How Suppressed Anger Destroys You from the Inside

There are many ways to express your anger, but the most dangerous of them imply suppressing emotions and accumulating aggression inside. But suppressed anger won’t make you happier – it could only harm.

Everyone is in contact with someone every day – with themselves, society, loved ones, and co-workers. In fact, this is one of the survival mechanisms because communication and expression of emotions are necessary for the human species. If a person stops “contacting” themselves, they develop psychological problems – by not noticing their feelings and emotions and no longer understand their needs and desires. Despite all the necessity of contact with oneself and the outside world, people periodically give them up.

The easiest way to break contact is to stop communicating with someone. A less aggressive way to cut off contact is to end an unpleasant conversation or relationship by citing some circumstance. In addition to those mentioned above, there are other ways to break contacts, such as deflexion and retroflexion.


Another kind of suppressed anger is retroflexion. This mechanism allows a person to channel the emotions and feelings they have for another person or event. To put it simply, you start hurting yourself instead of the person who deserves it.

Aggression can take the form of biting one’s lips until they bleed, clenching one’s fists violently. Some people experiencing intense negativity toward another person or life circumstances may start hitting themselves on the head or hurting themselves in other ways.

People prone to retroflection, as a rule, do not know how to ask for help, trying to cope with their problems on their own. Suppressing the impulse and redirecting negative energy in one’s own direction often cause somatic diseases.


Deflexion is another mechanism that helps avoid conflict. Anger and other negative emotions are redirected somewhere else rather than to the opponent/abuser. The object of aggression could be household items or some events. A simple example: something has really pissed you off, and instead of yelling at the perpetrator of your discontent, you throw your phone against the wall or smash your favorite cup.

For most people, this is a way to deal with negative emotions, the aggression they feel toward someone they can’t directly show it to. In such a state, some people spoil not their own but someone else’s property, smashing company cars, computers, office furniture. They break something and immediately calm down. Most importantly, no one is hurt: neither your relationship with your loved ones nor your boss, only objects.

The problem, meanwhile, is still not solved. There is the usual drain of emotions. The relatives who annoyed and irritated you will do the same, and the bosses will continue in the same vein.

Another manifestation of deflexion is a banal departure from the subject. For example, during a serious conversation, which, in your opinion, should solve something, the interlocutor starts sneering, bantering about something that is not directly related to the situation. Thus, they are transferring the conversation to another direction, as if they remembered something important and it is necessary to share urgently. This is done to interrupt unpleasant contact and not to discuss the topic you proposed. In other words, your interlocutor is in no mood to address the real problem.

If you face a manifestation of the described phenomena or tend to walk away from the conflict in such a way, it is worth thinking about. Sometimes, these manifestations of aggression develop into new forms of emotional expression, which can negatively affect both the person and his surroundings.

The main thing to understand to begin treatment is that both phenomena imply silence and avoidance of the problem, which in 99% of cases leads to severe psychological issues. Therefore it is worth working through these situations yourself or consulting a specialist.

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