How to Deal with Uncomfortable Feelings & Create Positive Ones

portrait stressed sad young woman outdoors. Urban life style stress

“Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.” ~Jean Kerr

For most of my life, I was a fugitive from my feelings.

Psychologists suggest that we are driven by two connected motivations: to feel pleasure and avoid pain. Most of us devote more energy to the latter than the former.

Instead of being proactive and making choices for our happiness, we react to things that happen in our lives and fight or flee to minimize our pain.

Instead of deciding to end an unhealthy relationship and open up to a better one, we may stay and either avoid confrontation or initiate one to feel a sense of control. Instead of leaving a horrible job to find one we love, we may stay and complain about it all the time, trying to minimize the pain of accepting the situation as real—and enduring until we change it.

From a very young age, I felt overwhelmed by pain. As a pre-teen, I ate my feelings. As a teen, I starved them away. In college, I drank and smoked them numb. And in my twenties, I felt and cried my eyes red and raw.

I sobbed. I wailed. I shook and convulsed. And I wished I’d never chosen to feel them, but rather kept pushing them down, pretending everything was fine.

Except when I did that, they didn’t just go away—they compounded on top each other and built up until eventually I exploded, with no idea why I felt so bad.

One time when I was seventeen, I couldn’t open a jar of jelly. After ten minutes of twisting, banging, and fighting, I finally threw it at a wall and broke down.

You may think that was a sure sign I had emotional problems and assume there was some pill to help anesthetize that sadness.

That’s what a lot of people thought. But the reality was a lot simpler: I’d never dealt with my feelings from events large and small, and eventually they dealt with me.

As unpleasant as it may sound, I needed to learn how to feel bad, but first I needed to understand why I felt bad so often. It’s a whole lot easier to deal with pain when it’s not the default feeling.

This, I’ve learned, comes down to three steps:

  1. Developing emotional intelligence
  2. Learning to sit with negative feelings
  3. Creating situations for positive feelings

Emotional Intelligence

Researchers originated this idea as the missing link in terms of success and effectiveness in life. It didn’t seem to make sense why people with high IQs and superior reasoning, verbal, and math skills could still struggle in social and professional situations.

If you have a high EIQ, you likely regulate your emotions well; handle uncertainties and difficulties without excessive panic, stress, and fear; and avoid overreacting to situations before knowing the full details.

If you have a low EIQ, you might be oversensitive to other people’s feelings in response to you, obsess about problems until you find a concrete solution, and frequently feel a tsunami of emotions that you can’t attribute to a specific life event. Or in other words, you may feel bad far more often than you feel good.

Some Steps to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

1. Understand what emotional intelligence looks like.

Psychologist Daniel Goleman identified five elements to EI: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. This means you understand what’s going on in your head and heart; you don’t make hasty decisions on impulse; you can motivate yourself to delay gratification; you listen to, understand, and relate to other people well; and you’re able to focus on other people.

You can read more about these ideas in Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ.

2. Use meditation to regulate emotions.

It’s infinitely easier to deal with emotions as they arise if you’ve already done a little work to create a calm inner space. If you’re new to meditation, you may want to try one of these simple ways to make meditation easy and fun.

3. Take an honest look at your reactions.

Do you frequently jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts? Do you need other people’s approval to feel comfortable in your own skin? Do you assume you know what other people feel and take responsibility for that? Do you freak out over stressful situations, blaming other people, getting hard on yourself, and panicking over possible consequences?

4. Practice observing your feelings and taking responsibility for them.

It’s not always easy to understand a feeling when it happens, especially if you think you shouldn’t feel it, but forget about should. Instead, try to pinpoint exactly what you feel—scared, frustrated, worried, ashamed, agitated, angry—and then pinpoint what might be the cause. Reserve all judgment.

Simply find the cause and effect, i.e.: your employer seemed unhappy with your work, so now you feel stressed, or your significant other expressed dissatisfaction, so now you feel scared. Anytime you feel something uncomfortable that you’d rather avoid, put a magnifying glass on it.

Once you know what you feel, you can now challenge both the cause and the effect.

You can ask yourself whether or not you’re overreacting to the event or worrying to find a sense of control. And then you can accept that there is an alternative—you can choose to interpret the situation a different way, soothe yourself, and then feel something different. No one else causes our feelings. Only we can choose and change them.

