In a previous article on my blog ( ), we delved into the profound importance of embracing and understanding emotional pain as an essential part of the human experience.

Today, let’s journey even further into the intricate labyrinth of emotional pain, shedding light on its darker dimensions, particularly the elusive practice of buffering.

The Paradox of Avoidance with Regards to Pain

Our innate survival instincts compel us to avoid pain, seeking solace and security. Yet, when it comes to emotional pain, this avoidance strategy can ensnare us in a web of perpetual suffering.

Evading pain extends its grip, transforming a fleeting experience into an enduring ordeal.

What is (emotional) Buffering and Why Do We Do It?

Buffering refers to the mechanisms we employ to sidestep emotional pain. It’s the distractions, the overindulgences, and the numbing behaviours we engage in to shield ourselves from confronting our inner turmoil.

From excessive screen time to mindless eating, from alcohol consumption to endlessly scrolling social media, we engage in buffering as a means to temporarily evade discomfort.

Buffering can take on many forms, each casting its own shadow over our lives. It might manifest as overworking to avoid facing personal issues, overeating to fill emotional voids, or seeking constant external validation to numb insecurities.

In its extreme expression, buffering can lead to addictive / compulsive habits that become “locked in” and create vicious cycles of buffering, suffering and negative emotions (guitl, shame, anxiety etc.).

Buffering: an Illusory Escape

But herein lies the paradox: while buffering may offer a fleeting sense of relief, it ultimately amplifies our pain. It’s like placing a band-aid on a wound that requires deep cleansing and proper care.

The more we buffer, the more we distance ourselves from the authentic experience of life. Buffering numbs our emotions, preventing us from processing, understanding, and healing.

Peering into the Abyss

In a society that often glamorizes perfection and dismisses vulnerability, we find ourselves trapped in a cycle of masking our true emotions.

Buffering keeps us from understanding the root causes of our pain, and as a result, we remain stuck in a perpetual loop of discontentment.

Acknowledging the dark side of emotional pain and buffering requires courage. It means peering into the abyss of our insecurities, facing our vulnerabilities head-on, and dismantling the walls we’ve erected to protect ourselves.

The Path to Liberation

Just as we discovered in the realm of emotional pain, the solution lies in our willingness to face discomfort. By shining a light on the shadows of buffering, we can begin the journey toward liberation.

Acknowledging our buffering habits, identifying their triggers, and understanding their purpose allows us to take back control. Sometimes therapy will be necessary, e.g. if the suffering involved is too traumatic, or if the buffering habit has turned into an addiction or another mental illness.

In any case there will come a time where it is necessary to look at the iceberg below the surface and understand the causes of the suffering that led us to buffer in the first place, to try and address them more intentionally. This is where coaching can help.

Coaching with Me Can Help You with Getting a Grip on Buffering

Coaching is extremely powerful to get perspective and take smart purposeful action when facing such a transition. This can be done through small daily changes, significant discussions that have been avoided but need taking place, or deeper life changes to realign with current individual purpose and values…

So, what do you choose—to remain ensnared by the shadows of buffering or to venture forth into the light of genuine emotional growth? The answer lies within your willingness to embrace the uncomfortable, acknowledging that the path to healing is a journey worth undertaking.

As an emotional intelligence and transformational leadership coach, I’m here to guide you through the terrain of emotional challenges. From decoding buffering patterns to cultivating emotional resilience, our coaching journey promises to illuminate your path toward lasting transformation.

Ready to Tackle Buffering and Embrace Authenticity?

Reach out to me today to embark on your journey toward embracing emotional intelligence, conquering buffering tendencies, and charting a course toward leadership-driven personal growth.

Sincerely yours,

Dr Sophie