Learning To Be Nice

Because you are unaware of being angry does not mean that you are not angry. It is the anger you are unaware of which can do the most damage to you and to your relationships with other people, since it does get exposed, but in inappropriate ways.

Freud once likened anger to the smoke in an old fashioned wood burning stove. The normal avenue for discharge of the smoke Is up the flue and out the chimney. If the normal avenue is blocked, the smoke will leak out the stove in an unintended way…around the door, through the grate, etc., choking everyone in the room. If all avenues of escape are blocked, the fire goes out and the stove ceases to function. Likewise, the normal human expression of anger is gross physical movement and /or loud vocalizations; watch a red-faced hungry infant sometime. We learn to “be nice”, which means (among other things) hiding “bad” feelings. By adult hood, even verbal expression is curtailed, since a civilized person is expected to be “civil.” Thus expression is stifled, and to protect ourselves form the unbearable burden of continually unexpressed “bad” feelings, we go to the next step and convince ourselves that we are not angry, even when we are. Such self-deception is seldom completely successful and the blocked anger “leaks out” in inappropriate ways.

Source

© The Depressed Anonymous Workbook – Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. Page 33. Fourth Step 4:41.

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