“You shouldn’t feel that way”? False.

Quick, name two positive emotions and two negative emotions. Got them? Feel free to write them down, or just remember them. Guess what? It was a trick question. Emotions aren’t positive or negative, they’re just emotions. In a society such as our that tends to moralize our emotions, the concept I just proposed is a strange one. But it’s true.

Now, we might like some emotions more than others. We prefer happiness to despair, exhilaration to fear, triumph to embarrassment. But emotions in themselves have no moral value in any direction. They’re not good or bad. They’re not positive or negative. They’re just emotions.

Feelings feel like forever. Especially loneliness.

We tend to assume our emotions are permanent, that we will always feel the way we’re currently feeling. And, we can amplify them into the future, as told humorously in Thanks for the Feedback: you might be embarrassed because you had something stuck in your teeth the whole date, but you amplify it into “I will die alone.”

loneliness