One major identifying feature of emptiness is a lack of emotions. When you’re feeling empty inside, you may notice that you don’t feel much of anything at all – whether it’s good or bad.
Emotional emptiness can be caused by a variety of factors; consider these seven key causes when identifying emotional emptiness.
Key Cause 1: You’ve recently experienced a life-altering situation that leaves your emotions in disarray.
Sometimes, emotions can be so chaotic that it’s difficult to differentiate them from each other and fully understand them. This is often caused when you experience something life altering, especially if the situation happens quickly or unexpectedly.
For example, consider getting the dream job offer of a lifetime. You’ve always wanted this particular job, but to take it, you have to decide quickly and then move far away from your friends and family. This very sudden situation is incredibly life altering – it not only affects your professional life, but your personal life as well.
This sudden need to make quick decisions and change major aspects of your life can cause such an emotional stir that it leaves you feeling empty inside. Rather than trying to determine the differences between your emotions, you almost feel as if you’ve emotionally “shut down,” leaving you with an empty feeling as you try to navigate your new life, post-major change.
Key Cause 2: You’ve experienced something traumatic, whether it was long ago or more recent.
Trauma can cause a person to feel emotionally empty, especially when it hasn’t been addressed in a healthy and productive way. After experiencing something traumatic, people tend to react in a way that suggests nothing happened – they may feel scared, ashamed, or embarrassed over their trauma, so they attempt to push it aside and ignore it.
While this may seem like the ideal way to handle trauma – as if it never even happened – it can cause serious emotional damage. Repressing emotions from trauma, whether the traumatic event happened long ago or only a few days ago, can lead to some serious unresolved emotional issues. If these feelings and emotions are allowed to brew without being properly addressed, they can cause enough strain to cause the person to feel totally emotionally empty.
Key Cause 3: You’ve experienced either a loss of or significant change in an important relationship with someone else.
Any time you experience a big change in one of your important relationships, you’re subject to experiencing emotional emptiness as well. Examples of these types of significant changes include situations such as breaking up with a long term romantic partner, getting into a major argument with a friend, or deciding to cut toxic family members out of your life.
Whether the change happened unexpectedly or you had a good reason to make the change, the aftermath can leave you feeling emotionally empty. As your mind begins to process what just happened, it may cause you to feel empty as your emotions rearrange and your mind tries to understand your life after this major change.
Key Cause 4: You’ve been affected by an existing issue with a mental health challenge.
Existing struggles with mental health such as depression or anxiety can cause you to experience emotional emptiness. While many mental health conditions can cause your emotions to run the gamut of highs and lows, it’s important to consider how these constantly changing tides of feelings will eventually take a toll on you.
If you’re affected by a mental health condition that causes your emotions to fluctuate unpredictably and regularly, it’s exhausting. Over time, these regular fluctuations can cause a person to fall into a nearly emotionless state. This can lead to those deep feelings of emptiness inside – all that emotional strain and stress affects a person’s ability to feel anything, making it a common cause of emotional emptiness.
Key Cause 5: You’ve experienced some isolation or separation from people you care about deeply.
This is a cause that likely resonates deeply with many people as they’ve experienced the COVID-19 pandemic. When you aren’t able to be around the people you care about most, it can spark some pretty serious emotional emptiness.
Spending time with others is a way to refill your emotional cup – laughing with friends, going on outings with family, and spending communal time with coworkers are all ways to strengthen your emotional bonds with others. When you aren’t able to do this, it’s easy to develop some emotional emptiness.
Key Cause 6: You’re feeling lost about what you want to do with your life.
Not being sure about your life plans can cause some serious emotional emptiness. When you find yourself second guessing your goals, plans, and dreams, you can feel empty without that sense of direction.
If you determine that your life goals and direction need to change, you can also be left with feelings of emptiness. Think of rearranging your goals like losing a long term partner: Those old plans were a major part of your life and especially affected how you made major decisions. With those old plans gone or changed, you can be left with an emotionally empty void.
Key Cause 7: You are facing some other uncertainty in your life that leaves you feeling empty.
Life is full of uncertainty, and sometimes those uncertainties can be a huge challenge to navigate. Not knowing what lies on the other side of a major decision or future event can spark deep feelings of emotional emptiness.
When you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future regarding something that’s going to happen, it’s tough to know how to feel about it – should you be worried? Excited? Scared? Anxious? Brave?
Knowing how to navigate these many emotions can feel exhausting, and when faced with some kind of uncertainty where these different emotions arise, it can cause your emotions to totally shut down instead, causing feelings of emotional emptiness and distress.
Do You Feel Empty Inside? https://youtu.be/V_w5babUeUE
Visit our resources page here https://www.cherylspeaks.org/resources