Everyone experiences negative emotions from time to time. It is perfectly human to have them – after all, you can’t be happy and cheerful all the time.

Moreover, without negative emotions, we wouldn’t be able to recognize and appreciate the positive ones. How would you know that you are happy when you have never been sad and despaired? What would calmness feel like if you’ve never experienced anxiety and anger?

At the same time, when you have a tendency towards a particular emotional state, there could be some deeper reasons than you might realize. Here are the 8 most common negative emotions and the hidden reasons behind them:

1. Anger

When you do not get what you want, your subconscious mind reacts with the feeling of anger in an attempt to force things to go your way. Thus, anger creates an illusion that you can take control of the situation.

Anger helps us get the upper hand in the conflict and even protect our rights. This negative emotion is an unconscious attempt to get your opponent to back down in an argument.

At the same time, anger with yourself can be a way to force yourself to get down to work and get things done.

2. Annoyance

Annoyance is a weak form of anger. It occurs when someone’s behavior provokes you and makes you irritated. When you get annoyed with someone, it means that they don’t behave the way you want them to and you can’t change that. So the hidden meaning of annoyance is that you are basically unable to accept people just the way they are.

Behind all the negative emotions of annoyance and anger, there is a hidden desire to bring the situation under one’s control. It means that we get irritated when something goes wrong and not as we expected.

3. Sadness

This is our way of expressing dissatisfaction with ourselves and our achievements. It makes you feel that something is missing from your life and you would be happier if you had a different job, house, relationship, etc. Sadness prevents you from enjoying all the good things you have in your life.

Feeling nostalgic is another form of sadness when you recall happy memories of the past. While you can’t call it a negative emotion, the common thing here is that you are tricked by the illusion that it was much better back then. This again demonstrates that you are not content with your present life.

If you feel sad and nostalgic too often, then your life may indeed require some changes. It may be that you don’t make any progress and are stuck in life or that you’ve made some choices that led you to the wrong path.

4. Guilt

Guilt is a form of self-punishment that often affects overthinkers and deep people. In rare cases, guilt involves a hidden feeling of superiority which makes you think something like, “I’m so highly evolved that I feel bad about my own mistakes.”

The feeling of guilt is a very destructive emotion that signals that you need to change something about yourself. First of all, you need to figure out where it came from.

Is it just a product of overthinking that has to do with you being too tough on yourself? Or did you indeed do something bad? If you did, then you need to analyze the cause of your action, forgive yourself and promise that this will not happen again. You will also feel much better if you take some real actions to undo the damage and apologize to those you offended.

5. Fear and anxiety

These negative emotions which are incredibly common in today’s world are associated with self-preservation. Their evolutionary mission is to protect us by preventing dangerous situations. In fact, anxiety is a sort of life-saving sixth sense, as revealed by one of the latest studies.

Fear creates images of unpleasant surprises and unexpected obstacles, failures, and accidents. But its primary aim is not to distress you but to help you: to warn you of danger, to show you the real situation, to indicate the hidden pitfalls so that you are ready for the difficulties.

It is necessary to find a grain of truth in these negative emotions. If you manage to use them to your advantage, they can boost your creative problem-solving and motivate you to action.

6. Discouragement and despair

Despair occurs when multiple efforts to achieve something do not bring the desired results. It is a hidden way to give yourself an excuse to give up and desist from further attempts to succeed. 

Discouragement and despair may also signal that you have to take some time off work. Maybe you’re just so tired and need some rest, and your mind is trying to let you know.

7. Apathy

Apathy is a hidden form of rebellion against something. As a rule, it manifests itself in those who do not have the power or the ability to rebel openly. It is a passive-aggressive way to express protest and disagreement with something.

Apathy may also be a hidden way to shift responsibility from yourself to someone else. It is when you fall out of the flow of life to the point that other people can’t achieve anything with you. So they have no choice but to take over your duties to get things done.

In rare cases, apathy is a passive-aggressive way of expressing anger. It becomes a sophisticated tool of manipulation and works perfectly by causing a sense of guilt in the subject of manipulation.

8. Disappointment and frustration

Disappointment comes from discontent when you face situations where you do not get what you want. It can also be that other people don’t do what you want.

In any case, the hidden meaning behind the feelings of disappointment and frustration is that you fail to accept life and people the way they are. So you end up feeling frustrated with unfair life and people who didn’t fulfill your expectations.

As you see, negative emotions have a much deeper meaning than it may seem. If you are prone to one particular emotion, it would be wise to analyze yourself and find the hidden roots of it.

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Tovyah Risidovich

    What about hate?

  2. John Jenkinson

    yeah hate is a bad emotion, focusing on this bad stuff aint good though, wanna feel great,

  3. Larry

    what about stress

  4. Farheen Syed

    hate is not bad if you channel it in the right direction, it can preserve you from doing wrong things, for instance, if you hate smoking, it’s good because if you hate something you keep yourself away from it, if we deep drive and understand our emotions, there is no way that we cannot use them in the right direction, that’s what we need to understand

    1. sintthia


    2. Valerie A Malcolm

      I believe hate is an emotion that should not be accepted nor practiced under any circumstances. In my opinion hate is a self-destructive emotion that disrupts and destroys logical reasoning. I think you can dislike something so much that you will not practice it which is entirely different.

  5. Farheen Syed

    Same way stress can be good or bad, depends how you perceiving it, a simple formula to understand of what is most important in your life and what makes you feel happy can help to identify what to worry about and how to make effective use of stress to strengthen yourself

  6. John L

    This is an excellent article, and documents parts of ourselves that deal with energies that society is finding more difficult as we become more socialized, or find ourselves in a place that is far less dependent on these emotions to take us out of danger, control our surroundings, and stay ‘frosty’
    where once fear was vital to our survival, its effect is far less necessary in todays world. We can if were standing in a psychological place to let ourselves feel these emotions and take and transform them by not naming and reacting, but using them to enliven, and enlarge our experinece. These emotions, when they arise are part of this ever-changing matrex of experience, and we should accept all reactions, responses, reflection and release them apropriatly. many thanks to Anna Lamind for an excellent and necessary review of negative emotion.

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