Fuck your feelings?

Est. 2009

The phrase has seen a bit of a resurgence lately. You will be forgiven for immediately linking it to American politics. But populist hypocrisy aside, I have struggled with this phrase a lot in the past days for entirely different reasons.

You probably don’t know this, but I turned 30 recently. This has led me to reminisce about the past ten to fifteen years, and to realize how strikingly apt “fuck your feelings” seems to encapsulate it all.

While I’m sitting here writing this, listening to “Medio-Core” by NOFX, I’m pleasantly reminded of a period in my life that I like to call “peak edge”. You know, too cool for school, nothing matters, everything is dumb sort of thing.

Retrospectively, however, one could perhaps more fittingly refer to it as the “overwhelmed with everything” period, when puberty, feelings, and unmitigated nihilism combined to form a creature of ultimate suppression and aloofness.

In the years that followed, that confusion was slowly replaced by understanding. I discovered my strong capacity for empathy, which I now see as a likely reason for my reflexive suppression of everything at the start of it all. This is undoubtedly a success, although I’m under no illusions that this journey is over.

Fierce empathy.

Empathy is great and important. For countless reasons, it is crucial to a well-rounded and happy existence and I am grateful for that capacity to understand others I seem to possess. But it has a flipside.

To be clear, a “fuck your feelings” is not a great approach when it comes to others. At best it’s a protection mechanism, at worst it’s ultimately life-denying. The issue that slowly dawned on me, though, was that by overcoming a “fuck your feelings” approach towards others, I slowly morphed it into a “fuck your feelings” approach towards myself.

In a nutshell, instead of far too readily disregarding the opinions and feelings of others, I far too readily disregarded my own. And this is where I’m coming full circle, I guess. Just in time for my 30th.

Sitting here, listening to “You’re Wrong” by NOFX, I think I’m ready to re-embrace some of that “fuck your feelings” energy – but in a good way. The goal, after all, is that the feelings and opinions of both others and myself are in a healthy balance – and nobody gets fucked.

30 thoughts on “Fuck your feelings?

  1. You certainly have a way with words, Markus [smile]. I feel very sorry for teenagers and people in their 20s. It is such a tough time in your life. You are full of hormones and desperate to fit in with peers, usually to the detriment of your individuality and sometimes your principles. In you late 20s and 30s, you evolve into a people pleaser who is desperate to get on in life at the expense of your own health and there is often no balance in your life. It is only when you hit 40s that you have sufficient confidence to start saying no and actually getting things right.

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    1. I guess it’s all part of the journey. Sometimes I catch myself agonizing over the fact that going through these motions takes up so much time. But then again, agonizing over it just adds to the time it takes, doesn’t it? Also, who says you can’t enjoy the time despite going through these motions – or perhaps even because of them.

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  2. You’ve come a long way from your younger, dare I say selfish, days. It’s interesting to me how as some people grow older, they’re able to reinterpret what they did back then, in the light of doing better now. Other people seem destined to be stuck in their pasts forever. Thankfully you’ve moved on.

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  3. Empaths – like introverts (and many introverts are empaths) – can be easily overwhelmed with their feelings for and about others. They default to putting others’ feelings first. So a “fuck their feelings” approach as a protective barrier, a boundary, makes sense, because otherwise you spend all your precious energy on the feelings of others and none on your own.

    Life is a wonderful teacher. Slow, but patient and wise.

    Balance: the key to life!

    Happy birthday, youngster! 😉

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  4. Smiling–loving that you’re turning toward a healthy balance of feelings. Soon after I turned thirty there was a period of tremendous spiritual growth–who knows, maybe that will happen for you, too. (Although you’ve had a LOT of spiritual growth already!)

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  5. First of all, 30. So young yet so full of wisdom.

    Did you turn 30 this January? Because if so, it makes all sense. I am not into star signs and astronomy but I have noticed that with January babies, they tend to be empathetic and selfless. I mean, they’ve got all these feelings but can easily disregard them for more altruistic (term too generous?) causes; I mean, at least other than those that work to their benefit.

    It’s sketchy though because I am a January baby, but I have seen that from friends and growing up, it seemed that we all have one problem and it’s not caring enough for ourselves.

    But you are right, empathy is great and important.. and it’s about doing something about all the feelings you feel. Compassion without action is just an observation and I am glad to have found both you and Micah and get to be inspired by the things you share and do for others.

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    1. Thank you! And almost in January – Dec 27. I used to like the idea of altruism in the past, but my cynical side never allows me to fully embrace it. It is also too easy to justify disregard for oneself by making it sound noble in calling it “altruism”. Well said about compassion without action. We certainly try to take action when and however we can. It means a lot to know that we are even able to inspire you to do the same!

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  6. You’ve learned a lot more than I did when I turned 30. Congratulations, on both a milestone birthday and on being so wise. As a teen and 20-something I suppressed a lot of my feelings in order to project a tough, “don’t care” attitude. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized, in ignoring my own empathy, for myself and others, I had made some clanging mistakes. Never take a job or stay with one if everything inside of you says “NO!” Even if the salary is great, even if you’re suddenly able to afford material things like a car, a house and all the toys. The injury you do to yourself and others can sometimes be irreparable. I didn’t see that then, and only now I know how much time I wasted and how little the money meant compared to the things I gave up on, like basic happiness. So I’m glad to see someone learn the lessons early in life. You have a lot to look forward to. Hope you have a great day and a marvelous year!

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    1. Thank you very much, and a marvelous year to you, too! What you say resonates a lot, especially because I keep being confronted with the money question from the other end of the spectrum. I guess it’s about balance again. But I also don’t think there is reason in being too harsh with ourselves. Things just take the time they need to take, there is no escaping that. What matters is the step we take right now.

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  7. Yes, the overall goal is important. Make sure you have a healthy balance of such strong feelings. Best wishes and welcome to the 30s club!🎉🎉🎉

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  8. Lol this was funny to read because I can totally relate to going through phases of this. And sometimes, it’s a good reminder that our feelings are not always accurate depictions of our true thoughts and long term beliefs, but rather just chemical and hormonal reactions to a stimulus.

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    1. I’m glad you found it relatable, also because it shows that I’m not the only one experiencing stuff like this. But yes, very true! Realizing the part that chemicals and hormones play in feelings can help to not take them too seriously.

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