displays of anger showed poor rearing

“Our good fortune and long line of self-sacrificing forebears led me to another belief: complaining about anything was out of the question. Physical and emotional hardiness were parts of the same whole. Unrestrained emotion was seen as a weakness, unless of course it came in the form of a happy yelp at a notable golf shot or tennis slam. Displays of anger showed poor rearing; pride was gauche; sadness, anger jealousy, and and fear were just plain pitiful - all worthy of being shunned with silver-clinking-on-china silence or a swift change of subject. A “good attitude” was highly valued and rewarded. I learned to stuff down my negative feelings and to buck up with expected chipperness. Each cultural norm motivated me to fit in while judging others who didn’t. I learned to become deeply uncomfortable around people who exhibited any of the disapproved emotions, especially anger.”

- Debby Irving, Waking Up White, 2014

(Red Country Reading List)