It’s OK to feel sad (or angry)
“Don’t cry, it’ll be OK”, “calm down, there’s no need to be upset”, “chill out/get over it”. Did you hear these and similar sentiments growing up? As parents, we discourage our children from tantrums, sadness and anger. I can’t tell you how much time my daughter spent in the naughty corner (thanks to the powerful influence of the Super Nanny). Did she stay on it? No. Was it frustrating for both of us? Yes.
As we move through school and we are developing a sense of how and where we fit in society, expressions of negativity are discouraged and often punished (time out, the naughty corner, detention). When we get to the work force we are expected to be professional, positive and friendly at all times. Fair enough – happy people are easy to be around. But what about the legitimacy of experiencing all emotions?
- Self-awareness: recognizing internal feelings
- Managing emotions: finding ways to handle emotions that are appropriate to the situation
- Motivation: using self-control to channel emotions toward a goal
- Empathy: understanding the emotional perspective of other people
- Handling relationships: using personal information and information about others to handle social relationships and to develop interpersonal skills (1)
To explore all emotions – that is a part of the human experience.