1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Distinction: Repression vs Short Tempered Anger?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Freedom, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    I notice as I'm reading TMS literature, I seem to continuously get confused of the difference between these two things. If we are not supposed to repress, then shouldn't we get angry when something irritates us? On the other hand, aren't there situations where it is detrimental to our health to get angry. For example when people are assholes in traffic. On the one hand I feel like if they understand the entirety of the situation they wouldn't be rude, but when they are It feels like something was (energetically) taken from me.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Freedom, this is a very important question! Here's my take:

    Anger and impatience are shallow emotions. We all experience them, and we act appropriately (or sometimes not) according to the situation and the other people who are around. Acting appropriately is not repression! Repression occurs when you push down the entire incident, you never examine it, and your brain covers it up with either a symptom or perhaps inappropriate behavior, often directed in the wrong place. Chronic symptoms occur when you keep repressing and don't acknowledge or explore what the anger really means with regard to your core being.

    That last thing you said is a good one: I would suggest that you explore the feeling that something was taken from you. What has the situation done to damage your inner sense of well-being? What was the trigger? What is really hurting you at your core? And WHY?

    I'm typically very impatient in traffic, and especially at bad or aggressive drivers. But when I'm being mindful, I am able to see the bad ones as distracted individuals with their own issues, and I see the aggressive ones as unhappy people who need to prove something to the world because the rest of their lives are so pathetic. And I see my own impatience as a reflection of my need to be in control and to be respected by everyone else - hahahahahaha. In the end I laugh at myself, forgive everyone else, and have a much more pleasant experience.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Why not get angry? I think the difficulty comes when we are conflicted about our anger: is it right or wrong? Am I angrier than I "should be?" I tend to attack myself for being angry. Yet when I just allow it, it is refreshing. I can feel my aliveness. I have a right to be angry, and at the same time, I don't want to hurt anyone. I generally recommend that clients feel their anger, and express it in ways which don't act out on others. Become familiar with it, know it in your body. Then there are fewer conflicts, and less suppression. The more we tell our mind-body it is OK to feel, and follow-through with this aim the best we can, the less reason TMS needs to distract us.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    1. Isn't anger bad for your heart/blood pressure/health in the long run?
    2. I don't know which situations are appropriate or useful to be angry or if something else is going on.

    I have had times where I was so sure in my position that I was in the right that when some other driver got frustrated I felt totally calm. But many other times the opposite has happened. I know I was in the right for my situation (for example if there is a really bad blind spot, one must adjust) but I feel angered that the other person is (seemingly) aggressively asserting that I'm (doing something) wrong or stupid or lazy or incompetent. I felt the same way when my friend told me after seeing my neck very stiff and not turning much "you need to stretch more" which I had already been doing a lot (looking back maybe this shouldn't anger me, but it is frustrating in the sense that someone would stake their opinion as law without even considering whether their information is correct). To be honest, each individual car incident goes away quickly (but can recur from a new driver). The incident(s) with my friend I am still angry about even though they happened days ago.
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    To me, these are messages or fears that "anger isn't OK." It might be helpful to inquire into where you got these messages in your childhood. Anger is important for discernment: "I want this, and I don't want that." It is important for boundaries: "I need this. I am not you. I am being me right now." Anger is important to learn about. It seems you are excited to explore that anger is OK. This is a powerful exploration, and the answers will come in time. I am still learning.

    I think there is Inner Critic activity here mixed with anger. Your friend "attacks" you, and your Inner Critic piles on, making you feel worse. Anger is an important emotion to draw on, in order to disentangle yourself from the Inner Critic and in telling your friend what you really think in response to his comment. "Back Off!" is an important statement, especially toward the Inner Critic, and this energy can give you the right words for your friend. "I didn't like it when you said this, and I am angry about it. I want you to know this, so that we are clear."

    All of this is related to TMS personality traits in which we don't make a clear space for ourselves (in the outer or inner world), then the Inner Child is enraged or hurt or sad. It is as if we don't have a right to exist. This creates inner tension.

    Freedom, I really am excited about your questions and thoughts. The way you are gnawing on this seems important for you. Each person finds their own keys to the TMS puzzle in themselves. Good luck in your growing understanding.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    As I understand it, there is a difference between repression of anger and suppression of anger. Repressed emotions are outside our conscious awareness due to internal conflicts. Psychotherapy and expressive writing are methods at bringing repressed emotions to consciousness so we can feel the emotion internally, which then discharges it. Suppression of an emotion means that one is choosing to not express an emotion that one is consciously aware of outwardly. This can be a wise choice at times for many reasons. My understanding is that it is repression that is the cause of chronic TMS symptoms (in Sarno's theory) and not suppression. Suppressing crying, for example, will result in tension and be uncomfortable, but will not last because the underlying emotion is being felt.
    Tennis Tom and JanAtheCPA like this.
  7. jaumeb

    jaumeb Peer Supporter

    As I see it, there are three options:
    1 react to anger. Punching your friend.
    2 repress the anger. Thinking about punching your friend and then keep thinking about what he said.
    3 feel the anger. Label it. Anger. Then giving yourself a badge for being mindful.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  8. Pia

    Pia Peer Supporter

    It's important to know that anger is just a feeling... like joy, happiness and sadness. Don't confuse feeling with acting out. This may be a bit hard when you feel anger, because anger contains a lot of energy. Try to explore anger like any other feeling - ohh, very interesting, now I feel angry, why, when, how does it feel in my body - and use the message of anger to understand that something important regarding your boundaries are at stake. But don't act it out, let it flow.
    Many of us have learned that anger is poisoneous, risky, wrong, causes illness and what not. This is not true. There is no such thing as wrong feelings. Feelings are feelings and if you find it hard not to act out, you may have repressed anger for some time. Get to know your anger, enjoy the energy in it, the impulse to initiate change or whatever - just feel it in your body and when it subsides, which it will when you let it flow, choose an appropiate action to the inicident that triggered your anger - if relevant. Sometimes anger comes because an incident reminds you of old harm. Be curious when you feel anger!
    Ellen and JanAtheCPA like this.
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Awesome responses for you, Freedom.
  10. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, this is very clear...
  11. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's my understanding too, it's the equivalent of biting your tongue, and not saying what you would like to, due to the social ramifications.

Share This Page