Learn to Sit with Negative Feelings

Even if you reframe a situation to see things differently, there will be times when you still feel something that seems negative. While not every situation requires panic, sometimes our feelings are appropriate for the events going on in our lives.

We are allowed to feel whatever we need to feel. If we lose someone, we’re allowed to hurt. If we hurt someone, we’re allowed to feel guilty. If we make a mistake, we’re allowed to feel regretful. Positive thinking can be a powerful tool for happiness, but it’s more detrimental than helpful if we use it to avoid dealing with life.

Pain is part of life, and we can’t avoid it by resisting it. We can only minimize it by accepting it and dealing with it well.

That means feeling the pain and knowing it will pass. No feeling lasts forever. It means sitting in the discomfort and waiting before acting. There will come a time when you feel healed and empowered.

I don’t regret much in life, but in retrospect, some of the most damaging decisions I have made have resulted from me feeling the need to do something with my emotions. I’d feel angry and want to hurt someone. Or I’d feel ashamed and want to hurt myself.

Our power comes from realizing we don’t need to act on pain; and if we need to diffuse it, we can channel it into something healthy and productive, like writing, painting, or doing something physical.

Pain is sometimes an indication we need to set boundaries, learn to say no more often, or take better care of ourselves. But sometimes it just means that it’s human to hurt, and we need to let ourselves go through it.

Create Situations for Positive Feelings

This is the last part of the puzzle. As I mentioned before, we tend to be more reactive than active, but that’s a decision to let the outside world dictate how we feel.

We don’t need to sit around waiting for other people to evoke our feelings. Instead, we can take responsibility to create our own inner world.

We can identify what we want to say yes to in life and choose that before struggling with whether or not to say no to someone else. If you love dancing, take a class. If your greatest passion is writing, start a blog. If you daydream about being a musician, start recording.

Don’t worry about where it’s leading. Do it just because you love it. For me, this is theater. I performed all growing up, and yet I hardly ever did in my twenties. There was always an excuse—I was too busy or I couldn’t find an audition.

Last year I defied those beliefs and auditioned for Gypsy in San Mateo. I didn’t get cast, likely because I somehow developed two left feet after nearly a decade without moving to music, but I remembered how much I love acting. And I felt a renewed sense of confidence when the director pulled me aside and said I should audition for the next show because my scene was powerful.

I need more of that. We all need more of that. We need to do the things we love.

Concluding Thoughts

Negative feelings are only negative if they’re excessive and enduring. We won’t hurt ourselves into eternal misery if we let ourselves feel what we need to feel.

Still, we don’t have to feel bad nearly as often as we think.

If we choose to foster a sense of inner peace, challenge our perceptions and interpretations when our emotions could use some schooling, and learn to take responsibility for our joy, we can not only minimize pain; we can choose to be a source of pleasure, for ourselves and the people around us.

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Frangepanni

    It took me until reading your article to realize why I had felt so emotionally out of control in my teens and twenties! Thank you for shining a light on that! It’s good to know i’m not the only one who would smash a jar against a wall if I couldn’t open it. It’s such a relief to have figured out how to handle my emotions. Thanks Lori!

  • Thank-you Lori. I love your blogs and appreciate the wisdom. I have been working on this part of practice as well. Allowing our emotions to pass by, whatever they may be, without losing our “selves”. Some good advice here…”Do what you love”…this can lead us to a better way I think. Namistae!

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  • Thanks Jeff! I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Namaste =)

  • You are most welcome! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one, too =)

  • Thanks for this post (and for all the others). It was very helpful, and I’ll refer to it many times. There’s so much to digest. I’ve found being able to examine emotions objectively, to stand apart from them, so to speak, as if they belonged to another, so that one can analyze them and deal with them in a rational way is a great help, if one is able to do so. I must confess that I can’t, or don’t, always do that!

  • Yes an interesting post. People should learn to bring a sile on their face when they are in a tough situation and the face becomes grumpy. It should be followed as an exercise. I feel the change will then start to come 🙂

  • Phatsim

    thank you lory for this piece…i find it intersting that we are responsible for our own happyness,we often make the mistake to think that to feel joy in ones life it has to be caused by someone else …same applies for the pain we feel!!! this has been a turn around for me emotionally.thank you!

