psychological baggage

Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
"psychological baggage" means one feels mental stressful, but if I want to release the pressure,can I say "I want to put down my psychological baggage"?

If not,is there any good recommendations?thanks
 
  • ivLo

    Member
    serbian
    I think that 'get rid of' would be better. And there is an option with using 'emotional baggage' (if it fits in the context), but this is just a suggestion, I'm not a native speaker.
     

    brikrob

    New Member
    English - American
    "psychological baggage" means one feels mental stressful, but if I want to release the pressure,can I say "I want to put down my psychological baggage"?

    If not,is there any good recommendations?thanks
    If the previous sentences make the context clear, most English speakers would realize what you mean by "baggage." If not, I think "emotional baggage" is a better term.

    Additionally, as ivLo said "get rid of" would be better in generic conversation and writing. By using "put down," you're making it more metaphoric, because it's a play on the word "baggage."
     

    soccergal

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I love it! It's what I call painting a picture with words. "Get rid of" as ivLo suggested, is fine, but I think any native English speaker would understand your metaphor.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Hello,Brikrob.
    I guess you are right when you agreed with the phrase "get rid of",but as far as I am concerned,"emotion" is in close connection with "sentiment",something that you can't control,but "psychological" tends to "how does the problem come from,one might control and understand how to deal with it".
    And also "baggage" could be replaced with "package" though,but I also agree with "get rid of",it is commonly used here.
     

    abenr

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    "psychological baggage" means one feels mental stressful, but if I want to release the pressure,can I say "I want to put down my psychological baggage"?

    If not,is there any good recommendations?thanks
    Using "baggage" implies a history of psychological (or emotional) problems. I don't think you can "put down" such baggage or get rid of it. Perhaps some other native speaker can address this point, but I believe once a person has such baggage, it's impossible to check it on the doorstep. It's his forever.
     

    brikrob

    New Member
    English - American
    Hello,Brikrob.
    I guess you are right when you agreed with the phrase "get rid of",but as far as I am concerned,"emotion" is in close connection with "sentiment",something that you can't control,but "psychological" tends to "how does the problem come from,one might control and understand how to deal with it".
    And also "baggage" could be replaced with "package" though,but I also agree with "get rid of",it is commonly used here.
    Well, in the US, even though the word "emotion" is used, it still refers to "psychological" pressure too. Think of "emotional baggage" as a catch-all term that has anything to do with the mind emotionally or psychologically because they're so closely related.

    "Package" *may* be able to work depending on the context. Remember that "baggage" is something that you typically carry and is yours. "Package" is something that is being delivered. If you find a way to use package, it would be extremely metaphoric.
     

    brikrob

    New Member
    English - American
    Using "baggage" implies a history of psychological (or emotional) problems. I don't think you can "put down" such baggage or get rid of it. Perhaps some other native speaker can address this point, but I believe once a person has such baggage, it's impossible to check it on the doorstep. It's his forever.
    I agree and disagree. "Baggage" implies a history but mainly a history that is still currently affecting the person, because they are "carrying" it. You can get rid or put down your emotional baggage.
     

    soccergal

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I agree and disagree. "Baggage" implies a history but mainly a history that is still currently affecting the person, because they are "carrying" it. You can get rid or put down your emotional baggage.
    I agree with this definition of baggage. I have no preference between the words emotional or psychological, although emotional is certainly more common. In any case, baggage refers to emotions such as fear, guilt or regret. As brinkrob explained, the baggage is from your past but affects you, usually negatively, in the present. To "get rid of" your baggage, you are putting these feelings behind you and moving on - making a fresh start, so to speak. If you "put down" the baggage, it's still going to be there, but maybe you're going to do something to put it out of your mind for a while - work out, go on vacation, something relaxing and pleasurable.
     

    abenr

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I agree with this definition of baggage. I have no preference between the words emotional or psychological, although emotional is certainly more common. In any case, baggage refers to emotions such as fear, guilt or regret. As brinkrob explained, the baggage is from your past but affects you, usually negatively, in the present. To "get rid of" your baggage, you are putting these feelings behind you and moving on - making a fresh start, so to speak. If you "put down" the baggage, it's still going to be there, but maybe you're going to do something to put it out of your mind for a while - work out, go on vacation, something relaxing and pleasurable.
    If baggage can be checked at the door, how then can we explain the countless times we've heard it said that politician X has too much baggage to run for president? :)
     

    brikrob

    New Member
    English - American
    If baggage can be checked at the door, how then can we explain the countless times we've heard it said that politician X has too much baggage to run for president? :)
    1. Your use of the word "baggage" might mean something different. It means the politician has/carries a lot of history/problems. He can't set them aside, because they AFFECT his candidacy.

    2. I think you're confusing the usages of "putting down" or "getting rid of." In my understanding of the OP's usage, it's a process -- not something that's automatic. For instance, you might have emotional baggage that results from a horrific childhood. Getting rid of your emotional baggage it would mean progressing towards a state where it no longer has a significant bearing or effect on your adult life. It doesn't mean setting it aside for the current moment or permanently. Remember it's just a figure of speech.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Not too long ago I stopped dating a woman and asked why, I said, "Because she was carrying too much baggage, and I could not deal with it."

    If, at that time some one asked me if she could get rid of the baggage, I suspect I would have responded:

    "She's tried to shed it; but it's difficult..."

    Psychological baggage is not something you can "drop" or "get rid of". You might be able to shed some of it or slough off some of it a little at a time, but it would have to be a process and not a singular act.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Yes, "putting it down" makes it seem A) easy and B) like you might pick it back up again (which would be crazy - hey, I'd like my problems back now please!).
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I agree with what appear to be the majority of the AE responders: "Psychological (or emotional) baggage" does not mean, as you seem to think, temporary mental stress; the phrase suggests deep-seated disturbance stemming from the past. (See Packard's comment in post #12.) Such "baggage" cannot be readily shed and typically requires psychotherapy.
     
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