Negative emotions are more powerful and dominant. They invade uninvited; they affect our thoughts and behavior instantaneously and refuse to be tamed easily.
Since childhood we are trained to control these emotions but however hard we may try to bury them, they keep coming back, raising their ugly head again and again to remind us that we have to confront them.
We are encouraged to dismiss them, shun them as their implicit impact is considered to be negative – a streak that discolors our personality.
I don’t support this outlook.
My conviction is that negative emotions play a meaningful role in molding our personality:
- They unlatch the doors of understanding and learning
- They enhance our confidence
- They give us a wide exposure
- They impel us towards introspection
- They help us in developing resilience
- They assist us in building better relationships
“Negative emotions like loneliness, envy and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.” – Gretchen Rubin
Lets analyze them.
It may be a natural emotion but it is detested by all. Angry outbursts often make us unpopular but it is only after we have experienced this emotion that we comprehend the need of calm behavior.
Anger has been my companion since childhood and whenever it got activated, I could feel the blood gushing through my veins as if they would burst, my blood pressure rising but in the whirlwind of anger, I could also experience its consequences, the unidentified thoughts rushing to issue a warning – enough!
When we watch an angry person, reacting in an uncivilized manner, don’t we get the alert? Don’t we promise ourselves to respect tranquility?
Anger may be a negative emotion but it leads us to positive paths of acceptance, of reflection and tolerance. When the anger subsides, we try to find some answers – what makes us angry? How can we check the flow of this negativity?
Anger slowly guides us towards serenity when we realize that the latter has incredible power to tame anger.
Nobody tells us to hate yet this innate emotion surfaces quite early when we are growing and forming our opinions about people.
It is through hatred that we learn the meaning of love. It is through this emotion that we learn about the prejudices against people and how important it is to overcome them.
The stark distinctions unravel before our own eyes when we meet different kinds of people.
“We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.” – Mitch Albom
Whether hatred is directed towards a person or a group, an attitude or somebody’s behavior, deep rooted or temporary, this emotion disseminates a feeling of righteousness in the minds of people. It upholds the values of justice, honor and equality. One person’s hatred becomes another person’s lesson.
The fear of loneliness keeps us connected with people, the fear of getting disliked teaches us at a very early age that we must be pleasant, kind and cooperative to our friends.
The fear of competition, the fear of failure, the fear of others’ success acquaints us with the most coveted values of life. These fears keep us motivated to stay focused, to struggle harder and learn from our disappointments.
The fear of losing our emotional anchors, the fear of the unknown, of being inadequate may frighten us but they also give us the courage to face the cruel realities of life.
The fear of uncertain future keeps us striving for something better. It adds greater value to our life.
It is the fear of dark that infuses in us the determination to find light, to hope for brighter days,
You must have experienced this dilemma of conquering fear, which makes us stronger and more resilient.
So why get scared of this negative emotion, which steers us towards positivity?
It is during the gloomy moments of life that we remember how blissful happiness is. Sadness shows us the cheerfulness in its right perspective.
We can value happiness only after we have encountered those depressing days we loathe.
Grief familiarizes us with those little joys we failed to appreciate when they lingered around us, unnoticed.
The blessings of life assume a special connotation after we emerge victorious from our suffering. It helps us develop patience, forbearance and calmness. It gives us the gift of introspection.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” – Hellen Keller
Anxiety, nervousness, jealousy, arrogance have one thing in common. They are natural teachers. If you follow them, befriend them; they may play with your emotions for a while but the prudence that accompanies them often seeps into your personality unawares.
Negative emotions are very subtle and deceptive. They absorb more energy but they often walk away victorious, testing our patience and strength, ennobling us, belittling our ego, thereby transforming us into humble human beings.
Do you dismiss negative emotions without dealing with them?
Do they knock you down or do you learn something positive from them?
I am eagerly waiting for your answers.
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