ALMOST from the time we're born, we learn from parents and those taking care of us that we should not express negative emotions no crying, no shouting, no `bad' behaviour.
But psychotherapist Dr Reamonn i Donnchadha, author of Be Confident, argues that it's all better out than in.
According to him, it's the way we let emotions out that counts. And he insists that repressing our negative emotions including anger, jealousy, greed, and even hate just stores up trouble for the future.
In other words, it has to come out sometime and when it does, it may have magnified into varying degrees of emotional and physical violence, depression, lack of confidence, and troubled relationships. Adults try to stop children getting angry or jealous because they weren't allowed to show these emotions when they were children.
But hiding emotions doesn't mean they go away. Instead, they remain in our unconscious and influence our daily lives and relationships.
He says: ``That's why anger expressed by young people is often about something which happened at some other time. When they explode in extreme expressions of anger, it is because so much has been hidden and built up.''
Suppressing negative emotions can also lead to depression, lack of drive and low self-esteem says Dr i Donnchadha.
He adds: ``These are genuine heartfelt emotions in people which come out for a reason. Nobody gets angry or jealous for no reason.
``Denying these feelings sucks away your creative energy.
``We all need our negative as well as our positive emotions in order to be complete and confident people.''
Here, Dr i Donnchadha identifies four key emotions that
can hold us back and explains how to let it all out.
WE have difficulty with the idea that anger is a normal means of communication. But anger comes when we are hurt, and that's why it is legitimate. You shouldn't pretend that it is something bad.
Verbalising anger is something we are not good at because we are afraid of it. We feel if we give people permission to express their anger, it will lead to all hell breaking loose.
Everybody experiences some anger, but many of us deny it by hiding behind work, drink or sulking. Sulking is often a form of revenge.
When avoided anger is expressed whether it's fuelled by drink, drugs or sense of injustice in an animal-like fashion. It's meant to destroy or knock down other people.
But by being open and talking about anger, we can show younger people that it doesn't have to be destructive.
I suggest we don't hide our anger from our children. They should know when you are angry and why. It is also important for the adult to admit to their anger and say... `Yes, I was angry when
you hurt me and I need to say it to you'.
It can be difficult to see a toddler throwing a tantrum, especially when they are humiliating you in public, but it must be accepted as a valid response although it doesn't mean the toddler has to get what he wants.
At some point later on, when the child is calmer, you might say. …