Emotional buffering involves using external things to hide the way you feel.
It involves taking something like alcohol, drugs, using food, or even online shopping to numb your feelings.
Emotional buffering can involve any action to numb how you feel. It doesn’t have to be as obvious as alcohol or drug use. The reason behind the action matters more than the action itself.
For example, on the outside, throwing yourself into your job may seem like an admirable quality; however, if you are killing yourself with 70 hour work weeks to avoid problems in your life, it can become an issue.
Likewise, exercising more seems like a great goal; however, exercising excessively and using it as a coping mechanism could lead to more serious issues, like eating disorders and addictions.
You can know if you are emotionally buffering by evaluating whether what you are doing is resolving your problem or simply helping you avoid it.
Emotions aren’t easy; it can be challenging to navigate how to process complicated emotions. But, avoiding the way you feel will only make things worse. No one can escape their emotions, and no one should have to; if you feel like you often use emotional buffering, we encourage you to reach out to a licensed therapist that offers you the support you need.