What Can Happen If You Don’t Release Anger Or Uncomfortable Feelings

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha.Coals by Rex Roof

This is from one of my Adult ADHD coaching clients, I thought this was very insightful and useful and so I’m sharing it with you with his permission.

I know he’s not the only ADDer out there who has had difficulty with releasing anger and dealing with uncomfortable feelings in a healthy way vs suppressing it or instantly puking it out on others.

I’ve had other ADHD coaching clients with the same problem and I know this doesn’t just happen to adults with ADHD. It’s not just men who have these problems, but women too.

“What Can Happen If you Don’t Release Anger / Uncomfortable Feelings

1)   You don’t feel known by your partner
2)   You feel trapped and pigeonholed into “always happy guy”
3)   You don’t seem human to your partner
4)   You stop revealing more and more
5)   You begin to feel afraid of your emotions the more you suppress them
6)   The more they scare you, the more you try to hold them in
7)   It becomes hard for you to live a full happy life with this suppressed emotion built up
8)   You trust your mate less and less to handle the truth
9)   You are stressed but unaware of what’s causing it.
10)  It’s like you are constipated with feelings that need to be released. (makes me wonder if this was the cause of my depression 2 years ago)
11)   By holding them all in, you are exacerbating the pain
12)  You feel like a tangled ball of nerves
13)  You thought this feeling would go away
14)  You could just give it to your journal
15)  You think: she’s the one who brings up her feelings

Ideas on How I got Here:

1)  I didn’t have good models of healthy conflict
2)  My mom and dad were not adept at expressing negative emotions
3)  My dad: struggles to speak from the heart. Not real in touch with his true feelings
4)  My mom: confrontation makes her very uncomfortable, her mom was a people pleaser and her dad was absent emotionally
5)  I don’t remember seeing them in conflict
6)  I think they both swept it under the rug mostly
7)  Neither mom nor dad is very practiced at owning their feelings”

Anger is a normal human emotion. It’s not “bad”.

It can be used as a warning signal to remind you when your boundaries have been crossed, as fuel to right wrongs, as a way of getting you to question the validity and usefulness of a belief, attitude or expectation you have.

Or it can be used to harm yourself and others, and poison yourself with cortisol. The key is learning how to recognize, process and manage anger in a healthy way.

If you’ve had trouble releasing your anger and/or uncomfortable emotions in healthy ways, but learned how to manage them more effectively, how did you learn how do it?

Consider checking out this Adult ADHD Issues post to learn how to deal with emotions more effectively on my main website

Emotions how ADHD adults can recognize, feel, & manage them

5 thoughts on “What Can Happen If You Don’t Release Anger Or Uncomfortable Feelings”

  1. “If you’ve had trouble releasing your anger and/or uncomfortable emotions in healthy ways, but learned how to manage them more effectively, how did you learn how do it?”

    I read “When Anger Hurts” by Matthew McKay

  2. Wow,
    I know this post is almost 4 years old now but I just had to comment. I have actually come up with the saying of being “emotionally constipated” and have been that way for 20+ years now. Only in the last year I have truly started believing that I have ADHD, though I have kind of known for as long as I can remember. But I just think it’s funny that someone else thought of “constipation” when it comes to how to deal with emotions.

  3. What is interesting is that a lot of people who are “emotionally constipated” tend to actually BE physically constipated. Not exactly the same, but a similar functional issue is the origination of the psychological term “anal retentive” referring to children who were growing up in stressful upbringings, they would hold everything in physically. The link between emotions and the body is fascinating.
    Such a great post, thank you for it.

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