'shut the person down' out of fear or anxiety

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Cris2, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Cris2 Member

    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?

    << Second question removed by moderator. >>
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2010
  2. owlman5

    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.
  3. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "To shut a person down" makes no sense to me, either in this context or any other, so I would like to know a bit more about this sentence, such as "Who wrote it?" and "Where?"
  4. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    I hadn't heard of it before either, but (according to St. Google) it seems to be widely used. Could it be an AE phrase?
  5. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    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.
  6. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    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?

  7. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I am not sure. I would just say it means to stop them quickly and definitively.
  8. Cagey 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
  9. Cris2 Member

    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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