Don’t Kill My Emotions. Let Me Be Negative.

We are all entitled to our feelings. Let us have our moments.

Most times, I enjoy walking my students through online materials. The variety is endless and you can always find interesting discussion questions which make you raise your eyebrow.

Scrolling down the page, we came across an exercise which asks the student to differentiate the positive and negative vocabulary…

Me: Lonely.

She: Negative.

Me: Confusing.

She: Negative.

Me: Fun.

She: Positive.

Me: Difficult.

She: Negative.

Me: Easy.

She: Positive.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

It is perhaps not so surprising that they forgot to add a neutral option.

Despite it being a mere English learning exercise, I could not help but wonder if the author genuinely views these emotions the way the answer sheet suggests.

I could not help myself but look up the definition on Google.

Negative: not desirable or optimistic.

Arm feeling the weight of the phone, I resolved in setting it on the bedside table. Arguments become a different type of ball game when you are in a long-distance relationship.

Staring into his expressionless face, I began…

Me: Why are you being like this?

He: I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with what you told me the other day. *tone cold*

Me: Okay, so you don’t want me to be completely honest? *irritated*

He: I didn’t say that.

Me: What do you want me to do then? *defeated*

He: Just let me be. Don’t try to kill my emotions. Am I not allowed to be angry? *voice gentle*

Me: Well, you can, but at least let me know why and I can do something about it.

He: And this is how I let you know. Me being like this. Let me express my feelings. I don’t have to be okay. *definitely*

Photo by Jose López Franco on Unsplash

Never learned to respond to “negative” emotions, I just wanted them to go away as if they have never existed.


Do we also apply the same treatment to our own “not desirable” feelings?

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