Performative Emotional Distance

Performative emotional distance was a concept I first learned about a few days ago. I was aware of the idea, but I couldn’t explain it in a way that made sense. What exactly is performative emotional distance, though? The best way I can explain it is that you hold back your emotions, actions, words, and sentiments in a friendship or romantic connection because you don’t want to come across as overly dependent or pick-me-up.

Source: Google images

I was talking to a friend the other day, and she helped me realise that people who truly love you won’t ever treat you unfairly just for being who you are. They choose you for you and embrace every aspect of you, so there is no need for performance with them.

The idea of putting up a wall to make your partner or friend miss you or want you more frequently backfires. The separation sows uncertainty in the mind. Imagine for a moment that your partner is always available, and your brain recognizes that you can depend on them. You constantly give them information about yourself, and vice versa. Imagine someone who has fabricated a distance now. They no longer serve as their partners’ first choice because they are never available; instead, they serve as options. The distance that was initially performative gradually drifts and becomes the new reality.

Source: Google images

We’ve been trained by society to be defensive and to hold back. Unfortunately, life is too short for frivolous games. In a relationship, we must desensitize ourselves to performance. Let people see who you truly are. It is ineffective to distance yourself in order to create scarcity.

I was just thinking about when holding back has ever helped any situation or made any bond stronger. In my opinion, it is a passive-aggressive time-wasting process. If you like someone, establish there is a mutual connection and don’t hold back.

If only I can take my advice, my life would be simpler. This post is an introduction to the topic, I will do a deep dive in subsequent posts. So do you have any stories to share about this topic? I’d love to read about it and learn from you. Please leave a comment below.

Thank you for reading and see you next time.


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