  • Thanks for commenting hamkaup. It’s true–a smile can slowly change everything. Namaste =)


  • You are most welcome!

  • Indeed it is a lot! I thought about splitting this post up, but I wanted to have it all in one place so I ran with it. I also don’t also don’t always do that, but I work at it. If we give it our best effort and learn and grow, I think that’s something to be proud of!

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  • Hi TinyBuddah (love that name,) Have you heard of Psychogical Flexibility and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)? It relates to what you are saying. All of our emotions serve us in some way and so the important thing is to experience them in a balanced way that serves us towards reaching our goals and living within our values. Here is an article I just posted earlier this week on the subject: Thanks!

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  • Kate

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve been sitting with uncomfortable feelings more lately, and feel it might be to do with taking up meditation and creating a space for them to come up. It’s so temping to act on them and fill my time with people and activities to damp them down, or make attempts to contact people I know full well are not good for me. Your writing has reassured me that sitting with them is the way to go – and I’ll get myself out for a walk just to seal the deal. Much love, Kate

  • You’re most welcome! Much love back. =)

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  • Anonymous

    I think this might be one of my favorite articles of yours. Just sayin. 


    You make me smile…in a completely non-creepy, admiration/inspiration way. 

  • LOL thanks Lisa. =)

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  • Dvm386

    I absolutely adore this post!

  • I’m glad you found it helpful!

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  • Lmeiy

    Hi Lori, thank you for this. I broke up with my ex
    like over 6 months ago & i really thought I was over him & last
    night when I was drinking I got so drunk and according to my friends I
    kept mentioning my ex .. and even ended up making out with someone
    because I thought he was my ex. It was painfully horrible to look back
    on and honestly I don’t know how to get rid of the guilt too. I kept
    telling myself I should be over by now & all but I thought I was. I
    guess subconsciously I am not.. and the worst part is that after the break up I found myself being more dependent on others, their opinions and approval matter so much more. Like I somehow let my value be determined by others..  but after reading this I told myself I’m gonna start learning to deal with the problem & I can’t let the problem go on any longer.. it make take time but I’m gonna try..

  • I’m glad to hear you’ve found a new resolve to let go. It can be so challenging to do it. There are certain things that pop up after a couple of drinks that I would otherwise have thought I’ve completely released. The subconscious mind is a tricky thing. Sometimes we need to let go of things over and over again. But everything gets easier with time.

    Sending lots of love your way,

  • Jane

    Thank you, this is really interesting.
    Until right now, I felt like my life was going to end, like I had nothing to live for, like that only person that couldn’t understand me was simply me.  I felt weight on my heart, I couldn’t bring myself to think of why I was so sad, mabye because it was just to horrible, but with your help I decided to look into me and I found out that it wasn’t that bad, that the only reason why I was sad was for jumping to a conclusion without looking at all the facts, like you mentioned above. I called my boyfriend and we both agreed that tomorrow when we are face to face at school we can talk it over, and having him tell me that, and not keep anything from him makes me feel great.
    Thank you again for the wonderful lesson that you have taught me, and now, finally after 2 weeks of heart breaking news and lonesome time, I gone back to my usual fun and loving self.
    Thank you again.  

  • That’s great, Jane! I have been in that spot many times before. It’s such a relief to finally let go of all those irrational thoughts and fears. You are most welcome. =)

  • Jane

    Thank you again, I know I have said it before, but this is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time.
    Now even thought it is just one day since i have read this, I already feel better, I think it is your energy that transmits happiness to me.

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  • Glad I found this one today, I needed it. Thanks Lori, I’m forever grateful to this site and to you, and all the contributors.

  • You are most welcome, Erin. =)

  • Your amazing! Thank you for following your bliss! 

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  • Mike J.

    Thank you for this post! I was actually just looking for something to tell me how to interpret my emotions as I never really learned how certain feelings actually feel. For instance, I don’t know what love feels like. I only knowanger and that constant emptiness and darkness that is always with me, eating me inside out. While this is not exactly what I am looking for, I still hope (I guess) it’s going to help me in one way or another. So, thank you!

