Select Page

The name “negative emotion” automatically implies that it’s bad.

I completely understand why you would think a negative emotion is bad because it doesn’t feel good. We do not enjoy the experience. I don’t know any human that does.

But I’m going to argue today that feeling a negative emotion can sometimes be a good thing.

Similar to a physical response if you touch a hot stovetop. You feel a pain, and it causes you to pull your hand away. Without pain, you might hold your hand there too long and experience additional injury. Your emotions are the same.

Imagine someone comes to you with a request to do work, and it’s 5:00 PM on a Friday night. How do you feel when they ask for it to be completed by 8:00 AM on Monday?

Some people may have no problem with this type of request, however many of us are trying to end our day at 5:00 PM and move towards enjoying the weekend. Therefore saying yes to this request means you are agreeing to work over the weekend.

Many of us will experience the negative emotions of frustration in this case and it the frustration can be a very good thing. Why?

Because the frustration is clueing you into your boundaries. My personal boundary means I try to protect my weekend as much as possible so that I can have family time and write my blogs for you. You may have a boundary where you need that downtime where you spend the weekend just not thinking about work so that you can be refreshed on Monday morning. Others don’t have that boundary. It’s all very individual.

So if you feel a negative emotion when someone asks you to do work on a Friday night at 5:00 o’clock, then your brain is telling you what your boundaries are.

Now, You might not always want to say no to a work request. If you are committed to your work, and you agree with the goals that the team is going for, you might understand why it’s important to get that thing done by 8:00 AM on Monday morning. You might be committed to doing it. You may still feel the frustration, and decide to do the work anyway.

But noticing the frustration you feel may trigger you to have a conversation with your colleagues about how to plan ahead more effectively so that work can be completed during the work week.

My whole point is that sometimes feeling a negative emotion is necessary and helpful.

They clue you into who you are and what’s important to you. If you resist or avoid them, or think that you’re bad for feeling them, you won’t be able to tap into the opportunities of what they’re trying to teach you.

Career coaching to create
Confidence, Performance, Connection. Schedule Now

Copyright InspiredLeader LLC 2023