If you’ve followed my thinking for any length of time, this might sound like a total contradiction. But, screaming into a pillow doesn’t work.
Let me clarify.
When being told to go scream into your pillow is really a way to dismiss you and your feelings of frustration, screaming into a pillow doesn’t work.
Nobody wants to be told, “Why don’t you go scream into a pillow.” When you know what they really mean is, “Go act like the little baby you are and have your little tantrum because I don’t want to deal with your feelings anymore.”
Besides, it’s not hard to know if that’s what someone really means when they suggest it, because 93% of communication is non-verbal.
Especially if your experience has been that whoever you’re talking to doesn’t really resonate or empathize with your feeling of frustration. Then being told to scream into a pillow is just going to feel humiliating.
Consequently, you’ll be frustrated AND humiliated. So, screaming into a pillow is not only not going to work, it will make things worse.
Why Expression is Important
Ok, maybe you’ve never had that experience.
But, if for some reason you find that you cannot express frustration or other pent-up feelings without feeling silly, stupid or embarrassed, the likelihood is that you have been humiliated in the past for expressing your feelings candidly.
And you probably don’t remember these experiences, because in general, we don’t. They just become who we are and how we do things.
The “Letting-Out” Side of Self-Care
The reason for this is that parents have to civilize children. Unfortunately, in that process, as the civilized “holding-in” side of self-control is built, the “letting-out” side of self-care is never developed.
This has negative repercussions. It’s like learning to control your bladder and bowels, but never being able to relax those muscles and take care of business.
Imagine how sick you would get… you’d be full of…
It’s no different with emotions. When you trap emotional energy inside through muscular contractions, they eventually become chronic muscular contractions.
Now you’re stiff, uncomfortable, inflexible, and a generally grouchy, irritable person.
If you’re sick of being that person, call me.
We’ll get those feelings out of you.
Not in a way that’s humiliating, but liberating.