The trouble with always hiding, suppressing, and dismissing one’s feelings is that they become much like disgruntled employees in preparation for a rebellion. In one way or another, their voices will be heard.

Let’s say you’re the boss and had a bunch of employees working for you. If you chose to work as a dominating micro-manager forcing all of your workers into submission and punishing them at any sign of potency, it will not be long before your team becomes less and less productive as their will is squelched from all of the harsh treatment they receive. Or they will begin to plan a covert rebellion. Before long, your worst fear will come into fruition and your employees will turn up one night and burn your house down, often with you inside. Thus begins the establishment of certain forms of overwhelming neurosis – aka feeling angry, anxious, stressed, sad, worthless etc… pretty much most of the time.

However, when your employees (aka feelings) are properly nurtured, offered opportunities for growth, given a voice, feel encouraged, offered regular acknowledgment, redirected when necessary, and given healthy boundaries and limits they will no doubt know who’s boss and more often than not feel respected, valued, and rarely get out of control or become unmanageable. Heck, they might even start to feel really good!


Adapted from M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled.