Saturday, February 02, 2008

Mad, Glad, Sad, and Afraid - Basic emotional category

Few lines about different emotional feelings from "I DON’T HAVE TO MAKE EVERYTHING ALL BETTER" by Gary & Joy Lundberg. These lines gave me good start in understanding own emotion.

Dr. Jay Lundberg came up with a short menu of feelings. He has identified the four basic emotions as: Mad, Glad, Sad, and Afraid. Each of these emotions has many other names or descriptions, but this simplified list is a good place to start.

It is important to recognize that you may have more than one emotion at a time. Often this results in a feeling of frustration or confusion. By examining each part of the frustration, you may be able to understand yourself better and break down the emotion into a combination of the basic four, that is, mad and sad, or afraid and mad, or glad and sad, and so on. The following are examples of situations that elicit more than one emotion:

Mad, Sad, and Glad—A promotion at work is given to another person and you are feeling mad that you didn’t get the promotion and sad that you weren’t recognized for your hard work. And to complicate it further, you are trying to feel glad for the other person.

Glad and Sad—When one of our sons and his wife decided to move to a city a thousand miles away for a new job opportunity, we were glad he would have the chance for a better job and sad that they would be so far away.

Mad, Glad, Sad, and Afraid—I had an automobile accident some years ago where I turned left at a busy intersection and didn’t see a small car approaching. After the dust settled, I felt mad at myself for not seeing the car, sad that I caused the accident, glad that nobody was hurt, and afraid of what would have happened if we had been a few feet further into the intersection.

The important thing to know is that we all have emotions and we can feel more than one emotion at a time. They are there whether we recognize them or not. Nobody needs to wait for permission to feel, because the emotions are there. The sooner we recognize them, the better off we are.