The power of suppression

A few days ago,I was talking to one of my friends, who was quite irritated.I asked him about the cause of his irritation and he said, that things with his wife were not going well.

They were experiencing a sort of a communication break down, where the only things they were uttering to each other were-'kuch nahin' and 'chhodo'.

He said that every time they would say something to each other, one of them would flare up and the conversation would go on a world tour!

But isn't this normal? Happens with all of us at some point or the other.

And it's not just with conversations,but emotions in general.

We all have certain emotions that seek instinctual expression, at a given moment in time.And this is more so with emotions like anger,frustration,irritation etc.The power that these emotions have, is immense.

There is an immediate relief when they are expressed as instinctively as they arise. But with that relief,there are certain consequences attached as well.

Getting angry at a loved one and saying things that we might end up regretting later,is pretty common. 

And because we don't know what else to do to avoid such situations,we resort to 'chhodo','let it be','rehne do'.

In effect,we suppress our instinctive emotions.

So does that really work?

Actually no.

It's just a temporary escape from the situation and it keeps building up inside. Eventually,there comes a point,where we burst out.

The 'break down' point.

You tried avoiding screaming,shouting,crying,or saying the correct but hurtful thing for sometime and threw up everything at once!

Yep,things do get messy and that's the true power of suppression.You cannot hold everything in permanently.Every thought,emotion,desire constantly seeks expression.We may delay the expression for a while,but cannot completely negate it's existence.

But the true problem arises because we don't know how to express our instincts.When we are angry,we try to 'control' the anger.The more you resist,the more it persists and that's why, more problems arise after an uncontrolled outburst.

You try to hold on to your tears and there comes a point,when your emotional tank begins to overflow and you find yourself crying for almost everything or nothing.

You keep ignoring the irritating or annoying  habits or actions of someone.You don't want to hurt them or be rude.

But after a point,you end up doing the only thing that you were trying to avoid.

What's the solution then?

The solution lies in being aware of how you are currently expressing your emotions and finding an appropriate way of expressing them. 

For instance,it took me a long time to understand that when I'm angry,I need to vent out.

Initially,I would utter a lot of rubbish to anyone who crossed my path during my angry phase.Once I realized what I was doing,I went into 'I will not talk when I'm angry' phase.

The result was,that I used to hang around the house sulking and uttering mono syllables.The constant worry of those around me,began to fuel my irritation even more.

So,I had more reasons to be mad at everyone!

After I grew up a little and became 'mature',I realized that there was an easy way out.

Whenever i found myself in a foul mood,I would just tell people that 'I'm in a bad mood,please leave me alone for a while'.

Once I found myself  to be a little calm (I would listen to music,doodle on books,write my feelings down etc),I would then address the pressing issue.

Gradually things and people around me settled down.

The period between experiencing the emotion and the consequences of expressing the same,is the one that needs to be worked upon.

Before we resort to screaming,shouting or simply walking away and harboring the emotion within,we need to take a break.

The reason why I started telling people to leave me alone was,to be able to figure out the best way to put my point forward in an appropriate way.

Activities like listening to music,writing,doodling or sometimes talking to my close friends,helped me calm down and think about the issue rationally.

Once my mental balance was back,I was able to talk and bring up my concerns in an acceptable manner.

That's why phrases like 'let it be','rehne do','chhod do','jane do' are pretty useless.They lead us to the path of suppression.A path that is so powerful,it can blow up everything because we end up doing too much of it.

It would be so much better if, along with these phrases,we actually make an effort, to use that interim period in looking for an appropriate way to express our deepest concerns,emotions and thoughts.

After all,ignorance may not always be bliss :p


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