Friday, February 11, 2011

The Right to Sadness

Everyone experiences sadness.
As a passing, temporary emotion, rather than a chronic, disabling illness,
sadness is normal.
Yet, how many times have we heard phrases like:  
"Don't be sad"
"Don't cry"
It seems humans do not want other humans to have this very normal emotion.

However, psychologist Barbara Fredrickson writes in her book, Positivity,
that without the negative emotions, we can't have the positive ones.


They work together,
 like a sailboat
where negativity is the keel below water
and positivity the sail in the wind.
Can't have one without the other.
 
 

59 comments:

Ingrid J. said...

There is a saying that there is a time for everything under the sun and one of these times is to be sad. Emotions are a normal part of our lives, even the negative ones, but if we let them stay too long they can become damaging, so go ahead be sad if there is something to be sad about, the sun will come out tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Ancient chinese philosphers agree that polar opposite forces can be interconnnected and dependent on one another. The way sunshine follows the rain. The way winter gives light to spring. We all know this as Yin and Yang. Without happiness how would we feel sad?

I believe that happiness and sadness are akin to the layers of an onion. There are many different complex layers and levels that are not all the same.

Sadness can arise from the end of a long relationship. It can arise from deeply hidden insecurities. From the death of a loyal dog or the end of your favorite sports franchise season. The sadness brought on by the death of family member would be drastically different and more trying than the sadness from your favorite football team losing the Super Bowl.

Healthy and natural, sadness AND happiness should both be accepted as normal daily emotions. Those who dismiss them and sing "don't be sad" simply are too scared to combat the emotion themselves.

Author Jim Rohn states it eloquently, "The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy."

GP

tiffytiff305 said...

If we are never sad then being happy would not be special anymore.

Nicole said...

Sadness is no depression. It is the right to understand your emotions, and learn the true meaning of happiness. By denying your sad feelings you are forcing them underground, where they can do more damage with time.

-Nicole Chaplin-

Fernanda A said...

Everyone is entitled to be sad at times. This doesn't mean go under depression, but we cant control how we feel. Well let me rephrase that because our mind is very powerful,what we conceive we achieve. In other words, sadness is a part of life and we all feel it from time to time. Obviously we should let happiness take control but being sad sometimes allows you to build up and create that happiness.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should have the right to sadness but I dont know of any benefits towards being sad. People that are sad most of the time are said to age quicker and be stressed out. Stress is the number one contributor to heart desease.
-Jeiner P.

michelle said...

sadness doesnt mean you are depressed. everyone has the right to cry and to mourn. if someone wans to be locked in their room crying their eyes out while listening to Rascal Flatts, then they have EVERY right to do so. Sadness makes a person grow stronger. Also, being sad can be all a person really needs to get through very hard situations, but remember that you will not be sad forever.

-Mchelle

juan arce said...

I agree with this passage sadness is what gives the motivation to be positive and keep on moving forward.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Fredrickson is right, the most negatives emotions and/or experiences people have, the better they enjoy the positive ones.
Aimara Ors

Anonymous said...

Sadness is fine. And needed even. I wouldn't tell someone not to cry. There is sometimes nothing better than a good cry. Its healthy.
-surfershoes

Anonymous said...

A person can't process positive feelings without acknowledging their negative emotions.

T. said...

Sadness is a good thing, depression is not.

daili7599 said...

Without sorrow there would be no compassion; in order to know what happiness really is we need to experience sadness first and feel the pain that life can bring us, so this way we can appreciate all of lifes wonders. Being sad is a natural emotion that in a way releases all the tension that you feel inside, and brings you relief.
-D. Diaz

Lisa said...

There cannot be happiness without sadness. They go hand and hand. Sometimes being sad and letting it all out is the only way to let go and move on to a happier place.lp

Luisa Isla said...

Everyone is entitled to their own emotions, whether it is sadness or happiness. Sadness can be therapeutically; relieving the pain of individuals until they feel better. Suppressing this emotion will not enable individuals to recover and will block away any chance of happiness.

Anonymous said...

Normal sadness can help a person work through their thoughts and emotions when something happens that is very serious or disappointing. Sadness is a way to distance yourself and allow your mind some space to think things out. It can be upsetting to others that you do not want to interact so they may encourage you not to be sad, or empathy may make them feel sad that you are sad.
Gabe

Patty. D said...

Sometimes when your mood is sad, you just feel like being alone for a little while. Or you might want someone to comfort you or just keep you company while you go through the sad feeling. Talking about what has made you sad usually helps the sad feeling melt away.

Anonymous said...

