I recently realized that I have trouble feeling positive emotions.

I'm not depressed or anything... I mean, I can slip into depression occasionally, but I usually pull myself out of it within a couple of months. Normally though, I'm a positive, mostly happy person. There's nothing in my life I can complain about: I have an incredible, caring, supportive family; I have several wonderful friends; I have a promising future and career. I'm 19 years old and just finished my freshman year at a great college.

The problem is that I seem incapable of feeling overwhelming positive emotion. When great things happen to me (a boy I like asks me out, I get an incredible job opportunity, I travel to beautiful places, etc.) the most emotion I can muster is mild excitement, and even that is a bit forced because I know I SHOULD be feeling excited.

I'm perfectly capable of being overwhelmed by negative emotion, so it's not an issue of me being emotionally numb. And I do feel positive emotion to some degree, but it doesn't seem as though they're as strong as other people experience them.

I've been like this ever since I can remember.

Does anyone else experience this? If so, how do you handle it? I'd like to feel positive emotion more strongly than I am now. Any advice is appreciated!


2496 days ago
Hi Christy42 - are your parents the same way? Are you shy - the reason I ask is, shy people sort of censor themselves and think before the act...where as super happy people are kind of spontaneous. Some people are just low key in their personality. Super expressive people might also be exaggerating their emotions. How to feel more intense happiness - I don't really know lol.

2496 days ago
I definitely know what you're talking about. Personally I tend to enjoy things in a more aesthetic way, and while I logically realize I enjoy it (or should,) the feeling I expect to be there just isn't.

I can't give advice on how to feel more strongly, but emotion is always momentary anyway. Let it be enough to realize you should enjoy something rather than ruin it by hyper-focusing on the actual feeling.