Shadow psychology was first popularized by the imminent professor Carl Jung. The shadow is the unconscious aspect of ourselves that we cannot consciously identify with. There are actually positive aspects of the shadow side.
“People Pleasers” need to start identifying with their anger and start telling people to get lost, in no uncertain terms. But because they were brought up in such a way as to respect others and be “good”, they find it difficult to consciously understand that saying no to people can be immensely organic, satisfying, and natural. Instead, they take on more work than they should and end up stressed, believing that sabotaging their mental and emotional wellbeing is somehow a ‘positive’ thing.
Generally, however, the shadow exhibits negative tendencies. It contains deep fears and insecurities. It then projects these fears and securities onto other people. Often, people will project their own negative tendencies onto others to deal with their own pain. It is the next best thing to being able to confront it within themselves, which is far more difficult. For Jung, the best way to explore the Shadow side was through dream work and symbolic analysis. The Shadow was referred to as the “Unconscious” in the works of both Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche. The concept of Shadow Self has become much more popular in recent times due to the prior dominance of the law of attraction. More people than ever are involved in dream work and self-assessment questionnaires to dissolve shadow tendencies and bring the shadow self to the forefront of the conscious mind.