Emotional repression is considered a ‘grown-up’ thing. We learn to repress, suppress and hide our emotions while growing up. We are taught that sometimes it’s best to leave our emotions unexpressed. But, is it actually like that?
It’s very tiring. It’s impossible to stay (and seem to be staying) strong all the time, even though society imposes it on us. We get emotionally crippled. We become ashamed of our feelings in a very unhealthy way. We swallow all the negativity and pretend to be perfectly fine.
That’s how you lose touch with your inner self.
There are some things people don’t realize you’re doing in order to repress your feelings:
1. Keeping yourself busy all the time
It’s easier not to think about your feelings when you have so many things on your to-do list. If you’re putting so much on your plate just to avoid dealing with your true emotions, you’re definitely repressing them.
2. Planning everything in advance
People who repress their feelings have a constant urge to plan everything ahead of time because they only feel comfortable in situations where they know what to expect. There is no room for spontaneity because a possibility that you might feel some unexpected emotions freaks you out.
3. Suddenly disappearing from people’s lives
Do you tend to run away from people when you start feeling something you think you simply can’t handle? If so, I’m afraid you’re doing that because you are used to having your feelings bottled up and you’re afraid to finally open up.
4. Solving other people’s emotional crises rather than dealing with your own
It’s easier for you to focus on other people’s emotions than dealing with your own, and that’s why you’re always there for anyone who needs some help. Again, that is another way of keeping yourself busy and avoiding your inner self. Those people don’t even realize you’re not capable of confronting your own feelings.
5. You always claim that you’re fine
The truth is, you’re lying to other people as well as to yourself. Ask yourself, do you really think that’s a good thing for you to do?
6. Dating wrong guys
Relationships make you feel like a fish out of water. You are the one who is afraid of emotional intimacy and sharing. You think it would be easier if you avoid all those normal things that are usually included in a relationship. If you stay away from getting attached to someone, there is no risk of baring your soul to them.
7. Using sarcasm and humor to hide your true feelings
You want to prove to people you’re super strong by making jokes about yourself and by being sarcastic. Sometimes, making other people laugh is your defense mechanism. People don’t realize that you’re escaping from your true feelings like this. It’s another way of saying “I’m perfectly fine!”
The reason why this topic is so important lies in the fact that repressed negative emotions such as anger and sadness are the greatest sources of anxiety disorders.
Once your mind and body become overwhelmed with these repressed negative emotions, then your brain creates anxiety, panic attacks, OCD or some other anxiety-related condition. Eventually, stress and irrational fears are triggered, too.
Allow yourself to feel. It’s the only way to find your way back to your inner self.
It’s okay to feel sad, angry, furious, or whatever.
Remember that you’re just human.