Many people hesitate to admit or expose their own anger. Usually they have witnessed ill effects of this emotion so they have resolved not to be lowered to crude or abrupt expressions of any kind. When an anger producing circumstance occurs, these people stoically put on a good front and pretend to have no anger at all. “Who me? Angry? No, really, everything is just fine.”

To get an idea if this practice is common to you, see how many of the following statements might apply to you fairly frequently.

  • I can be image conscious. I don’t like to let others know my problems.
  • Even when I feel flustered, I try to present myself as having it all together.
  • I am rather reserved about sharing my problems or frustrations.
  • If a family member or friend upsets me I can let days pass without discussing it.
  • I have a tendency to be depressed or moody.
  • Resentful thinking is common for me, although many people would never suspect it.
  • I have suffered from physical complaints (for example, headaches, stomach ailments, sleep irregularities).
  • There are times when I doubt the validity of my own opinions or preferences.
  • Sometimes I feel paralyzed when confronted with an unwanted situation.
  • I’m not inclined to initiate conversations about sensitive or troublesome topics.

The more of these statements that you can check, the more inclined you are to suppress your anger. Be aware, though, that this does not mean your problems with anger are solved. In fact, they are only heightened. Think of your kitchen trash sack. When you place trash there, then no one takes it out at the end of the day, you can probably get away with it. But let’s suppose several more days go by and it still has not been taken out. It gets overflowing and smelly! The same can be said about the suppression of anger. If you do not let it out, at first it would seem that you have avoided a problem, but over time be prepared to live with the effects of many emotional issues that have “piled up” in your personality. The result will be depression, bitterness, disillusionment and the like.

Dr. Les Carter