We as human beings have evolved to live together and exist in groups, communities. Having our feelings validated by other human beings is important for us as it allows us to feel safe and express ourselves. Respecting each other’s feelings strengthens trust and wellbeing in our human relationships.
However, there is one essential aspect that has disappeared from human interactions ever since we progressed as a society. That is understanding and validating each other’s feelings, particularly negative feelings.
We live in a world that is trying to promote unrealistic positivity – the idea that we should ‘ignore’ negative emotions by forcing ourselves to be happy. The wrong idea of “be positive always” has become an obligation in social situations.
For instance, when someone is having a bad day and feeling pessimistic, most of us are quick to offer well-intentioned advice like “Don’t be depressed” or “There’s nothing to be sad about”. This could be interpreted to mean “Feeling low is bad.” Repeating words of positivity and inspiration when one really needs consolation, we may come off as insincere or uncaring.
This way we are sabotaging the feelings of the other person’s grief, instead of validating the same. That is not the humane way to behave with other human beings. It’s important to give them permission to let it be and let it pass.
Another false belief passed down in our society is men being seen as being weak if they expressed their emotions through crying. Although this view is gradually changing, we are still far from shaking off the entrenched cultural ideas.
The reality is whether a man or a woman, everyone has feelings. We have to respect and understand those feelings in others. We need to learn to help assuage those feelings in each other as human beings.
Blaming people for experiencing negative emotions is a senseless accusation. We cannot ask someone to stop feeling in a certain way, because the feeling has already taken place.
Once the feeling has been felt, it has been felt. It’s a completed event. We cannot change it and no amount of effort can undo a past event that has happened.
The more human beings suppress their emotions, the more damaging it is. And unless someone has psychopathic tendencies, the only solution to this vicious cycle of negativity-blocking is to experience a true cathartic release.
This is supported by this study from 2011, which found that people actually felt sadder when others expected them to have a positive attitude.
The emotion itself is not the problem – it is the behavior that goes with it that can be destructive. So to encourage people to suppress or avoid these emotions leads to trouble.
The right way to behave when someone is experiencing negative emotions is to tell them that it’s perfectly ok to feel let down after a disappointment, that’s natural and expected.
Understanding Existential Human Nature and Feelings
A human being is the union of the Life atom or conscious soul energizing and operating in a human body.
The body itself is the most evolved species in the whole planet with the most complicated neural systems working in order as a single unit.
The soul is a life atom that is a complete atom without mass or form but takes the form of the body going through each cell at lightning speed energising the whole system.
The capacity of the human being thus comes from both these elements. The physical receptors or the senses help him interact with the outside world and the life atom helps him make meaning and experiences out of those interactions.
Human beings have infinite power to imagine and understand. The incorporeal life atom or soul can feel in an unlimited way. One human being should not interpret other human beings’ feelings. If we want to interpret, it should be done to understand and help that person instead of criticizing him.
We cannot refer to others as negative thinkers without understanding what led them to feel that way. We have to understand, respect, and share our feelings which will create a bonding between human beings.
Popular Belief: Feeling negative is not right.
Supported by: This article by Developing Habits suggests negative feelings must be stopped.
Existential Reality Check: Before labeling someone as negative, we need to understand what actually signifies these concepts of “positivity” and “negativity”. The manifestation of feelings in human beings and the reason behind the same needs to be understood. Once we know that all human beings are essentially the same, we understand that it is natural for human beings to feel low for a while then return to their default state of happiness. Empathy as a feeling flows from the acknowledgment of understanding the human existence and relationship between human beings.