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Why do we simply group emotions as positive or negative?

I believe we do because its easy to categorize things, especially when there is clearly a difference between how some emotions make us feel good and others make us feel bad. However emotions are a tool that we use to evaluate our experiences. Being so, I think it would be more beneficial to view emotions as a form of communication between our needs and wants and our cognitive processing. So just because something makes you feel negatively, doesn't mean that we should just focus on trying to remedy it as quickly as possible. Maybe we should focus more on why we feel that "bad" emotion so we can learn about ourselves and how we may be able to grow in terms of our values or perspectives. The same thing can be said about "good" emotions. Maybe if we question why something makes us feel good, we can get even more from it. Thoughts?

TingleMuffin 4 Mar 24

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We are like batteries, with positive and negative energies flowing through us, so basically it is where we start from, some call it 'love and hate, 'Yin and Yang'...but they are both vital and both can be broken down to many sub categories.
Groupnig and focusing are two different things, first we group (cause it makes fearful weak humans feel better) than we focus, on what ever we want to. I focus on nothing but 'positive' things all day, every day.

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I spoke about this fairly recently in another post. The basic jist of it being that sometimes people can be disgustingly positive to a point where they're just masking emotions and denying themselves their right to grow as people. It would be great if everything could be peaches and cream all the time, but the truth is that masking our emotions behind a veil of positivity is just as unhealthy as those who explode every time they get angry. Finding healthy ways of dealing with our emotions is what really matters. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with keeping a positive mindset. But sometimes people go oveboard with it. People and their positivity are starting to remind me of people and their "Prayers". Sometimes I need real solutions to a problem not, "Smile and everything will be fine."

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Ok but indecisive feelings are or can be in between. So too emotions such as anticipation
Some might say confusion is negative.
Yes, it can be, but confusion can be the beginning of a meaningful reflection on an issue of concern. It is a step to either negative or positive attitude or reaction and hence neither in itself.

Couldn’t one argue that confusion is a negative thing, that the act of not knowing something and trying to find it out requires a negative feeling of dread when you can’t find it out?

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Because the neurochemocals that are produced usually have a tie to either building bonds (serotonin,oxytocin,endorphins) while others are part of our sympathetic system used for fight or flight (adrenaline, cortisol, epinephrine). The emotions we normally refer to as good are usually beneficial for our species and individually although our cognition is prone to manipulation and needs to be kept in check. The negative emotions can actually harm us by weaking our immune system, mental illnesses and inhibiting bonding. Although no emotion is ever intrinsically bad as they help us make sense of our stimuli and reactions. They should be used as a mind tool not something we let dictate our lives. (Easier said than done).

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We don’t. James

Leon Level 5 Mar 25, 2018
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I used to disagree. I got into ironic tiffs with people because I always viewed certain emotions as "bad" like anger or hatred, and I was on a mission to never excuse those emotions and to feel them as little as possible, but eventually circumstances made that very difficult, and surprisingly, I learned a lot by allowing myself to feel these emotions without feeling so immoral for having them. It's okay to be upset and angry at things you don't like, and many times they can reveal an injustice you aren't seeing or they can indicate certain humanist moral principles of a person.

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I completely agree as nothing normally is just black or white as there's always a grey area.

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We individually categorize emotions, and yes society influences it too.
What I mean is a lot of emotions feel the same, but because we assign an emotion to that feeling based on past experences.
Excitment and fear a good examples. How easily are we excited to meet someone for a date only to become feaful of how it will end.

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I seek balance in everything and, as such, see a wide range in emotions as opposed to the "fringes".

Looking at the practical over the philosophical, here is the "emote wheel" I was introduced to in acting class. Robert Plutchik's approach didn't give a positive or negative value to emotions here, but instead focused on their intensities.

Practicing each in a mirror is entirely optional.

I like that, I can think of so many people that would be helpful for. And me.

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I don't think emotions are bad or good, they just are. Anger can be a sign something is wrong, it can be dealt with either positively or negatively. The students marching this weekend is a positive response to anger and grief. Shooting up someone or something is a very negative reaction to anger or grief. If you are sad when someone dies that is a good sign, if you are happy that indicates something is not right. People who cannot acknowledge emotion or handle emotion poorly need extra help. Think Sheldon on Big Bang Theory. If we are happy all the time we are not learning resilience because life is not meant to for us to be happy all the time. You need some experience with frustration, grief, anger, and all disappointment, etc to learn how to deal with it. Children don't need to be "protected from" emotions, they need to be taught the appropriate responses.

I wholly agree with you. I guess I was coming from the perspective of all these self-help type articles that are online about finding "true happiness" and what not. A lot of the time they will group emotions as bad or good, but you're right. It's how you act on your emotions that makes them bad or good.

@MrLizard OMG, your tools comment is one of my frequent lines. GMTA

@MrLizard LOL! Language is a tool too, don't use it for bad.

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This is awesome! Thank you! 🙂

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I am feeling ambivalent about this.

I'm not so sure.

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I always can find a logical scenario to any given emotion. Do I run tons of expected possibilities some time choosing controversial reaction. Some self reflection I will have to do on that one.

@MrLizard The master has taught me well.

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I always can find a logical scenario to any given emotion. Do I run tons of expected possibilities some time choosing controversial reaction. Some self reflection I will have to do on that one.

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Good emotions are those which enable or energize us to face reality and respond in a way which enables us to grow. Sometimes anger, grief, revulsion, sorrow, provide the impetus for growth.Negative emotions are those which distort our contact with reality, which limit or restrict us, or cause us to act in entirely egocentric manner. The "goodness" or "badness" is not in the emotion, but in in the effect.

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