Healthy and unhealthy emotional states of mind rule us unconsciously affecting our way of thinking. If we are to feel the effects of unhealthy emotions, it is better to experience them in a healthy way rather than allowing unhealthy emotions to rule our way of thinking.
There are several healthy and opposing unhealthy emotional states that Dr Windy Dryden writes about in the book, “Coping with Manipulation – When others blame you for their feelings.”
1. Anxiety vs Concern – Adversity You are facing a threat to your personal domain
Irrational Emotion – Anxiety | Rational Emotion – Concern
Anxious Behaviour: Avoidance and physical withdrawal. Being nice to those you fear. You continuously check on threat to see if it has withdrawn. Seeking reassurance from others that threat is benign and wanting support from others in preparation if threat escalates. Over preparation is done to meet the threat. You tranquilize your feelings. You seek an even greater threat to prove you are able to cope. You have exaggerated thinking about the threat and persuade yourself that the threat is not imminent or that the consequences will be insignificant. You distract yourself from threatening thinking.
Concern Behaviour: Facing up to threat in a realistic manner. Take constructive action to deal with the threat. Seek support from others but take steps yourself to deal with threat. Prepare to meet threat without over preparing. Realistically appraise your ability to deal with threat. Focus on task related thoughts than if you were anxious.
2. Depression vs Sadness – Adversity: You have experienced an undeserved plight
Irrational Emotion: Depression | Rational Emotion – Sadness
Depressive Behaviour: You become over-dependant and clingy on others. And complain to anyone who will listen. Surround yourself with depressive environment to support your depressive feelings, bordering on self-destruction. Your thinking is in terms of loss and failure. Relate feelings to other loss and failures in life. Have a feeling of helplessness and a view of a hopeless future. Dependant or disconnected from others. View things unfairly.
Sadness Behaviour: Seek reinforcement after period of mourning and loss. Find environment that is inconsistent with depression. Express to other people about the loss or sadness in a non-complaining manner. You have an ability to assess the sadness in a positive as well as a negative way. You believe you are able to help yourself. You have hope for the future.
3. Guilt vs Remorse Adversity: You have broken or are unable to live up to your moral code or you may have hurt someone.
Irrational Emotion: Guilt | Rational Emotion: Remorse
Guilty Behaviour: Escape guilt through self-defeating ways. Begging forgiveness from the person you have wronged. Make unrealistic promise of never sinning again and include physical punishment or deprivation. Also reject offers of forgiveness. You assume more personal responsibility than is warranted whilst assigning less responsibility to others. You fail to view situation in an overall context and have the belief that you will receive retribution.
Remorseful Behaviour: Facing up to the pain that you have sinned. You ask, but do not beg, for forgiveness. You understand the reasons behind your wrongdoing. You atone by taking a penalty for your wrongdoing and make amends. You do not make excuses for your behaviour or go on the defensive. You accept offers of forgiveness. You assume and assign an appropriate level of responsibility to yourself and others. You view your behaviour in an overall context. Be penalised rather than receive retribution.
4. Shame vs Disappointment Adversity: Revelation of something negative about you or your group or behaving in a manner which falls short of your expectations.
Irrational Emotion: Shame | Rational Emotion: Disappointment
Shameful Behaviour: Remove yourself from the gaze of others through isolation. You attack others who have shamed you. Use self-defeating methods to defend yourself. You ignore the attempts of others to restore social equilibrium. You overestimate the negativity of the information revealed as well as the likelihood of the other party being interested in this information. Also overestimate the degree of disapproval you will receive as well as the length of this disapproval.
Disappointment Behaviour: You continue to participate in social interaction and respond positively when others try to restore social equilibrium. You view the information revealed in a compassionate self-accepting way or that the other party is interested in your information in detail or for a prolonged period of time. You are realistic about the degree of disapproval you receive and how long this will last.
