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Thread: Repression vs release

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    fka lungs ashlesha's Avatar
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    Default Repression vs release

    How do you tell the difference between repressing an emotion or desire and releasing it...in the moment, before it comes back to bite you?

    1) this is a problem for me in general but i'm not in distress right now about anything in particular lol
    2) answers based in personal experience preferred (details not necessary)

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    If you released every emotion or thought you wanted to express you'd be a spazz. Go for the low hanging fruit, when you know you're holding something back you really ought to say.

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    fka lungs ashlesha's Avatar
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    Sorry..by release I meant letting go of it.

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    Oh... I can't do that in the moment. Or if that's even desirable for most things. Usually I just put it in perspective. Like if I'm being perfectionistic I like to think "would anyone else care about this?" And usually if not it shuts it down pretty easily. So maybe something like try to square it with your overall values and if you see it right, it'll release. Usually it's just about finding the sweet spot.

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    While I do see great value in the idea that something will go away if you accept it, not all pain is impermanent, and some things just linger for one reason or another. However I do think that it is always ultimately 'what you create,' just that it takes a lot to get to the point where you can create something that authentic in relation to the fears that were dissipated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    Sorry..by release I meant letting go of it.
    How is that you can let go an emotion without some repression? Because if you are already experiencing an emotion you just have two immediate options: repress or express, you can let it go after or choose to keep it. An emotion is usually short lived though. Otherwise I'd say you are not talking about an emotion but a feeling. A feeling can arise emotions in you too, for example, you dislike someone then each time you see again that person you experience certain emotion (that is just a reaction towards your feeling) over and over (each time you see the person for example). Maybe that's what you were referring to?


    How do you tell the difference between repressing an emotion or desire and releasing it...in the moment, before it comes back to bite you?
    Emotions are short lived, if you are letting go an emotion, why it would come back to bite you? If you are truly forgetting about it but it comes back later, then you didnt let it go in first place, you just ignored it and that was repression. I think maybe you are speaking not about an emotion but a feeling. Emotions are spontaneous and short lived, they end up going anyway, usually they go away in less than 30 minutes (some can last longer like hours or days but rarely), then there are also feelings which doesnt go or change unless you take conscious decisions over them and make some efforts to change how you feel.

    Of course, emotional ppl experience the same emotion over and over again (for example anger), on intervals, short lived and but caused by different things. This is what Fe types do. At one minute they will get angry and yell at the dog, the next moment they would laugh about a joke and later they would get angry (again) with a coworker. But if you are talking about something that doesn't fade away and is personal (provoked due intertype relations), its more likely that you are speaking about a feeling not an emotion.

    That said, a Fi type would think being overly emotional especially in negative way (venting, yelling, crying etc) is especially unethical and could hurt/mess up a relationship (doesnt mean they cant experience or express negative emotions once in a while), its immature, disgusting and even cheap, while a Fe type would think that what is unethical is the repression of emotions, for example, if you are angry and chose to not say anything in that moment, you are more likely being dishonest or fake, while you are being authentic if you express your emotion in time. If you repress their emotions or limit the range of expression, they could think you are aggravating them and not caring about them (being inhumane) , don't letting them be themselves, expressing themselves and wanting to limit, dominate or change them, etc. That's why, for example in VI you can see Fe types being especially expressive and emotive with their facial gestures, while Fi leads could have a much more cold, restrained, neutral or rigid expression.

    Hope some of that helps.

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    Metaphysician thehotelambush's Avatar
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    It's difficult to tell in the moment, unless maybe you've experienced a similar situation before.

    I'd recommend observing yourself to see what kinds of things tend to build up and end up making you more resentful (etc) if you don't express them. Then you force yourself to express those things even if it may seem unpleasant to do so. Eventually it becomes a habit.
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    Do emotions have memory... or do you just remember something, and have the feelings associated with that memory be brought back? If so, then I'd suppose it depends on how you interpret that memory.

    Then there are things like hormones. "Happiness" hormones like dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins are released when you feel happiness, love, joy and thankfulness, which decrease the stress hormone called cortisol.

    You know that you're letting go when you're feeling the opposite of negative feelings. You're repressing when you're not really feeling anything. Perhaps.

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    I'm not sure people repress emotions. Does an emotion exist if you're not conscious of it? I know people can not be aware of stress and strain they have, because they get so used to it that they forget what it's like to not have it. What else is there?

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    I think the OP is referring to repression as making the choice to not express a conscious emotion when one experiences it. In that case the emotion would exist as a state of mind.

