This is the first out of a five part series about anger. There are five ways to manage anger and people handle the same situation differently. The first way is suppressing anger.
Suppressing anger is holding anger inside in an unhealthy way. There's an assumption that expressing frustration will cause more problems than it will solve. When an angering situation occurs the anger suppressors will put on a good face and pretending nothing is wrong. The habit of suppressing anger may come from watching others deal with anger explosively and now doing the opposite. Or it could be a perfectionist not wanting to appear that they have been affected by someone else.
Here are signs that you are someone who suppresses anger.
1. I do not want others to know my problems.
2. I like to look like I have it all together.
3. I am reserved about sharing my feelings.
4. I let days pass without mentioning when a family or friend upsets me.
5. I can be depressed and moody.
6. I hold a lot of resentments although many people would not suspect it.
7. I have a lot of physical ailments (headaches, stomach aches, and sleep problems).
8. I wonder if my opinions or feelings are really valid.
9. I feel paralyzed during confrontations.
10. I do not initiate conversations that are sensitive or awkward.
If you connect with half or more of these statements, you probably repress your anger to the detriment of your relationships. One way to reverse suppressing feelings is to look at your beliefs about anger. Believe that feelings are normal, including anger, and that hiding anger is not a superior way to manage it.
Stay tuned for part two.