5. Hurt vs Sorrow Adversity: Others treat you badly or have little regard for the relationship than you
Irrational Emotion: Hurt | Rational Emotion: Sorrow
Hurt Behaviour: You stop communicating with the other person. You sulk and make your hurt obvious without disclosing details. You directly criticize or punish the other person for his or her offence.
Sorrow Behaviour: You are realistic about the degree of unfairness in the other person’s behaviour. You see that the other person’s action caused bad behaviour and not lack of caring. You see yourself as being in a poor situation but still loved by others not involved in the situation. You think of pass hurts with less frequency and intensity. You are open to making the first move towards the other person.
6. Unhealthy Anger vs Healthy Anger Adversity: Your movements towards a goal have been obstructed in some way. Someone has violated on of your personal rules. Or your self-sesteem has been threatened.
Irrational Emotion: Unhealthy Anger | Rational Emotion: Healthy Anger
Unhealthy Anger Behaviour: Attack the other person physically, verbally, passive aggressively, withdraw aggressively or recruit allies against the other person as well as displacing the attack onto another person, animal or object. You over-estimate the extent of the other person’s actions. You see malicious intent in the motive of the other person. You see yourself as definitely right and the other person as definitely wrong as you are unable to see another person’s viewpoint. You plot revenge. You ruminate about the other person’s behaviour and imagine coming out on top.
Healthy Anger Behaviour: You assert yourself with other people, requesting rather than demanding behaviour changes. You speak in a non-complaining way about your feelings of loss failure or undeserved plight. You handle an unsatisfactory situation non-aggressively, after taking steps to deal with it. You recognise that the other person may have acted deliberately or not. You are able to see another person’s point of view. Your thoughts of revenge are fleeting. You view yourself as probably being right and the other person as probably being wrong rather than definitely.
7. Unhealthy Jealousy vs Healthy Jealousy Adversity: A threat is posed to you and your partner from a third party.
Irrational Behaviour: Unhealthy Jealousy | Rational Emotion: Healthy Jealousy
Unhealthy Jealousy Behaviour: You seek constant reassurance that you are loved. You monitor the actions and feelings of your partner, searching for evidence that your partner is involved with someone else. You try to control the movements of your partner. You set tests for your partner. And retaliate for your partners presumed infidelity and sulk. You exaggerate any threat to your relationship that does not exist. You think that the loss of your relationship is imminent and misconstrue your partner’s ordinary conversations as having romantic or sexual connotations. You construct visual images of your partner’s infidelity. If your partner admits to finding someone else attractive, you believe that they may leave you for the other person.
Healthy Jealousy Behaviour: You allow your partner to initiate expression of love towards you without prompting and do not seek reassurance once your partner does profess their love. You allow your partner freedom without monitoring their feelings and allow your partner to show natural interest in the opposite sex without setting tests. You tend not to exaggerate any threat to your relationship and no not misconstrue ordinary conversations between your partner and members of the opposite sex. Neither do you construct visual images of your partner’s infidelity. You do not see other people that your partner finds attractive as a threat.
8. Unhealthy Envy vs Healthy Envy Adversity: Another person possesses and enjoys something desirable that you do not have.
Irrational Emotion: Unhealthy Envy | Rational Emotion: Healthy Envy
Unhealthy Envy Behaviour: You disparage verbally the person and possession to others. Given the chance, you would take away the desired possession from the other person either so you can have it or to deprive the other person of it. You would even go to the extent of spoiling or destroying the possession so as to deprive the other person. You tend to denigrate in your mind the value of the possession and the person who possesses it. Even if you are not happy with your own possessions, you try to convince yourself that you are. You think about how to acquire the possession regardless of its usefulness.
Healthy Envy Behaviour: You strive to obtain the desired possession if it is truly what you want in a healthy way and reason. You honestly admit to yourself that you desire the desired obsession. You are honest with yourself if you are not happy with your possessions rather than being defensive. You can allow the other person to have and enjoy the desired possession without denigrating that person or possession.
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