What we know about repressed anger




Some people have learned from their families, schools, or religion that anger is a bad or even immoral thing. They become afraid of the power of their own rage. When anger emerges, they feel an intense inner conflict. Simultaneously there is a force to squash it all down. They may immediately switch the focus onto other people’s needs, or ‘what the situation needs from them,’ rather than their own needs. To avoid conflicts, they opt to be the listener or peacemaker and will do anything to maintain peace and harmony.

This tendency is especially common among the emotionally sensitive and highly empathic. Their life experiences have taught them that they are ‘too much,’ ‘too dramatic,’ ‘too outspoken,’ ‘care too much about small things,’ etc. To fit in or even just to survive, they have learned to silence themselves. In conscious or unconscious ways, they try to curb their own excitement and energy. As a child, they kept their head down so as not to upset an already depressed parent, or provoke an aggressive one. Their role in the family was the mediator or the invisible one, and they would do everything to not bother anyone with their emotional needs. They would rather appease others to keep the peace than to express it and risk having a confli