Psychoanalysts have long believed that anger towards others gets turned against ourselves. Our anger converted into self-hatred causes depression. Karen Horney wrote that the basic problem starts with neurotic parents who are inconsistent (both over-indulgent and demanding), lacking in warmth, inconsiderate or openly hostile, or driven by their own needs. The child resents these things. But parents are powerful and a child’s only means of survival. So, because of fear or love or guilt, the child represses the anger. The child, being small, alone, confused, and helpless in an unpredictable, hostile world, is, of course, scared. The child, aware of his or her weakness, the criticism of others, and his or her own hostility and fears, develops a “despised” self-concept… “I am unlovable, a bad person.” In extreme cases, some people become so self-effacing, i.e. compliant, unselfish, and modest; they almost do away with their “self.” Suffering, helplessness, and martyrdom are their ideals. They need to be loved, liked, approved, important, but taken care of. Their “solution” is: “If you love me, you will not hurt me.” But beneath this saintly, goody-goody surface sometimes boils the old anger, rage, and strong urges to be aggressive and mean. Often they have also become bitter because the unwritten agreement was broken, namely, “I’ll be nice and not hate you, if you will love, respect, and care for me always.” People striving for sainthood often suffer because others will not always put them first. http://www.psychologicalselfhelp.org/Chapter6/chap6_44.html
Anger is an acid
that can do more harm
to the vessel in which it is stored
than to anything on which it is poured.
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