Monday, June 10, 2013

The Running-Away-Syndrome

I grew up in a very emotional and touchy family. We feel very big feelings. And we say what we feel. (Well, at least when it comes to positive things, the negative part is a bit more difficult.) Ups are really high and lows are quite deep down in the mud. I used to have loud and emotional fights with my mum. I still do sometimes. She taught me something valuable though among all the big emotions. Don't go to bed angry. If the other one doesn't apologize, then just do it yourself. I havent' been very good at sticking to this piece of advice lately. Then there's the touchy part. In my family we've always liked to hug and touch. My mother is hugging people to an extent that they might find it awkward. But this is just one of the trades that make my mother so lovable and sincere. But touching IS imporant. It has even been proved by various research that infants will die without human touch. As we grow older our need to be touched doesn't go away.

"As we grow and develop, our need for touch does not disappear. We continue to benefit from the touch we receive from those who love and care about us." (Health Touch)

Touching is the essence of living. (Picture borrowed from Blake Rudis.)

From what I've seen in other families, my family might be a bit unusual for Finnish circumstances. Here you're not supposed to give affection or talk about your feelings. At least not in public and only with close friends. If even with them. If you tell someone that they are important to you and that you hold someone dearly, they might feel uncomfortable. It's just not something you say. But I can't help myself. I have noticed people get uncomfortable when I declare how much I love them (to friends), but that's just the kind of person I am. I feel very strong feelings and when I feel like my heart is bursting of love and joy, I can't help but show it. In either words or actions.

With friends this thing isn't that bad, the awkwardness usually goes away quite quickly. The real problem is romantic relationships. I don't like to play games. I am really bad at playing hard to get, because if I like someone, I just want to tell them. I really don't fit in the social system in that way. But in my experience, men tend to run away like scared little boys fearing that by revealing that I like them, I am expecting a big diamond on my ring finger. Because why else would I reveal something like that? The man feels trapped and forced into a corner. Silly me, how could I think that being honest was an option?! I'm sure I'm not the only one who has made these kind of experiences. And I'm sure this problem doesn't just exist here in Finland. Surely there are men (and women) all over the world who have this behaviour coded into their DNA. But I do believe that this kind of culture, where public displays of affection and talking about your feelings in an honest way are frowned upon, encourages this kind of behaviour. The running-away-syndrome.

I have many friends who don't like public displays of affection. Friends who think, that this kind of behaviour is private and should just be between the two people and four walls. I'm not saying that this is wrong, but I hope these people find a companion that feels the same way, otherwise it won't work. Otherwise both will feel uncomfortable.

Don't be afraid to touch! (Photo borrowed from TechAbly.)

In a way I can understand the running-away-thought though. I value my independence very much and I also feel distressed if I get the feeling that someone likes me way more than I like them. I think however that the biggest problem is lack of communication. In the end people are different. It is a good thing as well as a bad thing. Different customs easily lead to misunderstandings, which could be avoided by communicating. But sure, if saying what you feel and touching in public feels wrong, don't do it. I just think people would be happier by letting themselves feel more.

Then again we have that well-known phrase: Speech is silver, silence is gold. Sometime this might just be a good rule to keep to. But some people just take it too far.

So, does anyone know where I can take a class in playing hard to get?