Sometimes, some of the emotional difficulty you may be experiencing may not be about behaviors that you are engaging in or thoughts and feelings that may be troubling you. At times, the emotional difficulty may have interpersonal and social aspects that may result from aspects of your own personality. Often, these emotional difficulties may not be difficulties at all for you. They are things that might case some upset for others however, but are such a part of your own life experience that you do not consider them something you might want to change. They are not a problem for you. You might think, “It’s just my personality.”
Just what is personality? In short, your personality is what makes you, you. How you think about and understand yourself, your world, how you relate to the other people in your world. Personality results from a uniquely complex process involving temperament and the process of social, emotional and relational growth and development occurring through childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
It is typical, for example, perhaps because of your personality, to simply “get along” with and relate to some people better than others. These people often become friends – or maybe someone more important. There are others, however, toward whom for some reason you may have a fairly strong and complex set of thoughts and feelings. Both of these types of people – persons with whom you are more comfortable and those toward whom you might have strong complex feelings – are usually typical, expectable, and normal aspects of interpersonal relationship. They could be persons with whom you might work or see in the course of your regular social activities. In most cases, these relationships are flexible and usually each person in the relationship, for example a co-worker or a boss, learns how to adapt to and relate to the other person without difficulty.
Usually, interaction with these persons during the course of regular occupational or social activity does not lead to thoughts, feelings, beliefs or resulting behaviors that might affect their occupational or social activity in a negative way. However, in other cases they may. When this happens, this could also create a situation that has an effect on the other person or persons that might create an opportunity for considering a change in thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behavior toward the person or persons. Sometimes, these opportunities for change are suggested by others and may even be somewhat necessary for the relationship to remain. For example, a spouse or partner who appears to be a person who is somewhat rigid, inflexible and so concerned with orderliness that they become irritable and angry when these conditions are not present which leads to further problems in the relationship.
These social and emotional difficulties can also become the focus of psychotherapy and lead to a unique process of “self-discovery” that may have implications not only for the relationship that may be affected, but also for multiple relationships over the course of your life.
These social and emotional problems are important matters in which I am very experienced and for which you might also be considering psychotherapy.