Okay, here goes. Generally I feel ok but I’ve noticed recently that I just don’t really have strong emotions, for example just last week my great aunt died and I wasn’t sad, not at all or I just got an offer for my first job, I’m not excited, I’m generally happy yeah, but its a very vague feeling. That’s all during the day, at night when I’m in my room and have a feeling I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s sad if you know what I mean, I don’t know what to do except figure out why I feel like this. So anything you have I’d be grateful.
A. I would need more information about your life to know if your emotional reactions are inappropriate. Based upon the examples you have provided, your reactions may have been appropriate. I’ll review those below.
In your first example, you did not feel sad about your great aunt dying, but how well did you know her? If she was a major part of your life and you loved her and felt no sadness about her death, then your reaction would be abnormal. I would expect that you would feel a great deal of sadness after the death of someone you loved and with whom you were very close.
I would not, however, expect you to feel much sadness about the death of someone you were not close to, even if that person were a member of your family.
We feel sadness when we lose someone we love and with whom we are close, but we don’t have that same depth of feeling when we lose someone we do not love.
In your second example, you were not excited about getting your first job offer. You felt generally happy but not overly excited. Generally speaking, I see that as a normal reaction. There does not appear to anything overtly abnormal about your response to your job offer. Again, with limited information it is impossible to definitively say if your response was appropriate or not.
If your emotional reactions continue to concern you, then it would be advantageous to consult a therapist. Your therapist could analyze specific situations, with which you are concerned, and determine if your feelings were appropriate. I would highly recommend counseling. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 31 Mar 2014
Randle, K. (2014). Distinct Lack of Emotion. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 5, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/03/31/distinct-lack-of-emotion/