Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Suppressing Anger, A Very, Very Interesting Sensation

I got really, really angry today but because I was not in an environment where I can release and vent the way I like, I had to suppress it. It was hard but I managed to do so by extracting myself from the situation, take long deep breaths and talk about it in short spurts to someone who knew the context of the situation. I became calmer in 5 minutes.

Then, me being me, I began to analyse myself and found that suppressed anger is indeed a very interesting sensation. I have gotten angry before and I have vented my anger without thinking, but that is with people whom I love and whom I trust (though I would usually regret for venting it). But this is different. I can say that this is the first time I have ever been so mad. But what is interesting is that I analysed it, I made myself mindful of the feelings that I had, and it was interesting. At first I felt like I want to burst out in every way possible, then I felt in control, and then I begin to feel detached and not so angry anymore. But I did feel a bit off though, like I don't have enough blood in my head and I did end of with a migraine-like headache now.

What an experience.


However, after writing what I wrote above, it suddenly dawned on me what I read yesterday in Tan Siang Yang's Counseling and Psychotherapy - Sigmund Freud wrote about the defense mechanism that we employ to deal with negative situations we encounter. When we use them "infrequently and appropriately, they can serve a constructive purpose by reducing stress or anxiety and enabling the person to cope more effectively" (p.40, 2011). And it is interesting to note that the defense mechanism which I have opted to use is "intellectualisation". I quote Tan: "Intellectualisation is a defense mechanism whereby a person detaches from a painful emotional experience by focusing only on his or her thoughts and the minute details involved in trying to analyse and explain the negative emotional experience." (p.42, 2011)

How interesting.


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