We need negative emotions for a good life

Unpacking a double standard

We are all wary of the power of negative emotions, while treating positive emotions as good without qualification. That's a mistake. Positive emotions can be just as dangerous as negative ones. And negative emotions often have the same source as positive emotions, caring about something, writes Krista Thomason.

 

You’ve been warned not to let your anger get the best of you and that it’s okay to feel anger sometimes as long as you manage it well. Negative emotions get compared to cancers, toxins, or monsters – they eat you up from the inside if you keep feeling them. But you’ve probably never heard people say any of these things about joy. No one ever warns you that joy will eat you up from the inside.

Sometimes negative emotions are treated like drugs that you’ll get addicted to if you feel them too much. We treat negative emotions like weapons: you should either avoid them altogether or handle them with caution – otherwise you’ll

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Kathy Barrera 9 July 2024

This "emotion double standard" is presumably motivated by a desire to preserve a positive, morally upright self-image.

Betty King 11 June 2024

This "emotion double standard" likely stems from a desire to maintain a positive, morally upright self-image. We want to believe that our own positive emotions are pure and noble, while negative emotions in others can be judged harshly.

salma wisoky 8 December 2023

You’ve been warned not to let your anger get the best of you and that it’s okay to feel anger sometimes as long as you manage it well. Drift Boss