Hmm–I’m taking a break from work now, so let me write a quick post on how to spot emotional baggages, and how to deal with emotions so that they don’t become baggages.
I learnt how to spot emotional baggags from the top wedding vendors in Singapore, and also from extended discussions with Raymond and his group folks. And I learnt how to not let emotions become baggages from my beautiful Norwegian friend Thale.
In bridal sales, there would always be some anxious/ crazy brides who act like bitches. This is just perfectly normal, because weddings are events which makes couples–especially women–very panicky.
You will never know who is bringing their emotional baggages during wedding shopping, and what forms of emotional baggages those stuffs are. So if a bridal sales staff ends up with a really crazy bride, it really usually is just bad luck.
What I’d noticed with the top wedding vendors in Singapore, however, is that they know how to spot these emotional baggages from a mile. Some know what emotional baggages you come with just 1 minute after talking to you, which I am constantly fascinated with.
What are emotional baggages?
According to Collins Dictionary, “emotional baggages” are defined as:
“The feelings you have about your past and the things that have happened to you, which often have a negative effect on your behaviour and attitudes.”
Here’s another very cool explanation:
“Emotional baggage is a useful metaphor—these battered old suitcases hold the mix of negative and unprocessed emotions that we’ve acquired throughout the years. These feelings comes from people, places, behaviours and experiences from our past that still have a negative impact on our present.“
The 2-steps to spotting emotional baggages.
Step 1: Consider what is the rational state of affairs.
Imagine a world without emotions, or simply just involving money. This is what I call the “rational state of affairs”. In a world sans-emotions, everyone would just be operating in accordance to cost-benefit analysis.
This makes sense right?
For example, let’s say I’m selling you mascara. The manufacturing cost of a tube of mascara is probably less than USD5. The market retail price can be around USD20.
The name of this mascara is “Blood”.
So if I were to try to sell you this “Blood” mascara at USD500, you’d probably reject the deal because it’s crazy to buy a mascara at USD500 when the market retail price is USD20. You’d also probably think I’m insulting your intelligence by trying to see you a cheap mascara at USD500.
This is known as the rational state of affairs, sans emotions.
If you were to push it and tell me that this “Blood” masacara can heal my pain, I’d call you crazy and tell you to fuck off.
Step 2: Look at that person’s emotional state, and compare it with the emotional state of any other imagined normal person under the “rational state of affairs”.
So let’s say, this Lady comes into the shop, and picks up the USD500 “Blood” mascara.
She was surprised, and she asked you the sales person, “Why is this mascara USD500?”
If you can read people and can feel that the lady was a bit sad, you would look at the lady in the eye, and tell her “This mascara is only for ladies who are hurting, because it will absorb their pain and make them more beautiful. Lady, you are in pain, aren’t you?”
Depending on how much bullshit and drama the sales person can pull, the Lady would be like, “How do you know??”
Then this sales person would probably ask some questions like, “Do you want to talk about it?”
So anyway, if the Lady were to talk about her problems, the sales person will be actively listening to map out her emotional, thought and knowledge gaps. Let’s say the lady just recently went through a very bad breakup.
Then the sales person would probably BS something like–“This mascara will help you take revenge on your ex. You will never feel belittled or worthless again.”
She’d buy it.
And if she buys it, you will know for sure how much she is hurting, and this is precisely where her unresolved emotional baggage is.
Now, the mascara will never resolve the unresolved hurt. On the contrary, it will only mislead the lady into thinking that it will help resolve it.
However, I do not think it’s wrong to sell it to her for USD500, because, “willing buyer, willing seller”. It buys her temporary comfort. Deep down she probably also knows it.
So the above are the two steps you use to spot emotional baggages. Always compare an emotional and upset person vis-a-vis how an imagined normal person would react under “the rational state of affairs”.
Then map out the differences and you can identify the emotional baggages. You can even draw it out on a piece of paper, then (optional) sort of test it out! But aiyah, testing people is quite tricky sometimes. Raymond said even if you test people, you must never let them know that you are testing them, due to the Hawthorne Effect.
But anyway, if you are indeed testing people, please do it with good intentions, ok? 🙂
People bring emotional baggages into their relationships all the time. This is why it’s important to seek closure when shit happens.
And for raw wounds that never close or get resolved, it’s important to find out where they are, so that time can heal them. And so that when someone else rubs salt into them accidentally or deliberately, you can protect yourself.
Above all, in spite of all these, I think it’s important to still be yourself, just as you are. No shame, no guilt, just courage. I think this is so difficult BECAUSE it is fucking painful– it’s easier to try to pretend that you’re someone else by putting on facades!
How to deal with emotions so that they do not become emotional baggages.
It’s here that I want to share a quote by Jeanette Winterson in her book “Why books seem shockproof against change“:
“Half broken, half whole, you begin again”.
When I first read this quote, I thought of a beautiful friend I met in Norway. Her name is Thale, and she’s a beautiful, beautiful Norwegian opera singer.
I’m always very fascinated with Thale, to the extent that when I was in Norway, I actually skipped this important opening ceremony of an international delegate event to watch Thale perform, as the timings clashed. 😛 I told the organizers that I’m going to the washroom and never returned. Opps!! 😛
I really liked Thale because I thought she is beautiful–not only in appearance, in performance but also her heart and soul, and I often wondered how she lived her life because her emotions are so raw.
We are very different ladies–I think in terms of “limits” and on very practical terms while she thinks in terms of possibilities. To her, there is no end to possibilities, and her mind is like BOOM! hahaha.
My masters thesis–which is on brides and wedding fairs in Singapore— also has a first dedication to Thale. People often wondered and asked me why.
The reason actually is because I had been very sad when I was in Norway. There was one night when Thale and I watched a video performance of her singing a really touching song, about a mom’s love for her child. It was a stunning performance.
I wept, perhaps more than usual, and Thale asked if I was sad.
After she asked that, I kept crying, and I couldn’t stop crying. And Thale told me it is okay to cry, because junk isn’t supposed to stay in your system. Nobody told me it is okay to cry in such a gentle and beautiful manner before, and so I kept crying.
And I couldn’t stop. But perhaps tears are God’s way of washing your heart, guarding it and keeping it pure.
Then Thale looked at me in the eye and told me– “All pain will pass.”
I think ‘Half broken, half whole, you begin again” is a quote that articulates and teaches one how to deal with emotions, so that such emotions don’t become emotional baggages. When you are hurt, you are fucking broken, and you should just cry it off or talk to someone. Look at some legs, talk it out, and have nice cake and hug.
I found this explanation on Photo.sh:
“Half broken; half whole, you begin again. Wondered what it meant and think she got it, or at least, learning and knowing more than before. You believed, you gave and you hoped with all your #heart, #mind and #soul. Not nothing was gained, you learned and got stronger. It hurts but you will live on coz moving on is the only way to go. Do not be shamed, no guilt, lift your head high for you have had more courage and stories than others. Keep breathing and make no apologies, you have lived and will continue so with zest and #love. Keep pushing, keep stretching, keep being honest to self…The best has yet to come.”
I love how Thale puts it–
“Do not be shamed, no guilt, be true to self.” Do not be ashamed of what you are. No guilt for what you have done. If you forgive yourself for all your shortcomings and wrongs, you are true to self.
I like that there is so much hope in this poem. Emotions are like seasons. They can not have the same intensity forever, cause if they did we would all break. They pass on into new seasons, but so slow you barely notice it. And then suddenly one Day a new season has arrived. The trees are suddenly green.
And we all have to carry on, and we will because we know that all pain will pass.”