  • You’re most welcome Mike. My heart goes out to you, as I know what it feels like to feel dark and empty. I’m curious: Has there ever been a time when you felt love for someone else? 

  • Carol B.C. Honkanen

    GREAT advice!!!

  • Ausboi

    I googled. I don’t want to feel anymore, and I found your post.

    Incredible. Thank you.


  • You’re welcome D!

  • Lorena Acuna

    Feeling sad and down now… feeling being dumped.. 
    Thanks for the inspiring post

  • You’re most welcome Lorena. I hope you feel better soon.

  • Jass Tz

    I found your post in perfect timing. And I find it to be brilliant.

  • Thanks so much Jass. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Love it. 

  •  Thanks Jaime =)

  • Sommervillekaren

    Thank you this was helpful post, now just to take bay steps to practicing it!

  • You’re most welcome!

  • Joyfullly

    If happiness is conditioned by something or someone to “HAPPEN” (It happened, therefore I’m happy), what then is joy? … i.e. a joyous person without a need of an input from self or otherwise. Is it true Jesus, Others, You…JOY as they say?

  • Paige Bitner

    Thanks so much I needed this!!!!!

  • You’re most welcome!

  • Capybara

    This is the first time I’ve ever took the time to respond to a post, purely due to motivational issues 🙂 Extremely wise words. I think the key to developing all of these attributes is cultivating mindfulness through day-to-day practice, and mediation. I used to believe it was possible without meditation, until I started meditating.

  • Hi there. It’s nice to e-meet you! Thanks for commenting. =) I think you’re right, about a day-to-day mindfulness practice. I see a huge difference on days when I make time to sit in stillness and days when I don’t.

  • Sierra

    Really helpful, thanks a lot

  • You’re most welcome!

  • Elena

    It is like you have met me and know what i have gone threw.Im 19 and have some challenges in my life and i sometimes dont know how to deal with them so Thank You for giving me some Insight.

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad this helped!

  • Cat

    Well written and helpful! Your way of breaking it down helps the reader feel hopeful and better in control!

  • lamis

    I woke up at midnight unsleepful after a fight with my fiancee….I can say my EIQ is very low….always stressed …

    Thanks for the post really helpful

    much love and peace

  • Thanks so much. =)

  • You’re most welcome. Much love and peace to you as well. =)

  • nistaq

    Hi Lori

    I can relate to your experiences in many ways. I have recently realised many of the things you mention above. It took a lot of self analysis to change my ways but it has made a big difference to my life.

  • I’m glad you could relate and that you found this helpful Nistaq!

  • Mithu

    I agree to all what you have posted here..but what to do when negotiations are not working out…m tring hard to be positive still the insecurity is still around…m facing really hard time..just dnt know which is the door way out for this situation

  • Tom1

    Wow this is a great post! I must admit I sometimes flick through some of Tiny Buddha and don’t take much notice but this one has really hit home…I find it particularly useful to read about being with negative emotions and not fighting them or being afraid of them. I have had relapses of severe depression for periods over the past dozen years so any negative emotions make me very fearful that it is returning, however, I am learning to accept difficult emotions and abide in them when necessary and it is a crucial part of my recovery. Thank you Lori 🙂

  • Lori, this is such a wise and important post. Jeremy is right: this is exactly what Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) emphasizes. Avoiding and resisting our painful feelings actually makes them grow stronger and gets us into trouble in so many other areas of our lives as we flail around trying to deal with them. I’m so glad you’re journey has led you to share this essential bit of learning to accept who we are and what life brings us. Absolutely stellar.

  • I am so very impressed with how succinctly you tend to provide scientifically valid theories, Lori. You are also very good at drawing out the relevance from those theories and show how applicable they can be in real life. Such a good job, as always 🙂

  • JP

    There is so much about this post that I love. My therapist tells me to “sit with my feelings” all the time! So this post resonated with me a lot. I’m going to share it with her. So much of what you say is true and you do such a great job breaking it down in terms we can understand. I never thought about worrying in terms of control – this makes SO much sense and thanks to you I’ll have a greater awareness of this. Thanks for this! xx

  • Kimberly Bailey

    Thanks so very much for creating this website. I just came through a divorce after being married to an extremely negative person. This website reminds me that there is hope. You are doing great things here……please keep it up.

