Have you ever experienced the feeling of being emotionally numb? Maybe it’s happened during a very stressful event or during an argument with your partner.
For most people, this feels like a disconnection from your body and the outside world. Building intimacy in a relationship is hard as it is, but it’s even more difficult for individuals who experience emotional numbness.
What Does It Mean To Be Emotionally Detached?
Emotional numbness or detachment is a complex and at times very persistent feeling that isn’t always voluntary. For many individuals, it comes as a result of past events that make them disconnect from their emotions.
There are situations when emotional numbness can be helpful. For example, being emotionally detached can save you from unnecessary pain if you use it to set boundaries with certain people or groups who demand a lot of your emotional attention or energy.
However, emotional numbness can also be harmful if you can’t control it, especially when it comes to building healthy relationships.
How Do I Know If I’m Emotionally Numb?
It’s not always easy to differentiate detachment from other emotional states. Here are the signs that you may have emotional numbness.
Signs Of Emotional Numbness
The common signs of emotional numbness include:
- difficulty creating or maintaining personal relationships;
- a lack of attention, or appearing preoccupied around others;
- difficulty being loving or feeling affectionate with a family member;
- avoiding people, activities, or places because they’re associated with a past trauma or event;
- unable to express emotion;
- difficulty empathizing with other people’s feelings;
- feeling like a stranger or outsider in your own life;
- feeling dead or empty;
- feeling meaningless, worthless, or hopeless;
- feeling as though you are sleepwalking through life;
- feeling a loss of control;
- feeling disconnected from your memories;
- feeling emotionally and physically tired regardless of how much sleep you’ve had;
- not being able to enjoy activities or hobbies.
What Causes Emotional Detachment?
Emotional numbness is usually a side effect of an insecure attachment to one’s caregivers in childhood. People who have been neglected or abused may develop this as a coping mechanism.
For example, people who were neglected by their parents in childhood may binge on food in adulthood as a survival pattern to numb their feelings.
Just as an alcoholic drinks alcohol to feel numb, a person with an unhealthy eating pattern eats food to binge, which causes isolation. This leads to self-neglect and repeats the childhood pattern of not being seen or being neglected.
How To Overcome Emotional Numbness
In most cases, the emotional numbness goes away with self-care, emotional support, and time. The first step is to address the underlying stress, trauma, or grief with a professional and make lifestyle changes to help lessen and resolve the symptoms of numbness. Some useful coping strategies to overcome emotional numbness include:
- Reduce stress;
- Eat a healthy diet;
- Get enough sleep;
- Identify the causes and triggers and either avoid them or work with a professional to overcome them;
- Discuss feelings with people you trust and reach out for help;
- Try to be busy or distract yourself with something that gives you purpose and meaning;
- Talk through your feelings with a relationship coach.
Our Emotional Intimacy Coaching Can Help You Find Happiness
If you recognize any of the signs above, then just know that you’re not alone. Lots of people struggle with feeling emotionally numb. The good news is that you can be healed and experience self-acceptance so that you can have a healthy relationship with yourself and others.
We recommend that you seek support from our online PIVOT Advocates to help you explore childhood issues and focus on healing your wounds with self-love and self-acceptance. Remember, you are worthy of love, happiness, and a healthy relationship.
If you are ready to create meaningful connections with people and overcome feeling emotional numbness, then contact PIVOT. Our carefully designed individual coaching and insightful couples relationship building workshops can bring you the peace and happiness you seek. Contact us today!