Feeling Unnerved, Rather Than Happy.

I have never much like getting surprised by things-- especially so-called "surprise birthday parties" and the like. Other kinds of surprises aren't particularly attractive either, and I recognize that I am simply not a very spontaneous person, in most ways.

The one thing that bugs me a bit about being the way I am is the way I am often told something is "wrong" with me for not liking sudden changes and surprises. Why is that "wrong?" Some people like to jump out of airplanes, while others like to knit... but neither would be considered "wrong."

I expect some of it is learned behavior. Surprises were seldom pleasant, when I was a kid. "Surprise" meant some of the older boys at school would have taken my bike and tossed it deep into the blackberry thicket so I had no way to get home. "Surprise" meant I would be put in some embarrassing situation where everyone would have a good laugh, at my expense.

Some of it, I think, also has to do with sensitivity-- I "experience" things more intensely than most people, and so what seems "fun" and "pleasant" to many turns out to feel "horribly overwhelming" when it happens to me. I believe my body metabolizes adrenaline really slowly, so the aftereffects of some surprising event stays with me for a really long time. And I don't care for how that feels.
Denmarkguy Denmarkguy
56-60, M
3 Responses Dec 28, 2007

Yeah, it's a bit like that old saying that you "can't appreciate the light, unless you have walked in darkness."<br />
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I know that euphoric feeling... in a way, it contributed to my becoming somewhat "addicted" to spiritual and self-growth retreats and workshops. The atmosphere is so OPEN and accepting there, it just blows me away.

Yeah, I know THAT feeling...<br />
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For many years, I would find myself in situations where I thought I was "feeling something," and I was actually picking up someone ELSE's feelings. It was confusing as hell, because I would suddenly feel sadness, when I had NO reason in the world to feel sad. <br />
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I realize that I am an emotional/psychic "sponge." You probably are, too.

Anxiety and fear, yes...<br />
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Understanding about sensitivity (not "I get my feelings hurt" sensitivity, but "external stimuli feel overwhelming" sensitivity) went a long to way to help me understand my reluctance around surprises. <br />
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Have you ever considered that you might be an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)? I don't know if it's allowed to post links to other sites here... here's an article I wrote about it:<br />
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