  • Melinda Gonzalez

    Love it. One of the things I learned from a really self aware person, is once we figure out what we’re feeling, we should try to think back to all the times we felt that way. We can usually find a trail leading all the way back to childhood, feelings tend to repeat over and over until we release them. next, we can think about who made us feel that way, or who acted/felt that emotion around us as kids. We can than truly discover if that emotion is learned or if we repressed it. Then clearing it becomes much easier. I figured I would share in case it helps no one.

  • Melinda

    Ps: it’s funny how we all struggle the same. I spent my younger years ignoring pain, my teen years eating away the pain, my twenties starving it, and now in my 30s I’m feeling it. I took a little longer to evolve 🙂

  • You’re most welcome Kimberly. I’m glad the site has been helpful to you, and I hope you are healing in the aftermath of your divorce.

  • That’s great advice. I can trace a lot of feelings back to my childhood, and that definitely makes it easier to understand what’s underneath them. And in response to your PS, I’m still evolving too! I suspect I’ll always be peeling away new layers of my feelings, fears, beliefs, and resistance.

  • You’re most welcome! I heard that same advice quite a few times in therapy–and I learned that a lot of my issues had to do with control, because I’d felt out of control for a long time when I was younger. I’m glad this was helpful to you!

  • Thanks so much Alexey!

  • Hi Mithu,

    I apologize for the slow response. I don’t know if this is relevant anymore, since it’s been a month. But if it is: What do you mean about negotiations not working out?


  • Thanks so much Bobbi. It’s ironic how trying to avoid pain can cause so much of it, but I’ve definitely found it’s true.

  • You’re most welcome Tom! I went through some deep depressions in my teens and early to mid twenties, so I understand that fear of negative emotions. I remember there was a time when people always worried that I would fall apart if something difficult happened. Now I always remind myself, “This is hard, but I will get through it. I may feel bad right now, but the feelings will transform.” They always do–and much more quickly when I’m able to recognize that!

  • raz

    i agree, it was pretty moving to sat the least.

  • Thanks so much. 🙂

  • This was so helpful to me. I needed to read this today. Thank you Lori.

  • You’re most welcome Courtney. I’m glad it helped!



  • Hi Officer Pulaski~ I’m not sure if these will be relevant to you, but these posts came to mind in reading your comment:

    I hope these help!


  • Alice Wonders

    Thank you, Lori. I love the way you break down the components of a concept and put them back together in a way that illustrates the whole picture of thought. Your work is so easy to absorb and digest in lasting way.

  • You’re most welcome Alice!

  • Anne

    This feels like its talking to me but after seeing so many comments it makes me feel a lot less alone. Bad parenting left me a little vulnerable and I feel I never got to grip with my emotions .Slowly learning but its a battlefield that often makes me feel like I have taken two steps forward to fall back again but I am determined to get off this rollercoaster!

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  • giselle

    thanks a lot, but it didnt really help me 🙁

  • I’m sorry to hear it didn’t help giselle. What were you looking for help with? Perhaps there’s another post on the site that will be more relevant.

  • sunset

    I go to a dance class each week, I feel attracted to and have developed feelings for someone, i’d like to keep going could anyone suggest anything I could try to help me continue. This person is unavailable so I’d like to be able to feel comfortable with my feelings each time I go.

  • Melanie A. Tucker Miller

    I love it too!

  • LollipopLady

    Thank you for posting this. This is very helpful to me.

  • You’re welcome. I’m glad it helped. =)

  • Alexandra

    Thank you so much for this. ☼

  • You’re most welcome. =)

  • Thanks so much for this post! It’s so true, I have been working on being okay with negative feelings and just letting myself feel them.. and it’s crazy to realize how if you sit with your feelings, they eventually pass and you grow from it.

  • You’re most welcome! And I know what you mean…feeling them always seems like the worst choice, but as they say, the only way out is through!

  • wonderful
  • Serefiina

    Your post and many others I’ve read are great. A few days ago my mom was told by doctors she has 7 tumours in her brain, 2 in her neck and one completely black lung after a tiny seizure she had at work. I feel helpless, underachieved in my own life, scared angry agitated and now desperate … I’m literally entering survival mode. I cling to every scrap of advice I can get my hands on

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your mom Serefina. Are you talking to people in your life about what you’re feeling and going through?

