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Are we becoming insensitive ?

Updated on February 15, 2016

The Blunted Affect

We are living in our own closed, secure realms. This indifference, lack of interest or concern about the emotional, social and spiritual life around us is a result of suppression of emotions such as fear, excitement, motivation and passion, that has come in a package along with modernization and digitization of our lives.

Blunted affect is lack of emotional reactivity (affect display) on part of an individual. It manifests as a failure to express feelings, either verbally or non-verbally, especially when talking about matters that would normally engage emotions.The person has an expressionless face without any gestures showing compassion, and there is little animation of expressions of pain or happiness or vocal inflection.

Going towards apathy

"One day at a time

Yesterday's gone

Tomorrow may never be fine

One day at a time."

Most of us follow the YOLO philosophy in our lives. YOU LIVE ONLY ONCE, so live every moment to its fullest. But are we actually living ? or just struggling to survive!

While studying medical sciences, I came across a disease named Leprosy, that makes your skin insensitive to sensations of hot, cold, touch and prick . The disease has medicines to cure it, but still it bears a big social stigma ! Lepers are looked down upon, isolated from the world, even believed to be cursed. But being busy with our everyday chores and struggling to achieve more and more, we are becoming emotionally blunt towards the pain and suffering around us. If this continues relentlessly, we would soon create a new generation of self engrossed Zombies lacking all traits that make a person human.

During my yesteryears, I was very emotionally labile. Even petty day to day incidents like watching a sad scene in a movie, or seeing somebody mercilessly hitting a dog on the road would bring me to tears. But gradually as I grew up, I became stronger, or actually emotionally blunt.....

An epic painting depicting tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians.
An epic painting depicting tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. | Source

What makes us Emotionally Cold?

The protagonists of "return to your roots" believe that the increased social interactions that are a norm of modern age, keep our minds occupied with so many different situations and thoughts that we fail to perceive or express anything.

Social networking has also been blamed as a culprit, providing every individual with multiple opportunities to keep him or her occupied, that a person fails to realize the worth of relationships and emotions.

But is it actually true? Any social interaction that is with humans, or with a network comprising of a group of people should make any individual more socially active.

Humans are after all social animals, and any form of society, be that a bunch of colleagues at workplace or an online community, should increase lability, not make a person cold.

The quality of being human includes being able to empathize, communicate in order to empathize and bond together for higher values of self preservation.

A more convenient, urban life gives us a false sense of independence, and we slip into a dream state, where we believe we are independent, powerful creatures.

In the past, when there was no technology, man was at the mercy of forces of nature, so was humble and fearful.

There is more slavery in the world now, than ever before. Inequality, leading to poverty, begets slavery, and further increases crime and greed. The culprits next invest in the most profitable businesses of all, war and bloodshed. Suffering, yours and mine, and no single soul to intervene.

The weeping woman
The weeping woman | Source

Developing immunity towards anguish

The actual cause behind insensitivity appears to be curbs, taboos, failure or insecurity, that has slowly creeped into our fast paced lives. We are moving away from a simple and peaceful living.

Tendencies towards denial, withdrawal and self-isolation develop in reaction to deeply felt emotional pain. In an attempt to avoid the hurt associated with a trauma event, some people shut down almost all of their emotions. Anger seems to be the only emotion they retain. They do not trust that others would respond to their open heartedness in caring and supporting manner.

People with blunted affect have shown activation of the brain regions midbrain, pons, anterior temporal lobe and extra striate visual cortex, when they were made to look at emotionally negative pictures.

Causes of keenly felt hurt

The different experiences that lead to deeply felt emotional pain include-

  • Feeling unworthy or or worthlessness.
  • Disapproved of, invalidated or rejected.
  • Not listened to, or understood.
  • Like a non-entity, or invisible.
  • Not cared about, or wanted.
  • Insulted, disparged, disrespected. distrusted, devalued or discounted.
  • Aggressed against, taken advantage of or betrayed.
  • Inadequate, defective, incompetent, inferior or looked down upon, unacceptable.
  • Slow or foolish; contemptible.
  • Dishonoured or cowardly.
  • Embarresed or humiliated.
  • Weak, helpless, defenseless.
  • Undeserving of time, attention or recognition.
  • Like a failure, looser.
  • Guilty, shameful or a bad person generally.

Traits that show, you are insensitive

  • You just don't care.
  • You are emotionally selfish. You care more about your feelings, than other peoples'.
  • You spend a lot of time with yourself, on your own, without getting disturbed.

Difference between insensitivity and hypersensitivity

Emotionally balanced
Emotionally insensitive
Emotionally hypersensitive
Have an emotional radar for others
Balance their emotions
Self centered
Get overwhelmed by emotions
Adjust in any surroundings
Self engrossed
Like being in a peaceful environment


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    • shraddhachawla profile image

      Metreye 3 years ago

      Thank you ladyguitarpicker for the compliment.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Interesting and very true.