Emotional Investment- Relationships with people and things

Who are you? Are you an emotionally invested person? Do you let your day be affected by the people you invest in? Is your mood swayed by the ideologies and affiliations that you are invested in? I am a very volatile people when it comes to emotionally investing in people. I either have my guards up, never letting people in, or I go all out-too much too soon. When I like someone, I give too much and I probably expect too much as well. Do I share too much, do I allow people to create a perception of me too quickly? Do I come across as clingy?? Eeeks. This is probably the reason that people I ‘let in’, simply vamoose without an explanation. (It isn’t like they owe me an explanation…). But, I am left fathoming what I did or didn’t do to earn this. I keep going over it in my mind like a crazy bat until I end up writing a blog so that I can rant. I just don’t know what it is. Where am i going wrong? I decided to read up about emotional investment and relationships, to better understand my situation.

What is Emotional Investment

Emotional investment is the extent to which emotions are stimulated when the subject of investment is confronted. Your subject of investment may be a relationship with someone, an idea or ideology, an affiliation to a group or team, a hobby or a passion, or even self-development. Often, we create bonding-points with the object or subject of our investment. For example, an old tune may bring back some happy memories, the taste of a certain food could cause a recall of certain periods in your life, or a memorabilia from a lost love could open an emotional floodgate. Sometimes a emotional investment is made as early as the first interaction. We start visualizing what it would be like to know ‘x’ person better, maybe.

But, just like a financial investment, an emotional investment too, has its risks and opportunities. While we are very mindful and conscious of our financial investments, we are very blasé about our emotional investments. At least most of us are, most of the time. The ones that are truly at peace with themselves are few and far between. So how can we stay mindful of our emotional investments?

The Emotional Investment Cycle- Overcoming Negative Emotions

Emotions That come with Financial Investments

Not unlike a financial investment cycle as seen above, an emotional investment cycle too has its ups and downs. We feel positive emotions until a peak where there is maximum risk. Beyond that, there is a dip where negative emotions rule until we are able to get to the point of maximum opportunity in said investment.

Negative emotional investments sometimes make people feel confused, depressed, and even lacking confidence. The affected person may question whether they invested enough effort into the relationship. This becomes rhetorical and allows them to assume that they did not invest enough and also assume that it is their fault. Yet, investing too much may leave a person feeling cheated, angry, and confused because there may not be sufficient reciprocation.

The best way to overcome this would be to avoid investments based on fear, greed or frustrations. Another good way is to stop dwelling on un-knowing. This is where we regret ‘not knowing the possibility of choosing another direction or option in life’.  

What we can do better when we emotionally invest is to check for low volatility and downside protection when we invest in people or ideas. We should prepare ourselves to recognize dangers and opportunities in every relationship. We must also learn to recognize the high risk investments from the beginning so that we do not invest heavily in such relationships.

Bottom Line

Having said this, I personally think that it is going to take me a long time to implement such ideas. It is hard to liken a relationship with a friend to a financial investment where opportunities and risks have to be assessed on a regular basis. But, in the long run, I think this may help me hurt less and stop pounding myself to pulp over something that I may or may not have done. People come and go in life. But inner peace, that is here to stay!

Published by Nitya Neelakantan

Yoga teacher, writer, dog mom!

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