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    fka lungs ashlesha's Avatar
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    I did a pretty bad job of articulating my thoughts. What I had in mind was the feelings associated with things like being existentially lonely, having unobtainable dreams, battling ghosts from the past, etc, longer term stuff, not so much about expression. I can rationalize or kinda woo-woo my way into "being at peace" with those kind of things and I feel like I've transcended them or something, lol, but then I really haven't. What @strrrng said about it taking work to create something authentic in relation to it was really good. Also what @ouronis said about squaring it with your overall values, cuz I would trick myself less in proportion to how much I am honest with myself about myself.

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    Oh. That's a lot deeper of a problem. I don't know how you would know whether you're repressing them if your brain is automatically doing it? If you're repressing thoughts, you ought to seek out your triggers, learn to withstand them and learn about them until they integrate. And then meet and talk to people who have the same experience/unconscious knowledge so you can bring it out of yourself. Which might be difficult to recognize. Assuming you mean these are things you aren't noticing that you're repressing. I notice most of the stuff you've mentioned (but have plenty of deeper repressions too). Then, once you bring them to the surface you can start working them through and "releasing" them.

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    Metaphysician thehotelambush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    I did a pretty bad job of articulating my thoughts. What I had in mind was the feelings associated with things like being existentially lonely, having unobtainable dreams, battling ghosts from the past, etc, longer term stuff, not so much about expression. I can rationalize or kinda woo-woo my way into "being at peace" with those kind of things and I feel like I've transcended them or something, lol, but then I really haven't. What @strrrng said about it taking work to create something authentic in relation to it was really good. Also what @ouronis said about squaring it with your overall values, cuz I would trick myself less in proportion to how much I am honest with myself about myself.
    Honesty is definitely necessary. It just takes a lot of introspection and work on yourself to make progress with these kinds of things. Like figuring out what it is you really need and how you can attain it. Personally I found that spirituality is the only way to find true fulfillment, that's why our society is so messed up...people committing suicide more than ever, mass murder out of nowhere, etc.
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    Illegal alien. wonderland's Avatar
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    Interesting topic.
    I personaly have some "mind weeding" to do each time I interact with a human being, sometimes even when I read a book. Little things that are easy to go see the root of quickly. Small, yet that needs to be addressed before it becomes a HUGE mess.

    With bigger, long ago repressed stuff, I deal with it when it comes back to my mind.
    Sometimes, "weeds" grow back, which means I had not gone deep enough to rid myself of them. It can make one feel as though they are going in circles, yet life does not work this way, even though seasons go round in a cycle, each autumn is different from the last. Similar not identical.
    Sometimes, I do not wish to go down this mind rabbit hole and push it aside on purpose, like when I have a life to live. I did push something back two weeks ago as it did not feel right to deal with it at that moment. Sometimes, the time is not right to fiddle with some things.

    I think making peace with feelings and repressed stuff is a life long journey that requires patience, self-kindness, honesty, and a certain amount of courage, some things are terrifying to go through. There are always new happenstances happening because such is life.
    Self-kindness as in being understanding to yourself that you are not perfect and do not possess magic to make everything all better in a second flat, that you make mistakes like everyone else. If you were perfect, then existance would be pretty futile imo... Reminds me of how people only remember the good at funerals; dark twist. Anyhoo.

    Some people seem to need help on getting rid of old repressed stuff, not implying you do, just a thought.

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    Dig deep (like super deep!) in your subconscious to heal it, I think. Too much repression will get released. Then too much releasing leads to embarrassment.

    I remind myself to try to talk bout what's really bothering me - but it's hard to trust people, obviously this requires great vulnerability on the person esp. in cut-throat american capitalist society. So if you can't trust anybody to talk about it, talk to yourself about it etc.

    I now also try to forgive others for their sins or evil-ness- because I'd want/need that same compassion for myself. We all have something to atone for. Obviously if you do something really fucked up I won't just go 'wee I forgive you!' but I held onto the pain of being abused for too long and it 'released' in bad ways, because I didn't properly deal with it. I would deny, sugar-coat, use too much humor to cover up the pain inside.

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    unrealistic dreamer turd mrrrmaid's Avatar
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    I think with the emotions that you're talking about there's no release, only working through them. They are symptomatic of something wrong in your life (whether that's something missing, that you're not investing your time well, that you have low confidence or something - you probably know what it is). If you keep releasing them but staying in the same situation, they're just going to keep coming back. Like applying treatment to a burn but then staying sat in a burning house.

    In terms of stuff in your past, the posts above about weeding, turning to spirituality and digging deep are good. For the present emotions, lean into them and find out what they're telling you about what you need to change. Use them as a guide and keep them close rather than trying to let them go.
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