We have the right to feel everything that we do. Along with that right is the responsibility to express those feelings appropriately.
We have the right to feel all the positive emotions: happiness, joy, excitement, accomplishment, and love, among others. We also have the right to feel all the so-called negative emotions such as anger, hurt, despair, and grief.
I do not like the term negative emotions. All these emotions are just part of life. I think we all go through them at some point in our lives. If we do not, then maybe we have a problem feeling what we are meant to feel. We cannot let these emotions control our lives, however. We need to accept them, address them, and move on.
Along with these rights are responsibilities. We have the right to feel anything and everything we do. We also have the responsibility to express those feelings appropriately.
For example, we have the right to feel angry when someone does something to hurt us. We have the right to tell that person how what he or she did affected us. The responsibility comes in on how we tell him or her. If we tell the person, with respect, what we feel and why, that is good. We do not have the right to treat the person disrespectfully. We do not have the right to yell at the person or call names. We certainly do not have the right to physically harm the person.
What is considered appropriate depends on the situation. If we want to cry our eyes out at home, that is fine, so long as we do not scare the children…or the pets. It is not appropriate to do that in the workplace, however.
What is considered appropriate also depends upon the person. What we say to an adult is different from what we say to a child, for example. What we say to a stranger may be different from what we say to a friend.
Do not deny your feelings. Do not stuff them deep inside of you and hope they will go way. They will not. They will just fester inside of you like an infection. Before you express those feelings, however, think of the most appropriate way to do so under the circumstances.
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