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What feelings do we hide mostly from ourselves?

by - 11 June


Stephen Grosz has been a psychoanalyst for the past 30 years and spent more than 60,000 hours with patients spanning children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. In his book The Examined Life Grosz draws short, vivid stories from his 30-year practice in order to track the collaborative journey of therapist and patient as they uncover the hidden feelings behind ordinary behavior.
I talked to him about  feelings that we hide mostly from ourselves. People hide differences, the ways they're different. Families try to raise children to be like the rest of the family. And if you're a child who's different from your parents - positively like as a genius playing the piano, again it can create difficulties too in the family. There's a wonderful book by a friend of mine Andrew Solomon called "Far from the Tree", where he tells his own story about growing up in a family. He couldn't read very well - he was dyslexic, but he was also gay - he knew from a young age. His mother had no problem with his dyslexia but with his homosexuality, which was very subtle - it was just a little boy more feminine. So he could feel their displeasure, their unhappiness. So one of the things that families do, is they shame children. If you are different, so growing up in a world, sometimes we are cruel to people that are different than us. And we are not as accepting or as kind or as loving as we might be. So to me that is a great problem in families and an issue which creates problems further down the line because that person will grow into someone who has problems with themselves.

More on why all change involves pain here, on why change is so difficult here, on the "tyranny of should" here, on the digital distraction against feelings here and the most often emotional pain we are suffering nowadays here

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