Emotophobia - you’ll recognise this

Black and white photo of a woman's face, eyes peaking between the fingers

Is it fair to say that you’d rather not experience ‘bad’ emotions? Maybe you do alot to try and get rid of them or manage them? Have a read and see what occurs to you.

“I discovered that my emotions weren’t reflecting my nature – that they were in fact simply surface fluctuations atop a deep core of wellbeing” Michael Neill

When have you said with genuine joy ‘How brilliant! I feel stressed!’ or ‘I’m having such a great week, I’ve felt overwhelmed since Monday and the feeling’s just grown and grown as the week’s gone on’…Anyone?…Any….one…?


So, consider Michael’s new word for what you have experienced:

Emotophobia (n)



  1. An abnormal or pathological fear of emotions, particularly those thought of as ‘negative’ or ‘non-productive’

Although Michael’s definition says an ‘abnormal’ fear of emotions, emotophobia is currently counted in the Western world as the most normal perspective on our experience — that some feelings are bad and we should try and get rid of, or at least change and improve, our emotional state.

I talk about it in Day 2 of the free 5-day course too, how we’re conditioned as children that:

  1. Being upset isn’t OK and I need to fix it
  2. There needs to be a logical reason why I’m upset

So part of your survival strategy has been to not only try and get rid of how you’re feeling, but also to add stories to your upset to blame an apparent cause out there.

The more you’ve told the stories, the more you’ve believed them. Making them look like truths — not temporary moments in time.

You might even have been given extra comfort if the story sounded really bad so you could have learnt to embellish and dramatise for effect. Makes sense when it looks like that behaviour = love. Or, my own version, which was to play things down, don’t be dramatic, don’t make a big deal about it. It looked like love was found at the end of that storyline.

Have you noticed that no storyline leads to love?

The deeper into the tale you go, continuing to believe it as true, telling it to anyone that will listen and still to yourself, the more it leads you further from feelings of love. Deeper into disconnection.

And yet, funnily enough, and although a long and winding road round…it does actually lead back to love! Because the deeper into stories you get, the greater the constriction until the weight of the stories collapse under their own confusion and you’re back in Love.

Not the love you thought you were looking for — better than that — because it’s the inner peace and unconditional love that is always available, always here, and experienced directly the instant a believed storyline drops away.

This Love is unreliant on how you or anyone else behaves, it has no fear of any emotion, it is you.

With love, Helen

If you want to join the next book group, find out more here. And if you want to follow this current one more closely (we’re reading Michael Neill’s “The Space Within”) sign up through my newsletter, here.

I coach and guide smart, passionate, curious people who care about improving the lives of those around them. Often coaches and leaders, they’ve worked hard all their lives to be the ‘best’ them and it doesn’t seem to have delivered the happiness, security or freedom they expected. Now they’re wondering what else is available. I guide you back, prior to stories, to remember the real you because that’s what you, me and the whole world really wants! Find out more here.

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