Test: How do you control your emotions?

You bottle your emotions up and hide your feelings


 - You bottle your emotions up and hide your feelings
You and your emotions
You don't accept your emotions: as soon as you get sad, angry or anxious, you bury your head in the sand and pretend you're fine. You never express your emotions: you keep them on the inside and try to forget.

Your strengths
You're quite cold-blooded, and in some situations (at work, for example) keeping your cool can be a big advantage. "People who bottle their emotions up are usually very obliging and attentive to others," says psychotherapist Elizabeth Couzon. "Because you keep everything to yourself, you're very good at keeping others sweet and making them think highly of you."

Why am I like this? 
"Your low self-esteem stops you from expressing yourself," says Elizabeth. "You have a fear of abandonment and losing favour left over from childhood, and this is getting in the way of emotional expression. When you were little, you sought attention from your parents, and you learned that the way to get it is to keep quiet, not throw tantrums and not burst into tears."

What you risk
Implosion! "Keep everything on the inside and you'll end up with ulcers, sleep problems and a low immune system!" says Elizabeth Couzon. "The other danger is that you'll keep everything bottled up and take everything you can until you reach breaking point, when the slightest, most trivial thing will make you snap." And then you look unreasonable when in fact you've been putting up with things you shouldn't have.

Elizabeth's advice
"Start by developing awareness of your emotions. When you're feeling hard done by, take five minutes out to identify where the resentment is coming from. Are you anxious, upset, injured or sickened? Knowing and accepting how you feel is the first step. The second is learning to put your feelings into words, once the moment of strong emotion has passed. Remember, it's never too late for dialogue."  



Profiles: You bottle your emotions up
Sarah Horrocks
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