Alifya Abbas Pesh:
I am an emotionally-detached individual. I am not supposed to be like this. As a woman, it is expected of me to harbor certain degree of emotional quotient, you know. But truth be told, I just cannot bring myself to be an emotional person. Very often, I have been subjected to a lot of familial and friendly rants for this trait of mine. My so-called romantic liaisons have taken a hit too because of it (and am I not glad about it now!) My parents, my mother particularly, cannot seem to fathom how I can be so emotionally unavailable, and still be a functioning human being. More than her, my extended family seems to have a problem with this quality of mine – which they conveniently label as “she has an attitude problem.” It is completely untrue. This limited thought-process that people have, about what a woman can be and cannot be has driven me to write on this topic.
Is it really a taboo for a woman to be emotionally-detached? I don’t buy the bluff. I firmly believe that an individual has the right and liberty to be what and who they want to be – gender should never be a dictating pointer in this regard. As a woman, I own up to my personality and feel proud of the traits I possess – the good ones and the partially bad ones. And I think being an emotionally-unavailable person is one of the high-points of who I am. Putting my personal experiences and wisdom (which I have earned over the years) I want to spill the beans to show you why exactly it is absolutely normal for a woman to have no-strings-attached to her emotions.
- One of the first things which is incredibly awesome about being an unemotional woman is that you’re incredibly focused on the important things in your life – career, for example. Speaking from personal experience, I can vouch that transforming myself into an emotional no-show has allowed me to learn and unlearn so many things. As soon as I adopted this new avatar, my career graph became the most important entity in my life. I am a writer, and in order to write with clarity, I need to have a sense of balance internally and externally. I was not at peace for a very long time, as I had lost myself in emotions – mine and others – and it cost me a great deal of stress. Then one day, I decided to put an end to playing puppet to emotional upheavals, for good. And it is working for me, and how!
- Although I have never been very inclined in building long-term romantic relationships, this new trait, regardless, caused me to view my life and my goals from a fresh perspective. I am able to prioritize more sensibly than ever and hey, men and marriage have taken a backseat for a very long time, as a result. I think there is more to a women’s life then the two M-words I mentioned above. Being so aloof in these matters is not acceptable, especially in South Asian societies, but I believe if you’re strong in your head and heart, everything is possible.
- Last week, my cousin paid me a visit and randomly declared that my “detachedness” is not going to win me a soul-mate in this lifetime, at least. I got told the same sentence, albeit a little differently, once before in 2015, when I was working a corporate job. I do not let such things penetrate my mind (this kind of behavior is part of the package-deal, ha!) For one, I’d like to tell one and all, that emotional-coldness is awesome for a woman, because it is empowering on so many levels.
- Apart from matters of love and career, generally, emotional detachment lets a woman enjoy a drama-free life. I mean, the clutter of an ordinary life can get to anyone, and it can throw you off-balance. And as a woman, it is a societal expectation that women are pro at the art of balancing. Do you want to know what it takes to balance in the best way possible? Conditioning oneself to look away, move away, and walk away. All of these are not easy to do, but sometimes, that’s the only, and best option there is for you! Take heart from the personal experience which I am about to share here. In my previous corporate job, I developed an impression, a belief, that the job is the “IT” for me. I mean, I grew so dedicated and passionate as an employee that I wanted to spend maximum number of hours at work. I loathed Sundays, because it made me miss office hours. As funny and silly as that is, well, I was absolutely swept off my feet by my work life (and mind you, my paycheck was hardly handsome, and appraisals happened every two years! Imagine!) Later on, about a year later, things started to change as I began to transform. The work-culture became something else, and slowly, job-withdrawal symptoms occurred. I wanted to look away, move away, and walk away. Eventually, I did. More than a year has passed, and now when I look back, the decision to break away from that office environment and office life is perhaps the wisest things I have done for myself till date.
- Becoming this emotionally-free individual has taught me to stay away from situations of conflict and misunderstandings. How? Well, it comes with practice. I believe that most times in life, it is our emotions which make us cause trouble – internally and externally. I have been labeled as a “cold person”. Well, I am fine by it, because it has helped me attain and maintain my inner peace. Really. As a result, I place logic/practicality before emotions. Well, most of the time, this tactic has served me well, and a few times, it has backfired. But again, nothing in life is fool-proof, so even being emotionally-detached has its flaws. But, I choose to not over-analyze my failures and shortcomings. You fail, you fall, you rise again, and you move on. That’s life, and it is signature behavior of an emotionally-detached individual, like me!