Always, people speak about two types of emotions – the positive and negative. This gives an idea that a few emotions are bad, while the others are good. That’s how many believe, even today. I am challenging this notion. I would say, there are no positive or negative emotions. Feelings are just that, feelings. There’s nothing positive or negative about this.
But, why am I telling this? I am telling you this because, there’s no way one can respond to the emotions, but rather, how they deal with it is what, is more important. Emotions are not problematic by themselves, the way they’re handled, is where the problem starts.
Let us say, anxiety is a negative emotion. But without a bit of anxiety, I would not turn up for work promptly. It is the anxiety about losing work, or going for school that drives me to do things promptly. However, more of anxiety, leading to panic attacks? Then, is it positive or negative?
Confidence is often believed to be a good emotion, however, if you are confident about handling a task that you are not skilled enough to? Teens often boast about their driving, but they are also the ones who cause fatal crashes, which often kill themselves. So, in such a scenario, is confidence positive or negative? It ultimately boils down to how the emotion is handled, rather than the emotion itself. In case, these so called confident drivers felt anxious, or responsible, they might have driven safely and saved their lives or that of others.
Being happy is a positive emotion, but it could also lead to complacency. On the other hand, anger might aid in correcting an unjust act. Can it make anger positive, or is it negative? I have come across many who were depressed once, but that helped them change their lives once and for all, for good. Does this mean, depression is positive, or is it negative? May be for a shorter duration it can help, but on the other hand, when the duration is extensive, it could be detrimental. While for a few it did help on a shorter duration, it has also triggered suicide in many. So yet again, we can derive the emotion is not the basic concern, but the way it was handled, makes all the different. That is what makes the emotion good or bad, positive or negative.
I honestly feel classifying a few emotions as positive and others as negative can be detrimental. It can instill fear in people when these emotions arise and avert them from seeking help. Additionally, by classifying emotions as positive and negative, when could create problems. Let us look at an example to understand this well. We might invest time and efforts into identifying the emotions and classifying them. By doing this, we could even risk our lives by overlooking emotions like “feeling ecstatic,” “intrigued,” “challenged” or when “feeling high.” At the end of the day, these are all nothing more than emotions.
EMOTIONS AREN’T POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE. HOW YOU HANDLE YOUR EMOTIONS, IS WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT.