We all know people who seem to have the emotional intelligence of a rock. Are you one of them? Even friends or loved ones can at times become preoccupied or insensitive, leaving us feeling abandoned, lonely, and unappreciated. How can you hack it and hold your own?

It is no easy feat to be comfortable with all our feelings, most especially the intense or contradictory ones. How well do you manage your finer feelings? Do you allow others to be as emotionally complex as they are? Some of us believe that you cannot think and feel at the same time or it’s got to be one or the other. Not so, sweet friends. I don’t know about y’all, but if I can’t untangle something in like two minutes, I start having an emotional breakdown. Did you want the thrill of my emotional roller coaster? Buy a ticket and wait in line like everyone else I know. But truly, are you burying emotional issues under deep layers of sarcasm, perhaps?

Humans need to learn to laugh good-naturedly at themselves – now more than ever. We used to be able to kindly laugh at each other once upon a time when comedy was appreciated for the outlet that it is. Do you sometimes laugh at your own texts before you send them? You know what they say: If you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced. That’s why people with no sense of humor have an increased sense of self-importance. Better to have a sense of humor than no sense at all.

Taking everything personally is surely not a sign of emotional maturity. Best thing about me? I laugh at my own jokes so you don’t have to. And admit it: You secretly adore people who can make you laugh when you don’t even want to smile. The world is way too sensitive these days. Soon I won’t be able to make fun of myself without people getting offended.

Reality called so you just hung up? Did you know that reality is the leading cause of stress for those who are in touch with it? Some accept the here and now; others fight it. More than a few of us take just about everything personally. Do folks have to walk on eggshells around you? Oh yes, please let me know when you’re going to pick up these eggshells you got me walking on. Wouldn’t you rather walk on sunshine? How often do you self-reflect, and how willing are you to change? How well do you tolerate differences of opinion?

Notice people who say: “It’s just who I am. I can’t change that.” How about friends who treat every minor upset like it’s the end of the world? Speaking of which…people are making “end of the world” jokes like there’s no tomorrow. Many of us use work to avoid dealing with how things are or to escape from our emotions.

Family or friends may be so busy projecting their ideas of who you should be onto you, and never truly see the real you. Now think of someone you feel truly safe with in this world. Someone you feel “seen” with. You know: the one you can send your ugly selfies to. Reach out to them for reassurance or relief from this “Rona” ordeal.

When we are emotionally neglected, it injures us. Some of those wounds can be soul deep. We are all born charming, joyous, and divine little beings who deserve to be held – and cherished. Unfortunately, those of us with unresolved emotional baggage can make others feel rejected, shamed, abandoned, and most definitively unseen. Please validate what you feel, even if it is anger, disgust, disappointment, dejection, or depression. Just because you cannot see a wound does not make it any less painful or achy.

How much do you like science? Speaking of which...I was reading a book on helium. I couldn’t put it down. Heh. Did you hear oxygen and magnesium got together? OMG. They had a certain chemistry. Lol.

Try becoming a scientist. When you are with others, detach emotionally and simply observe how they act, as if you were conducting a survey or a scientific research paper. Do not get emotionally involved. You are simply an observer now. We are all mad scientists, after all. Life is our laboratory and we are experimenting, are we not? Why can you never trust atoms? They make up everything. But seriously, separating yourself from your delicate sensitivities or even your sense of outrage will help you feel like an empowered adult instead of an injured, bruised, or beaten child.

Let go sometimes. Maturity is knowing where and when to be immature. Cultivate a spirit of humility. Have people around you who keep you in check. The most important thing you can give your loved ones is your time. Trust me, no one is really that busy. It just depends what number you are on their priority list. When things go sideways, especially during this “Rona” nightmare, ask: “What can I do to improve this situation” – whatever it may be. If you feel the need to snap at someone, blow off some steam at the gym instead. And no, refusing to go to the gym does not count as resistance training.

We all have to cope with unexpected change at this time. Seek out people who handle setbacks smoothly and follow their lead, Yes, they are out there Want to lead? Don’t worry what others think. It’s hard to lead a cavalry if you think you look funny on a horse. And by all means, sweet friends: Please focus on the comeback, not the setback.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.