Sadness is a natural emotion, we definitely have right to be sad and express how we feel. Most people find it difficult to truly express their feelings. In addition, it is difficult for most of us to sympathize with others because we do not want people to see us as being week. Gary Norris

Anonymous said...

I don’t think that being sad is good in any way. When you are sad your thoughts are not clear, they become negative. Your actions are not as sharp as they should be. Even thou we have the right to be sad if we want, we should not allow ourselves to be sad. There are so many good things in life to be happy about. We have to make the best of each day…why to be sad? GS

ear said...

just like being happy being sad is a necessary emotion that enables us to feel and live a true human life. because in the end without sadness how would we feel when something good happens to us. EAR

SOFIA said...

amazing!

Anonymous said...

Nobody strives for sadness. Some of the best times of our lives are at moments of great happiness, but the moments where we find deep profundity are usually accompanied with great sadness.
-ND-

Anonymous said...

I remember stumbling across this quote once while doing casual reading, “Without sadness one will never achieve happiness”. I don’t feel that applies to every happy matter I have experienced in my life, but I definitely know that sad event in my life have led me to appreciate and be happy about other events in my life. Sadness is very important feeling to go through and I usually come out feeling much better about what ever made me sad. The emotion sadness allows me to release that heaviness I am feeling. After feeling sad I pick myself up by my boot straps and move forward on a more positive note, a happy note.
Ann Marie

Ellinor Forje said...

So beautiful, and I love the picture too. Thanks for sharing and drop by me, soon.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Everyone has been sad at one point of their life or another. People always say that one has to stay positive, but I never thought that in order to be positive you have to be negative. It is true; you cannot have one without the other, unfortunately. It would be a perfect world, if everyone would be happy go lucky at all times. But if we do not experience sadness, we cannot appreciate the good things and the happy things that happen in our lives.
MelB

Anonymous said...

Well I think nobody wants to be sad or to see others suffering, but sadness is part of our humanity. That is the way we have been created. The only thing that we can change is our way to see or think over the events of life.
Claudia B.

ROB O. said...

I don't really believe that anybody would try to deny anyone the right to feelings such as sadness or any other feeling for that matter. I think they say "Don't cry", or "Don't be sad" because they want the person to feel better or maybe they personally do not want to see this person in pain.

Janet Almonte said...

Sadness is an emotion that demonstrates that we are human beings. Once we feel this emotion, we are able to become aware of the things that we might need to change in our lives or more aware of the things that we don't. We grow and learn from this process and in turn become better individuals.

Janet

deltoroclaudia said...

Everyone has the right to be sad. Sadness is not something we should feel for a long time. But when we become sad we think of somethings and notice that we need to change something in our lives for the sadness to go away.

RV said...

Sadness is part of the human emotions and even shows that you care about something or someone. It is good to release our feeling of sadness and not to let it build up inside us.

wimberly.rhonda said...

Everyone has the right to be sad. There is nothing on earth that could stop me from feeling sad when my brother passed. Sadness is a feeling that is not easily controlled for the most part. It is a part of life. If you do not experience sadness, how will you know when you are happy?

Luz Mery said...

No one want to be sad, but there are situations in life were we have to cry and let that emotion out. After that sadness is expressed then happiness should follow.

TrustMeImADoctor said...

Sadness is a brief period of time when our soul is feeling discomforted. Even if we have the lastest entertainment system or a tub of ice cream, they will not be able to wipe our tears away or hold our hand in the darkest night. Without having these brief spurts of sadness we would take those we love for granted.

Terrance said...

This is a very interesting topic. I do not know the correct way to respond if there is one. I do know that opposites attract on a daily basis. I do not agree that negative emotions are needed for positive emotions to be apparent. I believe that both negative and positive are needed for scientific purposes. As a result, sadness is personal. If surrounded by true happiness and positivity, the ugly face of sadness would never show.

Pedro said...

When humans become sad it affects their perception and the result is self-talk. To think positively you must use cognitive restructuring techniques. All humans get sad from time to time but they also adjust to become positive. P.L

Aimara said...

Sadness can be a sign of healthiness only if there is a reason to be sad, and a reasonable way is using to express the sadness. Every human being who has the capacity of feel has the Right to Sadness.
Aimara Ors

Miglaude said...

It is normal to be sad, when there is a present situation; it is like re-energizing and re-activating an unresolved or unsatisfied past. Those unhealthy emotions will stop through time until we accept everything the way it is. The feeling we feel sometimes is the physical sensation of those emotions we are unable to change in our life.There is nothing wrong to be sad.

Anonymous said...

the right to sadness does not always mean depression. family death can cause a feeling of sadness and if we can not be sad about that, then i wonder what this world is coming to.

f.c.

