There are no bad emotions

Jan 09, 2023

 In a world where complexity has become our norm and agility a precious capability, our ability to regulate emotions has become crucial to our well-being.


We hear many messages around managing our emotions during times of challenge, "Keep calm and carry on", "Stay positive", and "Be happy".

Sadness, fear, anger and anticipation are genuine emotions that come in times of challenge; they are just as valid as excitement, joy and satisfaction.

When we wish away or suppress our complex emotions, we are closing the door on emotions that are an integral part of our humanness.


Unfortunately, however, subtle messages continue to convey emotions as either 'good' or 'bad'. For example, colour-coding emotions such as anger, upset, or annoyance as 'red' emotions, or joy, happiness or contentment as 'yellow' emotions provide non-verbal communication of emotional classification.

'Red' emotions should be avoided, and 'yellow' emotions should be embraced.


Stress, discomfort, anger and upset are part of life. We don't get to do life without these emotions; they can be signals for keeping ourselves safe and a reminder to check in with ourselves and our values. Emotions are an important form of information. We are constantly feeling something; our emotions are in a continual flow. Consider the gambit of emotions you experience daily: frustration, impatience, excitement, nervousness, joy or dread.

These emotions are part of leading a meaningful life. But, like all emotions, how we act on them can give them positive or negative qualities. Innately, all emotions are neutrally charged.


1990 research from Peter Salovey and John Maloney explored the link between emotions and actions. They called this emotional intelligence. They define it as "The ability to monitor one's and others' feelings and emotions to discriminate amongst them and use the information to guide one's thinking and actions".


With greater emotional awareness, our feelings can tell us important information and be harnessed helpfully.

  • Nervousness can cause us to be more discerning and reconsider all the options.
  • Enthusiasm can support us to see other possibilities.
  • Guilt can act as a moral compass.

A more generous mood may make us more willing to accept. But on the other hand, anger can drive us to act against inequity or oppression.

When harnessed and honed, our emotions can become positive tools with a constructive function.


So, as you go forward this week, I invite you to consider how you treat or label your emotions. For example, are you "sweeping them under the carpet", pushing them aside, or squashing them? Or could you utilize them more constructively?


No emotion is bad or good; how we act on them makes them so.

Now, more than ever, we need to be able to navigate our changing world with calmness, focus and relational skills. So, to help you understand how emotional-Social Intelligence underpins our ability to manage our own emotional responses for optimal relational rapport, as well as navigate the complex behaviours of others - we've designed a 1-day online workshop for leaders to develop their Emotional-Social Intelligence.

Through our Emotional-Social Intelligence workshop, you will learn:

  • what Emotional-Social Intelligence is.
  • the role Emotional-Social Intelligence plays in your role as a leader.
  • key skills to develop your Emotional-Social Intelligence and
  • how you might support others to develop their Emotional-Social Intelligence.


JOIN US ONLINE ON WEDNESDAY 19th JANUARY 2023, 9am-3pm, to develop your Emotional-Social Intelligence.


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