The Positive Value of Negative Emotions
Pretending everything is great is stupid. Everything is never great.
Positivity that excludes negativity is illusion.
You flounder when you deny reality.
The positive value of negative emotions is the ability to thrive in an imperfect world.
Don’t fake your way through challenges and disappointments.
Find the positive value of negative emotions when you acknowledge, accept, and use them for good.
Toxic negative emotions:
- Envy – I’m unhappy because I don’t have what you have.
- Self-pity – My life is harder than yours. No one really appreciates me like I deserve.
- Bitterness – Anger amped up with hate rots your heart.
- Entitlement – You owe me just because I’m special regardless of what I do.
- Coveting – I want what you have AND I don’t want you to have it.
Toxic emotions corrode your life and rot your heart.
Destructive emotions make you weak.
The positive value of negative emotions:
#1. Healthy sadness motivates change.
You can feel happy and sad at the same time. You can feel sad that you lost the game and happy that you gave it your best. But, if you don’t feel sad about losing, you’re a loser.
Sadness that motivates change is transformative.
Happiness confirms. Sadness disconfirms.
‘Always look at the bright side’ is toxic positivity.
#2. Healthy sadness enables empathy.
People who reject sadness say, “Cheer up.” People who embrace sadness say, “That must feel terrible.”
It’s more energizing to feel understood than to experience toxic positivity.
#3. Healthy sadness enables kindness.
People who suffer-well become kind. People who suffer-poorly become brittle.
Feelings are one thing. Responding to feelings is the main thing.
Wallowing in negative emotion is always destructive.
What is the positive value of negative emotions?
What concerns you about this idea?