Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Negative Emotions

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the disconnect in our thinking about emotions - on the one hand, we're coming to believe that emotional intelligence is an important business skill; on the other hand, displaying emotions in a business situation is a negative. Translation: We should become adept at reading the emotions of others, but also adept at hiding our own emotions from others.

Here's another anomaly: anger and fear are usually labeled "negative emotions." Organized religions call for their suppression, at the same time they are encouraging their followers to fear whatever gods they worship. Because those same gods will be wrathful if their laws and rules are not obeyed. Translation: We don't have the right to be angry, anger is the purview of the gods. We don't have the right to fear anything or anyone except our gods.

Balderdash. (A great word, with lots of the same consonants as b.s., yet usable anywhere.) We're born with the ability to feel and express anger. (What? You've never seen a baby's red, howling face?) We're born with the ability to feel and express fear. (You don't think children should be taught to stay away from fire?)

Both anger and fear are positive for our well-being, for our very lives. They are protective in nature, not negative. They're impossible to eliminate. If we're not allowed to recognize them, they'll just hang around, causing mayhem in our muscles and nervous systems.

No comments:

Post a Comment