How does repressed anger manifest itself in the human body and what effects does it have on couple or family relationships?

There are several ways you can identify when you are repressing anger:

1.           Through passive-aggressive behaviors

When a person represses their anger for a long time, it can be externalized at some point through passive-aggressive behavior. That person will often be ironic and make mischievous and unclear remarks. If it is a case of expressing repressed anger within the couple or family, that person will most likely apply the punishment of silence (intentionally not speaking for a long time so that others suffer), emotional punishment or intentionally neglect everyday household chores.

2.           Through resentment

When people don’t learn to express their less pleasant feelings in a civilized way, they can take the form of resentment. Often what happens next, as a manifestation, such a person will build up a whole block of negative emotions with negative/inappropriate externalizations and attitudes directed at the person or situation ‘guilty’ of the anger provoked.

3.           Through relationship problems

When we don’t express anger, don’t talk about how we feel, with our partners, with our children or within the family, this can create distance and a lot of emotional tension. This usually then leads to blocked communication between partners or family members and ultimately to the breakdown of relationships.

4.           Through physically manifested symptoms

When a person does not verbally express anger, blocking it for various reasons or beliefs, a number of physiological manifestations can occur such as headaches, digestive problems and especially high blood pressure. The latter being one of the most common psychosomatic conditions.

5.           By increasing stress

Not expressing anger in a healthy way constantly leads to a general state of tension throughout the body, which will implicitly affect the general mood of the day (constant malaise, fatigue for long periods of time, sadness).

Of course, it is essential as adults to remember that it is not always necessary to express anger. Rather, it is advisable to develop healthy mechanisms through which thoughts and opinions can be expressed correctly and consistently. It is also advisable to have open communication with those with whom we interact and to have the ability to correctly analyses situations in which we can say what we think, but most important is how we verbalize our thoughts and intentions.

It takes habit and accurate reporting of each situation. That’s why I advise you to practice with someone close to you who will not judge you harshly or to turn to a specialist, a psychotherapist, for help.