  • Lori, thank you so much for writing this great piece. We all need this reminder more often than we think.

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad this helped!

  • nickipa

    Thank you so much for this post! For the first time in my life I’m learning to pay attention to my feelings rather than avoid them. I’m having a tough time sitting with all of them especially the negative ones. This post helped me to realize I’m not alone and it will get better. Thank you!!!

  • You’re most welcome. That’s my greatest hope for Tiny Buddha–that it helps people feel less alone and more confident about the future. I’m so glad this was helpful to you! =)

  • Joren Chongčić

    lori, this is truly a good article and well written… the methods you have mentioned are good… personally i think this should be taught at school, because kids need guidance for their mind, feelings and consciousness…
    well done!!
    and thank you for sharing!

  • Thanks so much, and you are most welcome! =)

  • “Encourage personal responsibility in others, by asking them
    what they could do differently next time.” This little suggestion should mean
    something to us. I want to add this with the very nice suggestions of the
    writer. Emotional intelligence

  • Shekhar Chikhale

    Thank you very much it really helped me a lot

  • You’re most welcome!

  • Jason MacGibeny

    Thank you.

  • You’re welcome. =)

  • Alex

    Thank you for this articl. I am trying to learn how to feel without being afraid.

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad this helped!

  • Jocii

    I absolutely love this post. I am going through a lot lately and I am trying to find myself and just better myself. Thank you so much for your powerful words.

  • James Walker

    Question: Why should I “sit” with negative feelings if I have the choice to change them, go for a walk, dance, or meditate? (I’m assuming yes, feel real sadness. But so much of distress is poor thinking begging to be reframed.) You may want to dig deeper into Goleman on EI. You may find more glamour than substance and better science elsewhere.

  • For me, sitting with negative feelings means allowing them/not trying to fight them (not literally sitting still). It doesn’t mean we can’t do things that we know improve our state of mind; it’s just that we stop resisting our emotions. At least, this is what has helped me!

  • James Walker

    That makes more sense. I’d certainly say, know what you’re feeling and find out why….those uncomfortable feelings can be or probably are pointers to deeper things to learn/deal with. At some point, some of us once-in-a-while depressives know, the feelings are just out of contact with reality, or magnified beyond the reasonable. But I still gotta say dig into Goleman’s background……..

  • c.espaillat

    i find that when i sit in with bad feelings, my heart starts to race, my hands sweat, my throat feels funny, my stomach too. it’s no fun. i do deep breaths, it helps to an extent, but ultimately I just end up feeling bad.

  • Verana V.

    Thank you for this post, Lori. You’re a wonderful lady <3

  • You’re most welcome, and thanks so much. =)

  • Hi Lori, this is a great post. For me it’s #2 that was (and still is) challenging. I do have good EIQ and can create situations for positive feelings, but I grew up with the belief I had to erase any negative feelings, because girls and women have to keep smiling and be happy all the time! So, it’s still a work in progress for me.

  • I understand, Anne. I grew up with that belief, as well. I’m glad you found this helpful. =)

  • Wow, where do I begin? This post hit home for me 1000%. Being afraid of conflict and difficult emotions seems to be at the crux of so many of my personal issues and anxieties. Everything you said was so incredibly spot on and beautifully put. It spoke to me so much and also provided some great advice on how to actually move forward and handle these things a bit better.

    On a somewhat coincidental note, I, too love theatre, and performed throughout my entire childhood and youth. I attended college for musical theatre as well. Since then, I haven’t performed, and I definitely miss it. I imagine heading back to doing some community theatre would help fulfill some of my needs and fix something that may be lacking. I need a place to shine. Furthermore, so awesome that you auditioned for Gypsy. It is my favorite show and Louise is truly my favorite role. Again, thanks so much for this wonderful piece!


  • I’m glad this helped, Amy. Sounds like we have a lot in common! I have so many amazing memories of community theater. I hope you find one to get involved with. =)

  • James Walker

    “some of the most damaging decisions I have made have resulted from me feeling the need to do something with my emotions”- Amen. I came here, i.e. googled this because I don’t want to lash out in hurt and anger. Also want to remind myself, and maybe others of a saying of the Dali Lama, that you want to judge someone on ONE thing they did. They did 10,000 things but you( and me) one to focus on one wrong……thanks for “listening”.

