'shut the person down' out of fear or anxiety

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Chinese (Taiwan)
In a text it says that we can employ a method to deal with the anger and the rage, by doing it alone or with help from a facilitator.

"A good facilitator will not need to shut the person (the one being facilitated) down out of fear or anxiety, because this facilitator's empathetic abilities are so great, such facilitators' having been to emotionally intense places themselves.

Does "shut the person down out of fear or anxiety" mean
"to shut the person down, because of the facilitator's own fear or anxiety"?
and what does "shut the person down" mean?

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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    I think it does refer to the facilitator's own anxiety. "To shut a person down" is a colloquial way to say "to make a person stop doing something". In this case, the facilitator who "shut somebody down" would make that person stop doing whatever he was doing when the facilitator got scared or anxious.


    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I've heard it from AE speakers. As owlman said, it means to make the person stop doing whatever they are doing.

    ABBA Stanza

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    As owlman said, it means to make the person stop doing whatever they are doing.
    From looking at some of the hits that Google returned, it seems to me that this phrase is only used when stopping someone from doing what they are doing in a hostile/unfriendly/impolite/competitive manner.

    Is this (i.e., the addition in bold) correct?



    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I understand "to shut someone down" in this context as meaning to stop them stop from being aware of their emotions and expressing them. It doesn't say anything about the manner in which it is done. It may even be done inadvertently, throught a subtle response or lack of response. Though it is generally regarded as a bad thing to do to someone, it may not be done out of hostility.

    An example from a completely different context:
    Encourage your dog to express himself vocally. ... Barking lets him release his emotions and gives him an energy boost. The worst thing is for your dog to internalize his emotions as this can cause him to shut down and become withdrawn and depressed. ... What We Do


    Chinese (Taiwan)
    Thank you all for the discussion, which makes me understand the expression much better.

    Abba, I reread the text, and it's true that there's no cues to figure out the manner in which the action is done, but I'll have your observation in mind. :)
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