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The ABC’s of Relational Sabotage Created by Positive Thinking

  |   Authenticity, purpose of life, significance

The more absolute positive thinking is used, the more negatives are suppressed which provides the emotional energy for the ABC’s of repression to emerge. They are:


Anger becomes a defensive weapon in the arsenal of repressed negativity and is often expressed by lashing out at someone or something. When our lives are based on repressed anger, we are referred to as someone who has a quick temper, a “low boiling point” or “short fuse,” or someone who can “fly into a rage” at any time. Feelings of vulnerability and neediness often contribute to violent expressions of suppressed anger. Angry outbursts release negative energy which is stored in our subconscious and has reached a boiling point. After a violent outburst, there is often a strong sense of guilt for the damage that was done, but also a sense of relief that the negative energy that had been building up, has been dissipated.

The primary goals of repressed anger are control and the creation of an illusion of security.  Repressed anger works against healthy relationships by having the other person feel fearful and like they are constantly “walking on eggshells” or “walking through a mine field.” The positive benefit of repressing negatives is that it makes people in our lives afraid of us which gives a sense of control and power and temporarily alleviates the feelings of incompetence, worthlessness and powerlessness. The price for repression is personal integrity and being true to ourselves, which works against healthy relationships by making us be dishonest with ourselves and dishonest with anyone else we interact with in our lives.


Blame is the second psychological result of repressed negativity, and is used to accuse and condemn anyone who is perceived as a threat to our “always right,” “good boy/girl” image. As the projection process of absolute positive thinking only allows us to see ourselves in a favorable light, a negative projection of blame is used to position people who are perceived as a threat in an unfavorable light.


Criticism is another characteristic of the negative effects of positive thinking’s repression process. Criticism, rather than encouragement, is characteristic of the repressed negativity of our parents. As children, we were not aware that parental criticism was a subjective judgment whose source was their own insecurity. Our critical behavior was based on their examples. Repressed negativity makes us especially critical towards people that we perceive as having the same traits as we have. The problem is that once we become critical towards other people, we become lifelong critics of ourselves.

Relational Damage

The ABC’s of repression increase disconnection and negatively color the way we feel towards each other. They contribute to baby boomers over 50 experiencing “Gray Divorce.” The ABC’s of repression work against having healthy relationships by contributing to feelings of jealousy and possessiveness and the stifling of different ideas and opinions by the other spouse or partner. They also contribute to the creation of an environment of silence that is often created between spouses and partners who do not resolve differences, but simply push them under the surface to later return in a major argument. The result can be MLS, Married Living Separately.

Balanced Thinking

The positive benefits of repressed negativity are examples of the power of balance: a sense of emotional relief achieved through angry outbursts and alleviating the sense of powerlessness by creating control and power over others.

The expanded awareness of balanced thinking is an effective antidote to repression, since many suppressed negatives evaporate in the light of awareness. Balanced thinking makes us aware that the goal of finding fault with other people is to hide the faults within ourselves. It also helps provide acceptance, rather than rejection, of the fact that negatives are an inherent part of our life stories and have helped us get where we are today.



Are you willing to balance the way you think so you can make meaningful life changes?

Are you willing to balance the way you think so you can increase your ability to live fulfilling life of authenticity?


Action Step:

This blog is from 7 Principles of Transcendence Handbook that is used in The Power of Authenticity: The Key to Optimal Living and Leadership Excellence workshop  which starts next Thursday, April 19.

To learn more about the On-Line Training Workshop click: