Before I start, let me clarify what I'm talking about. I'm not saying run from your negative emotions or stuff them until they come exploding out. I'm not going to say it's always good to confront things head-on (although this is my preferred method, but it can backfire) because some things need to be approached indirectly rather than directly. I suppose the skill lies in knowing when and how to do what.
I am referring specifically to people who seem to get pleasure through experiencing negative emotion, encourage it festering within themselves, because of some misguided notion of what I'm not sure.
Once upon a time, I left food in my room and it started to stink. I smelled it and instantly went looking for the source. When I found it I threw it in the trash, sprinkled some carpet fresh, and vacuumed. I cleaned it up. I made a mental note...if I ever encounter such a smell again this is how I deal with it. I've encountered such smells within me. I don't need to go start anew, reinvestigating.But that cave is a part of you. If you dare not enter, who will? And...are you really capable of ignoring something which stench is spreading through your entire being? For that matter, if you are the cave and you made it..what's there to be afraid of? Yourself? My experience is that those skeletons don't bite, they just tend to be lodged in the sands of time, remaining half-buried only and a bitch to remove completley. The painful part is overcoming that wall of fire at the entrance, and the mirror right behind it, causing you to stand in the fire forever as you don't want to face what you've done or what you are and. If you're not careful, you end up never getting to those skeletons and giving them a proper burial while forever trapped in the fire.
This is a part of dark psychology that I'm sure some people don't recognize within themselves, but I've encountered quite a few people who plant funky land mines within themselves and through some type of twisted thinking view ritualizing the unearthing of this dangerous devices as some type of revered emotional experience. When a person creates situations where they have these negative emotional adrenaline rushes they are walking sinkholes. You mention them later and they are way too numerous for me not to think something is up.
Glorifying this behavior instead of recognizing it for what it typically is, a dangerous pattern that doesn't necessarily lead to emotional nirvana, leads even further downward. I hope I'm not misunderstanding what you and others are saying. I understand people as saying they don't like doing this but they feel compelled to. I'd rather know why they feel compelled to repeat, rinse, repeat to hopefully break a cycle.
When you see yourself walking into that all too familiar cave, stop. Why am I going in here again? Haven't I already done this? Something may be drawing you back to that cave again, but to me recognizing when there is a legitimate reason to go back in the cave vs. answering a siren's call is more important that fully experiencing every nuance of that feeling. I personally would rather show people how to recognize when they're entering dark territory and if they must enter, give them some weapons, show them how to protect themselves against what they encounter, offer some guidance. Not just send them in and tell them to feel. I think taking any other position is emotionally irresponsible. LOL, this reminds me of an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Spike tells Buffy after she died and came back that she came back wrong. And then they have sex.
Each person travels through their own dark paths and they're unique to the person walking them. But there are similarities and commonalities and if someone else can tell another person, hey that's not a good path to walk down I wouldn't do that if I were you, when do you learn to heed good advice? Some people have to find out on their own; I know I've been in situations (and probably be in more later on in life) where I've sincerely regretted not listening to those wiser than me telling me I need to rethink how I'm proceeding. I created unnecessary hardship for myself and for what? Some scars are disfiguring, ugly, and unnecessary. I don't think most people regret the wisdom gained through hardship, but I'm pretty sure they wish they hadn't learned it in the way they did. When it is avoidable work smarter, not harder.Hehe. Oh it's no picnic, for sure. But I find that walking through the fire...(mind you walking, not standing still in it!) is..rather purifying. Scratch that, it's intensely purifying. And most Fi's don't have a choice, ime. The fire finds them anyways. Either you constantly run from it, becoming paranoid of the shadows. Or, another option is, you can stand there, fight and refuse to walk on, constantly getting burned and panicking like mad and getting burned over and over again, in a continuous loop, coz there's no way you'll win. Or you can accept it, weather through it and find out what's on the other side of it. Usually, it's well worth the pain and the experience. The wisdom that lies behind it is..worth every little flame.
OK, this is interesting. When I think about this, I'm really practical and specific. Take my situation for example. My family and I are navigating end of life issues. Personally, it's gutwrenching to be where I'm at and I guess for someone to say they like to live in places like this is a foreign concept to me. I think when people conceive of emotional intensity, it tends to be of the romantic kind. But their are many different forms of emotional intensity and for those along the negative end of the spectrum, I don't think most people enjoy it and seek ways to avoid them. Most of the hardest decisions we make in life tend to be between equally unpleasant options. I love making decisions about pleasurable things because I don't lose any way I decide.Experiencing in an emotional way is a part of me. It's what I'm meant to do. Why run from who you are? Sure, a reprieve sometimes is nice, and god knows we all have done the whole cocoon thing. But it always ends up biting you in the ass, with you feeling dull,dead and empty, I find. I'd rather be screaming at the top of my lungs, being burned by the emotional fire, than feel as if I'm dead. At least the Fire will let me know I'm alive.
And this feeling of being dead inside...that does make me wonder about the people I've encountered who need to drama in their lives. When I say drama, I'm not necessarily thinking of it in a negative way. I know people who need to be embroiled in complicated situations. How does not feeling dead inside translate practically? A benign example of this can be listening to certain types of music, but more extreme examples don't seem like they would be good. Does this mean that you seek situations that will engage your emotions? For me, I like to have my emotional temperature set at 72. I like the concept of emotional cruise control. Wild variances tend to drag me along with it and the effects are often difficult to right again.
Yes, I agree about this. Sometimes you have to go places you don't want to go. I guess I'm all about deciding how you'll go.I doubt any of us seek out these (negative) experiences consciously. But when they do happen, it's not exactly a choice to not fully experience them in this way.
Yeah, I get this part too. Like the stinky sandwich. I'm ambivalent about seeking it out in others though. Infectious disease and all, unless of course you have immunity. You can gain immunity by getting sick with the illness or getting a vaccine. Sometimes you catch it and you just deal with it. Sometimes you put yourself in a situation to catch it and I don't think that's a smart move. But now I'm thinking about survival rates and comorbidities and all types of crazy stuff.At least, it isn't to me. Imo, it takes skill and experience in fact, to channel them in such a way that you're not consumed by them entirely. And even then, it's only a tool to help you go through it. I do feel drawn to negative emotions in people, simply because they are so hard to ignore and you want it to stop. Of course you wanna help the person, but you also want to stop the 'emotional polution' they're spreading. The fact that you've been there, you've experienced it as well, can idd help that process. Depending on the emotion they're spreading it kinda reminds me of seeing a will o' the wisp dance during a moonless night in the fog amidst treacherous marshes. Irresistable...and with a good guide...so worth it.