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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
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Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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All Emotions Are Okay

May 2001


I have people tell me that it is not okay to be angry, or it is not right to be sad. These statements always perplex me. What makes some feelings acceptable and others not? Some feelings are certainly more fun to have, such as happiness, love, joy. We do not usually get excited about being depressed. All feelings are okay. There is no such thing as a bad feeling.


We may have been trained in our families that it is unacceptable to show anger. Perhaps if we showed that we are angry, the response back from our parents may be to yell or hit us. So we learn to suppress that emotion. There may have been only a few permissible emotions or actions. By being allowed only a limited range of emotions, we could have learned that emotions are bad.


I tend to think that all emotions are allowed. How we express our emotions may need work, but the emotion itself is normal and healthy. If you do not know how to express your emotions, then watch others. Observe what others do and then choose how you want to behave from what you have seen. We all get angry everyday. We all get frustrated every day. I hope that we all allow ourselves to experience some joy every day, that there is some love in our live everyday.


The only way that we can be whole human beings is to experience the whole gamut of emotions. Allow yourself to be a totally alive human.


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