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Myths vs Facts: Are Emotions Really Positive or Negative?

Emotions can present a challenge in communication. Many people have been raised believing that we don’t talk about our emotions or how our feelings are affected. There is a culture of sharing misguided and just pain incorrect beliefs regarding our emotions. This has led to many people being unable to properly manage their emotions. Conflict is difficult to navigate and subdue when those involved aren’t used to openly communicating about the underlying issues. Difficulties with managing emotions can start being addressed by busting myths about them.

Myths Of Emotions And How They’re Experienced

The misguided culture regarding emotions is built on some pervasive myths about experiencing emotions. Breaking these myths can be the first step to learning how to fully feel our emotions and begin expressing them in healthy ways. Everyone experiences a full range of emotions during our lives. Happiness, frustration, sadness, joy, anger, and surprise are just some of the feelings we all have.

  • Strong People Don’t Get Emotional – This myth would have you believe that only those who are weak allow their emotions to show. While this is the cornerstone of toxic masculinity, this belief isn’t strictly applied to men. The truth is that regardless of gender, it takes strength to express your emotions conscientiously and clearly.
  • Emotions Are Unprofessional – It’s a common belief that those in professional positions, especially in leadership, should not show their emotions in the workplace. This practice has made workplaces uncomfortable and stressful places where we are encouraged to suppress our humanity. Being unable to express our emotions honestly impacts our effectiveness in the workplace. Building sincere rapport with those you work with is impossible without sharing your feelings.
  • Strong Emotions Can Strip Us Of Control – This is another myth that is potentially dangerous and creates unhealthy habits in people. It’s perfectly normal to experience heightened emotions, including anger. However, the belief that we can’t control ourselves in these circumstances creates an excuse for abusive behavior. It also makes it difficult to handle these situations constructively when you believe you’re incapable of doing so. Witnessing our emotions and learning to identify them as they arise can ensure that we can manage them responsibly.
  • Venting Is Therapeutic – Another commonly held misconception is the idea that venting helps ease our emotions. This is frequently applied to frustration and anger. However, venting our emotions can lead to embedding ourselves in a cognitive rut. It tends to bind us to a certain way of thinking about these emotions and the circumstances. Venting can be helpful as a part of unraveling how we feel and deciding how to address the underlying cause. On its own, it tends to feed back into itself.

These myths represent misleading and sometimes damaging beliefs about human emotions and how we experience them.

Mental Health Professionals Guide Healthy Approaches

Unlearning a lifetime of emotional habits can be challenging to do on your own. Working with your mental health professional is the first step to breaking down these beliefs and learning to live authentically. Embracing our emotions is embracing a core part of our humanity and our experience of life. Reach out to your professional to start breaking unhealthy relationships with emotion.

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Helene A. Miller / And Other Providers
Family Psychiatry and Therapy brings compassion, understanding, and skilled care to patients throughout New Jersey. Our team of mental health professionals focuses on providing a positive and uplifting experience that aids our patients in facing life’s toughest challenges.