What is polarity and how can I use it to neutralize or get rid of negative emotions and feelings?
Polarity is when something has opposing characteristics. For example, temperature may be hot or cold – polar opposites of one another. But hot and cold are both temperature. The same with direction. You can go up or down (polar opposites) but either way is a direction.
Let’s now look at the polarity of emotions. Emotions can be either positive or negative. And if you think hard about a negative emotion you are experiencing, you should be able to name its positive counterpart; its opposite.
Take the negative emotion of rejection. What would be it’s positive counterpart? I would say acceptance.
What about hate? Would you say love? Me too.
Some emotions may take a little work to get to the truth of it. For example, let’s say Pam stays stressed because she is afraid of criticism from her boss. So the negative emotion is ‘fear’. But fear of what?
Sometimes you may have to follow a thread to get to the root emotion. In this case, we might say that Pam is really afraid of losing her job. So maybe the fear is related to her insecurity about money. It may even be that she is afraid of making her husband angry because she is putting their house at risk if she loses her job. So you see, you might have to follow a thread to get at the root of the problem and find the opposite. But if you stick with it, you should get close enough for the technique to work.
The Technique for Neutralizing Negative Emotions
If we go back to the direction example, how would you neutralize something moving in one direction? Push in the opposite direction. So if an object is travelling east, you would push it west. How would you neutralize hot? Add cold. And vice versa. If you add equal amounts of cold, you will reach neutral. If you add more cold than hot, you will move even closer to cold. One thing is for sure. You do not want to add hot to hot. That just makes it worse. Are you with me so far? OK. Let’s apply this neutralizing technique to emotions.
The first step is to truthfully identify the negative emotion. Get to the bottom of it. Sometimes this is a painful process as you are doing what is called shadow work. You are looking for why something upsets you. But be brave and honest and you will be rewarded.
Once you identify the emotion, what is the opposite? What can you mix with the negative emotion to effectively neutralize it? If you can’t figure this out, post in the comments below or, and this totally is ok, just use love. Love neutralizes everything.
Once you have the opposite, it is time to neutralize! I’ll create an example to show how.
Let’s say you have two friends and one is very dominating. She likes to have power over other people. We will call her Ann. And your other friend is something of a follower and lets Ann dominate her. We will call her Mary. Now say that you and Mary have plans to do something on Saturday but she calls on Friday to cancel. Her excuse is that Ann needs her to help shop for a special occasion that Ann has been invited to. Your first reaction is anger but you quickly realize it is rejection you are feeling. Not only did Mary break her plans with you, but Ann did not invite you to come along even when hearing that you were supposed to do something with Mary. So double rejection from your friends. Now, do you head for the refrigerator and a pint of ice cream? You do not! You neutralize!
What is the opposite of rejection? Acceptance. So let’s practice neutralizing rejection with acceptance. It goes like this.
You find a quiet place and acknowledge your feelings. Then you say something like this to your self (preferably out loud) “I feel rejected by my friend Mary. She not only cancelled our outing but did not try to include me in the outing with Ann. However, I know and accept that Mary is easily manipulated. I recognize why she did what she did. It is her nature to avoid conflict and bow under pressure. I acknowledge and accept that her behavior has nothing to do with me and I release this feeling of rejection. ”
You may even include Ann. “I also feel rejected by my friend Ann. She did not ask me to help her shop. Ann is very manipulative and likes making people feel badly about themselves. However, I accept this about Ann. I know she is this way. I don’t know why she has these needs but she does. So this isn’t about me. It is about her trying to feel powerful. I understand and accept that is why she did it and release this feeling of rejection. ”
Finally say “This isn’t about me. My friends may have issues and problems they have not dealt with. That is OK. I accept that they are not perfect just as I accept that I am not perfect.”
You might even offer a blessing or prayer for them. “I send love and healing energy to Mary and Ann. I forgive them and ask them to forgive me for my imperfections as well. May they learn to overcome their weaknesses as I am learning to overcome mine.” This is like adding extra cold to the hot. It not only neutralizes the negative emotion, but you’re adding positive feelings to the whole experience!
I promise, if you do this with sincerity, it will work. You will not only neutralize your negative emotions but the more you practice this, the faster you will process your emotions and the less negativity you will experience.
Let me know how it goes or ask questions if you need help figuring your opposite out.
Photo by Anfisa Eremina