A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, or a Sheep in a Wolf Mask? (Emotional Avoidance)

We call them wolves, tigers, or sharks. Bears, eagles and lions symbolize their strength. These are the relentless humans who will stop at nothing to achieve.  They may be loud, seemingly unemotional and intimidating.  Society rewards them with terms such as successful and powerful, and showers them with money.  Other people want to either BECOME them, be WITH them, or even just be AROUND them.

Here is an interesting note however.  Although they align themselves with predatory animals (and possibly predatory behaviour), they are not predators.  Human beings are a prey species – genetically.  This is why we have no natural means to defend ourselves, and no natural means to take down prey.  No claws, no jaws, no speed, no body armour.  Human beings are physically (and emotionally) designed to be eaten, just like rabbits, antelope and sheep.

Why is this important to know?

All humans desire the need to be accepted into the “tribe”.  This is also part of being a prey species.  Safety in numbers.  Fear and sense of acceptance keeps us together, because a human alone in the world throughout evolution was destined to die.

However it’s a different world.  Our society celebrates the behaviours that separate us.  We are taught to share, but then expected by society to hoard.  We need to compete with others to get our piece of the pie.

We are also told the emotion of fear is an abnormality, something that makes you weak.  Therefore, people in increasing numbers are trying to “turn off” their emotional response.  Emotions can be uncomfortable, because they are a signal to you to take notice when something is wrong.  Human beings do have in innate ability to turn off pain and emotion in the most life threatening situations – because when you are going to be ripped apart by a sabre toothed tiger, the last thing you want is to be able to feel it.

What evolution did not anticipate was the fact that many human beings are now put in situations that are NOT life threatening, and we are surviving a lot of the situations that would have killed us in the past.  The end result is we have the capacity to prepare for death and immense pain by shutting off our emotions, but then we survive with our traumas, injuries, and abuses (both physical and emotional).

Before you feel this is a great advantage in the world, I need to remind you the pain, emotions and trauma do not cease to exist even though someone has shut off the response to them.  They remain as memories and physical illness, possibly indefinitely.  You can read more about that from Dr. Gabor Mate’s book “When the Body Says No”.  He discusses the scientific evidence to support the theory many chronic diseases are a result of bottled up emotions and unresolved trauma.  From a physiological perspective with an understanding of anatomy and animal behaviour, it is difficult to dispute.

I spent a good portion of my life in an emotionally devoid existence due to trauma, suffering and painful emotional experiences.  I was chronically depressed, and suffered health issues as a result of avoiding my emotions as well.  It takes real courage to be able to experience the entirety of life as an emotional being, but I now know it is the only place to find true contentment in life.

When I see someone who is emotionally cold, self reported as a “predator”, calling emotional people weak, I simply see someone who has suffered terribly in their life.  They have turned their emotional response off as a safety mechanism to their experiences.  They feel unique and superior to others now because they are not governed by their emotions any longer.  They are not unique.  They are still fearful.  They fear their emotions, therefore avoid them.  They show fear of rejection with anger and rage.    They show insecurity by consistently demanding respect.  They surround themselves with people like them or people to cater to them.

Unfortunately, many of these people feel safe in this type of existence, so it is difficult to get most of them to change.

That doesn’t change the point of this blog however – every human being is genetically a prey species, some of us are just wearing wolf masks.


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