I don’t know about shallow emotions, but I know about fake and borrowed emotions. I had a friend who practically quoted music magazines when describing a band he claimed to like as “hauntingly beautiful”. Knowing him, I knew he was incapable of feeling an emotion like “hauntingly beautiful”. It was really strange to see him pretending to be a passionate person, someone who was capable of such feelings. I had to give him credit, that maybe he could feel things but he didn’t show it, but the more I got to know him, the more I realized that he was the type to listen to podcasts and read articles so that he could quote them and pretend they were his own words. On top of all that, his description of the music was not even fitting, although it could be someone’s interpretation if they never knew what any of those feelings were and was trying to use them like they were a foreign language to them.
I had another friend who was trying to control me and have sex with me. He had no emotions. He wrote me a “love letter” with the expectation that I’d let him do what he wanted with me. He acted like this love letter was really deep. It was a very cliched hallmark card style love letter. All borrowed words and cliched. It’s all he could do to pretend he had real emotions and was really in love with me. It works in the movies right? So, all I learned in the end was that he had no idea what it meant to like someone, to have any such feelings. He had no idea. You’re so pretty and I think of you all the time and I bought you a gift…now will you be a character in my play? Now are you convinced of how much I love you so that you’ll be convinced we have a connection or something? Remember all those things we did together? Remember all the fun times we had together? I dreamt about you last night, even.
Emotionless people think they’re superior and have a better life because they have no emotions. No passion. Every person you meet is the same as the next, and you value them based off how much use you can get from them. You tell people how great they are when you think they can be useful to you. You act like you really like them. You don’t know what it means to actually like a person or even be impressed with them or find good qualities in them. To you, the only good qualities in a person are how easily you can get them to do what you want, how little fight they put up, how weak they are. Weakness is the virtue you like to see in others. Those are the people you write love letters to.
Weak, lonely, desperate, wanting something or codependent — they love to see these traits in another. These are the people they “love” and “adore” and will compliment on meeting, tell them they like them, tell them they love them. But they don’t like anything. They are infatuated with nothing. They are passionate about nothing. Well…they are passionate about their image. Their image is what makes them feel in control. They know their image is fake, but that doesn’t matter. They use rage and fear-mongering tactics to shut up anyone who says anything about their image or pseudo-world. Because they live in their own little world, cut off from the intelligence of anything else in the world, their fake image is as good as reality if no one speaks.
They love people who don’t speak. They love people who don’t share their thoughts. Silence is golden in their world. It keeps them able to believe that everyone believes in their image. Why are they losing friends? they’ll wonder. They have no idea. They shut up everyone who ever tried to say anything, so as far as they’re concerned, no one’s said anything and therefore everyone loves them and believes all their stories and lies. I guess there’s just something wrong with all those people who left or didn’t do what I wanted! is their reasoning. Because, since everyone believes what they say, then people must be running away out of shame or because they’re “criminals” or “bad people” or “stupid” or “crazy”.
They think everyone’s stupid. They can’t read people very well. So when they lie to someone’s face and someone acts like they’re going along with it, they think they’ve conned yet another “stupid” person. And since people are usually too polite to say what they really think, they can see everyone as sheep. They always feel that they’ve won. (They always think they’re winning, and if it doesn’t look that way, they’ll use intimidation or force to keep it looking that way!) Also, because they can’t see what another person is thinking, people appear stupid even when they’re not manipulating them. When they meet someone who speaks up, they see that person as “smarter than most people”. Because most people in the world haven’t had their say in their world, then most people are really “stupid” in their purview.
They could never imagine how intelligent we all are. They could never see the intelligence that’s out there. What they do know is how to evoke fear, agony, anguish, or complete helplessness in the face of another. They also know how to bring a smile to another’s face. These are the two skills they rely on in life. They don’t care if they make you smile one minute and then, when they’re gone you let out your true agony. As far as they’re concerned, you’re happy because that’s all they saw. The truth is that people are likely to hide all their agony from them while they sit their patting themselves on the back on how good a job they’re doing.