“Shadow Emotions” .. How do you control the feelings you deliberately hide from others?

We think we know ourselves well, but that may not be true; Let us tell you that much of what you believe about yourself, your morals and your motives is not as clear to you as you might think, but there is another person who seems to be hiding with you and hiding behind. that carefully designed idea of ​​who you are, and the story goes back to childhood.

During the early stages of our lives we are ourselves, we give expression to everything that goes on in us, we laugh, cry and get angry, we sometimes carry love, kindness and generosity, and we manifest jealousy and greed at other times, but with time teaches us to choose from our feelings that we can show to others, and to hide whether we suppress some feelings that we see as negative or unwelcome in society. Emotions like fear, anger, jealousy and selfishness sometimes make us feel ashamed, so we work to restrain them, but no matter how much we imagine we have managed to ignore them, they stay in us and control somehow our motives and behaviors, and this is how the different person is formed within each. Of us, what happens within us souls in the shadows? How do the emotions we try to influence or ignore affect us? (1)

Shadow Emotions .. the true overlord

The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung coined the term “shadow” to describe the aspects we choose to hide in our personalities. You are not necessarily aware of the aspects you suppress.

From an early age, that line begins to form between what is “acceptable” and “unacceptable” in our society. We will endure the pain of society’s reaction of condemnation, judgment and perhaps gossip.

According to Jung’s theory, we distance ourselves psychologically from the behaviors, emotions, and thoughts that are dangerous to us. instincts automatically avoid an unpleasant truth. The mind ignores our shortcomings and shortcomings to protect itself from the experience of pain, and remains the only way to escape from recurring pain; To block it every time.

Carl Jung claimed that the emotions of the shadows disappear, but they remain latent in us and become more intense
Carl Jung claimed that the emotions of the shadows disappear, but they remain latent in us and become more intense

This is how these emotions hide in the subconscious, and we repeat in ourselves stories in which we assure them of who we are and what our qualities are, and what we do above, stories that we retell as we would like to protect ourselves from the effects of expulsion, but it does not mean that things go the way we want, Unlock the calm surface we strive to acquire, other influences wrinkle in us.

Young says that the emotions we suppress do not stay that way forever, but they stay alive in the subconscious, and when we are not interested in it, it becomes more intense, and contrary to what we want to believe, our subconscious. becoming the real master, the stimuli can be difficult to identify due to our natural desire By avoiding acknowledging the shadowy side of our personality, and only justifying our actions, but when we lose our consciousness, the subconscious manages to to control us. (2)

What happens if we ignore it?

Until the unconscious becomes aware, it will guide your life and you will think it is fate.

(Carl Young)

As difficult as it is to perceive the feelings of the shadows within us, we in turn are skilled at seeing them and recognizing them in others. Not only that, we actually enjoy it, and that’s what Jung calls “the projection”. conscious mind avoids our personal flaws, but it is in reality On a deeper level he wants to deal with it, highlighting it through others. (3)

But contrary to what many psychologists have said, the subconscious is a shadow of the conscious mind, a study published in the 2008 issue of the journal Perspect Psychol Sci showed strong evidence that the subconscious is no less complex or controllable. . We have so much subconscious behavior. guidance systems that it can be said that the actions of the unconscious mind precede the arrival of other actions decided by the conscious mind. (4)

Everything we reject in us therefore remains latent in it, despite the difficulty of defining it.The problem is that it works without us being aware of it, so we commit what we may later regret; We say things we did not want to say, or it shows in our facial expressions that we did not want to reveal, and so our relationships with others are damaged when we lose awareness of the shadow, and this affects our professional relationships. (5)

How does the care of the shadows benefit you?

“There is no light without shadow, and there is no spiritual perfection without imperfection.”

(Carl Young)

Neuroscientist Tara Swart says focusing on what’s going on in the shadows means you’ll know yourself better. Being well acquainted with those feelings and listening to all thoughts and emotions reveals a lot about ourselves, and helps us to connect with a deeper awareness within us what our intuition is, and thus your life will improve.

