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My question is a follow-up to this great answer to a question about the neurological mechanism of self-control. It explains that people who exhibit self-control are able to repress/isolate the negative emotion from thoughts about the self.

Consider a use case where a student who approaches a representative of his favorite company at a career fair. The rep gives him negative feedback as a result of the student acting very awkward and being inexperienced in professional small talk. The student now experiences negative emotions (embarrassment).

Would it be more helpful now for the student to feel/live through the negative experience (with self-compassion and without judgment) or repress/ignore it?

With respect to the former option, Andy Puddicombe, a mindfulness meditation expert, recommends that one note the negative emotion and experience it (without judgment, but characterizing certain properties of the pain) with the goal of reducing its severity. Kristin Neff, a self-compassion expert, also recommends not ignoring the pain. She has published a meditation exercise where the painful emotion is visualized and "smoothed" with the same goal.

Perhaps my misunderstanding is caused by what the words inhibition and repression refer to in the original question. The responding user may refer to the connection between the negative emotion and self-worth, rather than how the individual should relate to the negative emotion itself when it surfaces.

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    $\begingroup$ (For what it's worth, the answer to the question you link to doesn't quite align with contemporary theory and data.) $\endgroup$ – mrt Aug 18 '16 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ It is much better to live through it I believe. I started repressing emotions at a very young age and now I have problems expressing emotions, I have problems feeling emotions in general, and I have problems consoling other people when they are going through anything difficult. On top of that I dont respond well to many situations, I cant deal with group settings well, and i'm a huge introvert in order to avoid conflict and embarrasment. I can go on and on about how repressing emotions has affected me but i dont want to rant too much $\endgroup$ – lolbutnah Nov 30 '16 at 6:37
  • $\begingroup$ @mrt: Agreed. Third-generation behavioral therapy tends to incorporate some mindfulness elements, if I understand it correctly. $\endgroup$ – Wuschelbeutel Kartoffelhuhn Aug 11 '17 at 11:56

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