Anger is considered a negative emotion. But if left bottled up anger can cause real harm to a person's well being. On the other hand if your anger gets out of control and you hurt another person either verbally or physically then that's not OK. But still it is a legitimate emotion that hits us all at one time or an other.
A number of years ago when we were moving, my husband accidentally broke part of a mirror. It was a full length beveled mirror my mother had given me. He was being careful but when he set the mirror down on the ground to get a better grip it hit a small rock and a corner broke off. Needless to say I got very upset. My husband defended himself saying, "I didn't do it on purpose". I angrily replied, "I know you didn't do it on purpose. I'm not mad at you, I'm angry that the mirror broke. I have a right to be angry about that". Now my husband can be pretty smart at times. This was one of those times, he shut his mouth and didn't say another word. I fumed for awhile and then I got over it. Because in the big scheme of things a broken corner or even mirror isn't the end of the world. I hung the mirror at our new home where it remains today.
Have you used an emoticon recently in a email or Facebook post? When you write to someone it can be difficult sometimes to convey the way you're feeling. The creation of emoticons has helped us give people a little better idea of the tone of our message. But really nothing beats talking to someone in person; to hear the tone of their voice; to see the expressions on their face. This is what makes face to face interaction more valuable. Negative emotions in others can make us uncomfortable. Many times we just want them to go away.
Crying is one of those emotions. We can cry for many different reasons, here's an interesting article on Why We Cry. When someone is crying sometimes our first instinct is to try to get them to stop and to feel better. Maybe instead we should be saying, "Go ahead and cry, get it all out".
One day when our son was about three years old I was going to the post office. I don't remember what but something had upset him and he started to cry. I carried him into the building, as we stood in line he continued to cry. The lady behind me said to my son in a cheerful voice, "Big boys don't cry". I looked at her and said, "They do if they have something to cry about". Now I know that she meant well but it still annoyed me. First of all he was only three, far from being a "big boy". But more important I believed then and still do that boys/men have as much right to cry as girls/women. Implying that a child's feelings are wrong is not helpful.
We need to accept that we all have a wide range of emotions, it's what makes us human. The positive ones are easier to deal with. It's the negative ones that can get us into trouble. We shouldn't necessarily try to ignore or suppress them but we also shouldn't let them get out of control. Showing no emotion is no better then going overboard with every emotion. How we each express our emotions is influenced by numerous factors: culture, gender, family dynamics, etc. Many studies have been done on this subject and I'm sure there have been papers written about almost every emotion.
For me helping a child learn to deal with negative emotions is very important. I don't think a child should be told they're bad if they feel anger, jealousy, fear, etc. But rather help the child to understand (appropriate to age) why they are having these feelings. And then help them to learn constructive ways to deal with them. Sweeping something under the carpet is never helpful. I know it is easier said then done but we must learn to face the hard things head on.
Our son at three, 1974
A thought to ponder: "Feelings are much like waves, we can't stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf." Jonatan Martensson