Feeling good shouldn’t be preferred over feeling bad

Quite often there’s a false dichotomy between feeling pleasure and feeling pain. We seek pleasure and avoid pain.

And, feelings quite often are inaccurate summaries of the world around you. They’re often out of touch with reality. 

So does it matter if you feel “good” versus “bad?” 

Or is it more important to understand that either way you can become hooked and that can lead to counterproductive actions?

For example, anxiety about dangers that don’t exist. Like the person you’re convinced is out to get you, that is completely unaware of your existence while you’re simultaneously consumed by theirs. That you then go on to berate in your own mind and possibly in the company of others. 

Or, it can be a positive emotion that’s out of bounds – a false sense of security. 

Or, ask any social engineer about how flattery can get someone to turnover the keys to the kingdom. 

The most extreme of unfounded negative emotions is no more or less harmful than out of control positive emotions.

What would it be like if valence didn’t bother you so much as accuracy? 

Feeling bad when there’s immenent danger is a wonderful thing because it helps you focus and persist on eliminating the risk. 

Feeling good and taking healthy risks based on past successes is what propels you to the next level. And society. 

So clearly feelings and valence aren’t the issue. It’s accuracy.

Emotions are safe not sorry, so give yourself a break because nine times out of ten they’re a false positive. Validate that and get on with your day.