Black also adds that recognizing the emotions of the shadows is a step toward self-realization, and cares about the development of your personality, confirming that achieving the best version of you begins with recognizing your hidden disadvantages.People with low self-esteem.

When you know yourself well, you will be able to accept your strengths. People with low self-esteem sometimes hide benign traits in the shadows because they feel unworthy, but getting to know all aspects of your personality will give you the ability to recover some from your talents, and develop a positive sense of self. (6)

Young emphasizes the importance of working on shadow emotions by bringing them into the conscious mind so that they do not control us without our knowledge. To deal with and correct what has spoiled some of our experiences us out of the shadow of the subconscious. and make us more aware of our unconscious impulses and the right way to act towards them.

How do we understand the emotions of the shadows?

Well, meditation is a great way to develop this ability to take a step back. Just take some time to stop and question your own emotional experiences and to some extent determine how you feel about it. Generally, shadow emotions vary from sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, embarrassment, shame, and disgust, the more specifically the feelings are described; The greater your awareness, the greater your ability to decide what you need to do to take care of your mental health.

The next step is to ask; When we see our reactions to psychological stimuli, we must learn to stop and ask ourselves, “Why am I acting like this?” It teaches us to associate our emotions with memories, which are the basis of emotional programming. (7) Then experts advise you to pay attention to your thoughts about these feelings, whether you have a point of view on it and deal with it, for example, or criticism, or you feel low self-esteem because of them.

If your primary emotion is sad about the loss, what are your thoughts around that loss? Are you blaming yourself for not working hard enough? Do you focus on how this loss relates to similar losses you have experienced in the past? Do you feel anxious or insecure? Or angry at the loss? (8) Here, clinical psychologist Claire Nikogosian says in an article for MindBodyGreen that emotions are not good or bad.

Young also adds the need for inclusion; It means stopping rejecting the hated aspects of the personality and finding a way and presenting it in our daily lives, and the steps of it begin to treat our psychological wounds that started from early childhood and beyond , as we during our work with shadow will realize feelings that many of them have come due to pain feeling and try to protect ourselves from the repetition of the experience Other, and in this Young claims that we are not able to correct bad behavior set unless we confront them directly, and that the purpose is not to defeat the shadow side, but rather to include it with the rest of the character.

Also consider the reactions of others; For example, if you feel jealousy or envy, think about the messages you received from others about this feeling, whether you were allowed to feel it, whether you were judged or punished for having these feelings, you had to shadow ignore or avoid emotions due to lack of support or angry reactions from others when sharing them. The messages we receive about shadow emotions and mental health affect how we respond to and nurture our own emotional experiences. All too often we need the influence and reactions of others and embrace our own emotions.

Moreover, all these feelings can cause us to feel shame or guilt, so we may instinctively tend to suppress them. Remember here that it is very important to think about it and suspend judgment on them until it is better understood. This does not mean that you respond to their Shadow emotions can be temporary, but to understand and ultimately deal with them is a path of self-discovery and a path to growth and healing from our experiences, and contributes to the promotion of health and wellness. (9)

Although the term “shadow emotions” does not find a clear place in contemporary scientific literature, and Jung’s work is not “scientific” in the contemporary sense of psychiatry and psychology, he adds that the concept of “unconsciousness” differs in terms of depth and influence, but Shadow emotions

This is the basis on which the CBT school, and the schools that followed it from an advanced generation, are currently spreading, as a treatment and a lifestyle, such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) , where you learn to accept and deal with the presence of bad feelings.



  1. How to identify your shadow emotions (and why you should)
  2. Carl Jung and the Shadow: The Ultimate Guide to the Human Dark Side
  3. previous source
  4. The unconscious mind
  5. A definitive guide to Jungian shadows: how to get to know and integrate your dark side
  6. The Source: The Secrets of the Universe, the Science of the Brain Hardcover
  7. Carl Jung and the Shadow: The Ultimate Guide to the Human Dark Side
  8. How to identify your shadow emotions (and why you should)
  9. What are shadow emotions? How to identify yours

Leave a Comment