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I Don’t Understand Emotions/Feelings

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I have been having this “problem” for a while. Initially I didn´t think it was bad, I just thought it was part of my personality. However, I have seen, for a few years, that it is an obstacle. I don´t seem to understand feelings. I know, in theory, what they are, but when i have to interpret them or understand why they are happening, I get confused and frustrated.
I have emotions and feelings, that much I know. I usually see the world in a more logical manner, as much as possible, but i can’t run from feelings and when an emotional situation occurs (with me or others) i try to put it together but it’s too complex for me, which I think it’s odd because other people around me comprehend them so easily.
For example, I know how anger, happiness, etc, looks like, but in a real-life situation, I can’t understand them or why people express them with such ease.
Maybe it’s a skill that I should have learned when I was a kid? Should I tell someone? (from Portugal)

I Don’t Understand Emotions/Feelings

Answered by on -


I do believe it is the skills we learned over time. Understanding feelings and their use in various social situations is a teachable skill and one that can happen in group therapy. I encourage you to find a group with a competent group therapist. Most forms of group therapy will teach members to give feedback to one another about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. What may be most effective is finding a group for people your own age. This tends to help as many other teenagers may be struggling with similar issues, and working together to help one another can be a very empowering process.

I Don’t Understand Emotions/Feelings

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). I Don’t Understand Emotions/Feelings. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 23 Aug 2018 (Originally: 25 Aug 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 23 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.