Out-of-Context Emotions

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I don’t often feel my emotions but when I do feel them they are in full force and usually out of context. For example, when bad things happen I have a minimal reaction but when small upsetting incidents occur I burst into uncontrollable tears. The same work for all of my other emotions, smaller events seem to provoke a disproportional reaction. I am a teenage girl, so I’m not sure if hormones play a role or if it points towards something else. I guess my question is, why are my emotions acting like they are?

A: Of course it is hard to know for sure, but your body and hormones are in flux, and you’re just learning about your emotions and their intensity. One way to think about it is that when we suppress our feelings in one situation they may surface with a vengeance in another. In some ways it’s like holding a beach ball underwater for a long time. If we don’t learn to let the air out of it properly it’ll come roaring up to the surface when we least expect it.

If you don’t find it balancing out within the next couple of months, you may want to talk to your school counselor about finding ways to regulate this.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral




Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 31 Aug 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Out-of-Context Emotions. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 30, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/08/31/out-of-context-emotions/