Yesterday I talked about how we need to be able to feel our emotions and act on them in appropriate ways. Appropriate actions based on our emotions are those that do not transfer the emotion to others while still allowing us to experience the feelings ourselves. It is hard to sit here and write a list of appropriate actions because each situation is different, however here are some thoughts to keep in mind.
Anger is the emotion where caution comes into play the most. When we are mad it is easy to lash out at others, to say hurtful things all because we hurt inside. It may seem like making others hurt, especially those who hurt us, lessens the pain. However what it does is set up a cycle of hurt. We come up to someone with a grumpy face and make them angry. Then they come back at us and we go back and forth perpetuating the anger. Instead we need to acknowledge that we have been made angry, understand the reason for the anger and address the reason. Sometimes we just need to let it out, but we need to let it out in a way that is not hurtful to others. Yell, scream and rant if you have to, but not in a way that brings others down.
Sadness is tricky as well because sometimes appropriate actions of being sad bring others down. When a friend wishes to hear what your problems are and wants to listen, it is ok to let them take that burden from you. They are choosing to allow you to share your grief, your hurt, your sadness. With time and by allowing your sadness to make them sad they share the burden, thereby making it easier for you to bear.
Like anger and sadness there are appropriate ways to show our happiness. We have to respect others need to experience their own emotions. It is selfish to want everyone to be happy just because we are. When someone is in a place of loss and anger it can make the feelings worse to see over exuberant happiness. This is not to say we should never show our happiness to others, but we should be aware of the impact it can have. When our joy can bring more joy to the lives of others we share, when it breeds resentment we do not.