Anonymous said...

We control our emotions. Getting sad at times is in our human nature many times we can not even control it.

Gaby R.

Anonymous said...

I think we all have the right to sadness. It is part of the life cycle. We often here phrases like “Don’t be sad” but they are words to used console each other. I agree with Barbara Fredrickson. I also think once we phase a sad or difficult patch in life, positive moments follow. -v.p.

Anonymous said...

The right to sadness it is a good thing to be on that type of mood. But, when I am sad, I gather
strength and think on positive actions of the
past and look forward on the future to come and
it clears away.

Ismael DelValle

Espy said...

Sadness is an emotion you can't ignore. Although it's not a pleasant feeling, it's something you must face to be able to move on from the experience that the sadness stemmed from.

Anonymous said...

Yes, God gave us emotions for a reason. Every part of our being has the natural, uncontrolling ability to feel. I agree with the author of Positivity. There are ups and downs, no one likes the down feelings but it helps to build our character and make us stronger when worse or similar things arise, as well as to help other and affirm them when going through similiar situations. Without negative things we would not appreciate the positive. Life would be dull if we were always 'happy'. -- KB

Johana said...

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.

kevin0121 said...

I agree with psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, without negative emotions we can't have have positive ones. We need to cry,we need to feel certain emotions at times for us to grow wiser.

Esmeralda A said...

I also agree with the comment above. We need to express ourselves and let our negative emotions out so that we can feel within ourselves some sort of relief. People say don't cry, but what happens if we listen to that person and hold our emotions? We will built up so much anger inside that we will be frustrated all the time. In order to have a positive mind, let go of the negative thoughts or feelings first.EA

Anonymous said...

Without sadness, we would not know what true happiness is.

Eddie M.

Anonymous said...

Then why are so many anti-depressants and dumb self help books sold? why are there psychologist, and even tears are a release:a way of letting off the sadness. people don't like sadness, and avoid it like they avoid breaking a leg. it's a right i'm sure many would give up any day.
JB

Anonymous said...

I don't think that people don't want others to have their normal emotions. I believe that we know how it feels to be in pain and do not wish that on the people we care about. This is why we say don't be sad.
Marcia P

Anonymous said...

The right to feel emotional pain is necessary to make us realize that life isn't just a walk in the park. It is a complex entity that is made up of various emotions ALL of which work together in creating a masterpiece. The right to feel sad keeps a healthy balance in life. There is a ying and a yang. Life cannot just be ONE way because it would not be 'real'. It also helps individuals appreciate the 'good' times when they arrive. Furthermore, it helps keep your feet grounded during the times you may feel untouchable or unstoppable. Its important to know that life can change from one minute to the next.

GIL RO

Renata said...

Sadness is not a good feeling but it is part of life, which it is not perfect. This feeling can hurt for a short period of time or it can take a long while disappear. Sadness eventually goes away and consequently happiness takes over allowing life to follow its' usual cycle.

lachinita520 said...

Sadness is a normal reaction like any other emotion but is usually dismissed by others and like Fredrickson, which I agree to. I also like to think “Life is like a piano. The white keys represent happiness while the black keys represent sadness. But as you go through life’s journey, remember that the black keys make music too.”(Unkn.) – D.T

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what is typed and interpreted we are human and we will feel emotional pain. This is a reality and life is not easy and at times can be an emotional roller coaster. How can you feel the gratification of having a beautiful ending if you never make beautiful mistakes? Being sad, angry, happy or feeling lonely all tie into making us unique in our ways and thoughts of living. E.S.

Anonymous said...

Emotions are part of our human nature and the right to be sad is one of them. People might tell you, "oh don't cry everything is going to be all right", sometimes it helps, but most of the times, sadness is something you have to overcome by yourself finding the root of that feeling. Laura R.

Lisa said...

I need a good cry every now and then. In fact, I cried just this week. lp

Rosa F. said...

I think that people telling others not to cry comes from our childish tendencies. When we were younger, watching someone else cry (probably someone of authority, like a parent) would upset us. They're the ones that are supposed to keep it together. However, every person is entitled to let it all out every so often. I think we all have the right to sadness; the right to being an attention-seeking drama queen that cries for everything, on the other hand, I'm not entirely sure of. --Rosa F.

Jenny said...

I believe that sadness is an emotion we must feel in order to truly value happiness. It is a feeling like any other, that is part of human nature and natural process of life.

JR

aquintana said...

I agree completely with JR without sadness we do not value happiness as we should, is how we learn to seek happiness

shan said...

Everybody should have the right to feel the way they want to feel. But note, sadness also can bring a person down.