  • anonymous

    Thanks, this was a good reminder.

    I often feel that I shouldn’t feel my emotions because they’re weird and disgusting (because I’m damaged, broken and abnormal), so I will ignore them for months until they get really huge and end up bursting forth, or I will avoid going near anything that might make me feel emotions. To be honest, it’s not so much a fear of pain as it is a fear of shame. I’m scared that my emotions if I feel them will turn out to be abnormal (like a severe two-month long breakdown over something incredibly small – that has happened…) and I will thus be handed proof that I am disgusting and weird. It’s difficult to see them as ‘just emotions’ that everybody has when my emotions seem different. Either I barely have them at all, or I have them way too much.

    I blame emotional bulimia, though (as I call it) – I either starve or binge on emotion. That kind of explains it all.

  • Arvin S.

    Very well thought out post, really informative and helpful

  • Julie Ann Hayes

    I don’t feel good about getting angry in therapy. It’s the last step but nothing seems to work to get me to cry and be angry even when I’m talking about the memories. I’ve journalled, told lots of secrets. I always cry when I’m alone when I do cry. How do I break down the wall of pushing down those feelings.

  • Cassie

    Brilliant post, really related to it. Very useful and helpful practical advice that truly does work…sometimes we just need a reminder 🙂 so thanks for that!

  • You’re most welcome, and thanks! =)

  • Anastasiya Fedkina

    Awesome article) thank you!

  • Jessica Lacy

    Informative Post. Emotional
    Intelligence the term introduced twenty year back has started gaining its due
    importance nowadays. EQ has emerged as major job skill which many companies are
    looking for in their employees while hiring rather than IQ.

    Working with people with less EQ
    is generally less rewarding sometimes becomes difficult to work with them. Certain
    ways have to be followed while handling people with Low EQ. Alan Garvornic who
    is a successful business leader, innovator and entrepreneur with over 32 years
    of real life, hands on experience in achieving results has provided
    evidence-based recommendations for managing that situation when you are working
    with people having Low EQ.

    Being Gentle. People with low EQ are generally
    grumpier and generally respond in an unpleasant manner. According Alan Gavornik
    one has to act as stabilizing and calming agent rather than ostracizing them
    which will prove physiological taxing , not just for others but the low EQ individuals themselves.

    Being Explicit. People with Low EQ has less
    capacity of decoding others, they are more like stereotypical engineer or
    professor: disinterested in nonverbal communication, non-empathetic, and
    somewhat detached from interpersonal contact; happiest when on their own or
    interacting with their own thoughts rather than people. According Alan Gavornik one should avoid
    social subtleties while interacting with them to avoid getting misunderstood.

    Being rationale. People with Low EQ behave in a
    irrational ways. . According Alan
    Gavornik one has to try to gain their trust by being the voice of reason and
    developing a reputation for being logical rather than manipulating them

    Do not get offended. People with low EQ have low
    sympathy with others that is the reason that they are generally politically
    incorrect. According Alan Gavornik they generally lack conventional etiquettes,
    one has to find way of dealing with them and letting them know the way dealing
    with you.

  • Kryptonian42042

    Thank you for this post… thank you

  • You’re most welcome!

  • Tara Connor

    People who are always grumpy,and have unpleasant manners,have internal reasons .I have found its often PAIN. maybe a LOT OF PAIN,which is very uncomfortable.–grumpy means,”I feel very bad”-what do you expect from bothering someone in pain?Anger-triggered feelings.chances are booze,drugs, other addictions get used to handle the pain.Ostrcizing the person just says”stop feeling pain; shame on you!.SHUTUP! do your job.” probably won’t help.

  • Tara Connor

    Not “PC”? I hope I’m not p.c.–everyone in this valley is SO PC ts disgustting.

  • Npo

    So H O W can you magically choose which emotions to feel? H O W can you somehow diffuse pain into positive creativity if you’re a time-poor low-wage renter working in a menial, almost literally Sisyphean job where you can’t run away and paint for two hours whenever it all ebcomes too much?

  • m

    Hasen’t the idea of “Emotional Intelligence” long been refuted?