Emotional fragility has nothing to do with emotional sensitivity. While we could define the latter as an exceptional quality of the human being, fragility responds above all to a lack of tools to manage our most complex internal states, as well as a clear difficulty to face the simplest difficulties of day to day .
We first clarify the difference between these two terms by an important fact. Often, there are those who get to normalize their emotional fragility by excusing themselves that this is their way of being, their way of understanding and living life. “I am a sensitive person and I cannot change it” -they say in self-defense.
Emotional fragility often leads us to debilitating states characterized by anxiety, stress, depression …
Well, we must understand that from the moment in which a behavior / attitude generates only suffering, insecurity and a null capacity for control over one’s own being, excuses are not worth it, not when what we achieve is unhappiness. Thus, while sensitive people have in their favor a broader vision of their reality and a way to better connect with their needs and with their surroundings, people marked by emotional fragility have more limited emotional perspectives.
What’s more, this trait is often an indicator of an underlying problem : depressive disorders, anxiety, emotional mismanagement, etc. It is therefore worth delving a little deeper into this dimension.
Emotional fragility: causes and characteristics
The American College Health Association published a few years ago an interesting work on emotional fragility. In it he explained a fact that is undoubtedly worrying: our young people show an increasing tendency towards depression, stress, emotional dependence and what is worse: suicide attempts. Behind this evidence hides a clear emotional fragility and a lack of resources when facing their most common difficulties.
Most of these psychological dimensions have their origin in parenting styles. The families of the last decades are aware that our society demands more and more capacities to function in it. Something that parents have done to intensify their efforts to complete the training of their children since they are very young.
They try to put the best resources at their fingertips to guide them to success, sometimes forcing them to excel and often reminding them how special they are or are required to be to succeed. All of this is certainly understandable, however, this approach ignores several details.
One of the most important is that they are protected against failure, in such a way that many of them are unable to tolerate frustration, no matter how small. In addition, these children hardly learn to make decisions independently, they feel insecure and are very clumsy when it comes to managing their own emotions. Little by little, they are realizing that in the eyes of others they are not “so special” and that they lack the skills, resources and strategies to be able to react to elementary questions.
Let’s see below what characteristics people with emotional fragility present.
How do I know if I am an emotionally fragile person?
In addition to those described, some of the characteristics that we find in people with emotional fragility are:
- Inability to manage and understand emotions such as sadness, anger, disappointment … Your reaction to them is often oversized.
- Continuous feeling of emptiness.
- Feeling overwhelmed by the simplest problems, by disagreements, by any circumstance that is not what you expect or want.
- Inability to manage frustration.
- Difficulties in being in control of their own life, feeling that everything is overwhelming them.
- Constant problems in their social relationships, a view that everyone who surrounds them disappoints or betrays them.
- Low energy, apathy, constant melancholy.
- They are insecure in almost any task, feeling ineffective and low self-esteem.
- When things are not as they expect, want or want, they can react with anger or violence.
Our emotional health depends in many cases on the way we were educated and on the quality of these first interactions. However, poor parenting or ineffective education does not determine us. We are always on time to overcome emotional fragility.
Strategies to strengthen the self and rise up as emotionally strong people
To understand that process in which we can become an emotionally strong person, we can visualize, for example, a porcelain cup. We know that it is sensitive, we can even see the stretch marks of a break already treated in its shape. However, that porcelain cup is anything but fragile, it is a wonderful unique piece in its shape, its material and its small imperfections.
Therefore, we can afford the right to be sensitive but never fragile. We will never cross that line where we allow our whole self to fragment into broken pieces through which our identity, values and inner beauties escape. However, how to achieve it, how to get rid of those fragilities that limit our happiness?
- A first step is to become aware of our emotional weaknesses, of those gaps that delimit us and that are the cause of our discomfort. Thus, and as curious as it may seem to us, there are works that support the usefulness of art therapy or art therapy. It’s a great way to explore our thoughts, emotions, and inner knots through colors, canvases, and drawings.
- A second step is to assume a sense of responsibility for yourself. Fragile people feel victims of their environment, of society, of the people around them. They just react, like a ball hitting a wall and bouncing over and over again. Instead of reacting, you have to act by taking the reins and defining a sense of real and courageous responsibility.
- That sense of responsibility in turn requires putting aside our past experiences and generating changes in the present. Every change is accompanied by a feeling of fear, but if we manage to overcome those stones of the road day by day we will perceive ourselves as more secure, owners of ourselves.
To conclude, it is clear that this process is not easy, sometimes requiring the help of a good psychologist. Faced with this intrinsic difficulty, let us remember that we are always in time to rise up as emotionally stronger people. Let’s mold our porcelain cup, to make it a unique, strong and beautiful piece.
Do you know the main functions of emotions?