if you ask him nicely like that and he ignores that that means he won't want to have more time with you in any way and then yes dump him. But if the only issue is communicating your needs better then maybe it can work out, I wish you luck with that.
Moonlight
2017-05-29
22:58
I'm not sure how to reply to comments
Moonlight
2017-05-29
23:05
..... I expected to see a button then said "comments" –

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. I really appreciate it. In the end it didn't work out. He just failed to communicate with me at all. So I became angry and upset, I couldn't stop myself. Not actually being able to access someone emotionally made me feel physically ill. I couldn't handle the anxiety of such a disconnected arrangement. I had to be good to myself and walk away.

It interesting for me that I received some replies now: I've been thinking of him a lot and how much I miss him and how much I liked him and I've been thinking about getting in touch. I didn't stop liking him – but I ended up being in the relationship alone, he was either physically or mentally elsewhere. So, yep, it brought out my mean and sarcastic side. I'm an empathetic person and it felt horribly abusive to be blanked so ofter (by someone who seemed not to realise they were doing it).

I wish him well, happiness, whatever that is. If there's one wish I could have it's that it had worked out. I genuinely don't think he means any harm, like I said, a good man, just not good to me.

Best of luck folk.
Thanks again.
x


ALEXITHYMIA .us .org .com .info Terms/Impressum [09:36:09]:UID:
english | deutsch


Alexithymia - emotional blindness - is a personal trait which affects roughly 10% of the population.

Alexithymia describes the difficulty of people to perceive and describe emotions of others and themselves. Most persons concerned are not aware about this deficit and usually they are just recognizing it in contact with others, especially close friends, within their family or their partner.

These pages should deliver additional information about Alexithymia and offer information for affected persons, relatives and generally interested people.