This advice on bad feelings seems to be in the context of children, but it easily applies to all of us.
For how often have I been mad or sad and simply wanted someone to agree with me.
Sure, sometimes you need a problem solved, but often you just want to be loved.
Give it a try the next time your child has a meltdown.
Use simple words to describe what they are feeling, and be affectionate while doing.
In my experience, this can work like magic.
This idea is also a major point of the parenting book: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk.
Experts say that denying bad feelings intensifies them; acknowledging bad feelings allows good feelings to return. That sure seemed to be what happened with Eliza. This was a real happiness breakthrough: not only was this approach more effective in soothing Eliza, it was far more gratifying to me to act in a loving way, instead of giving in to my impulse to act in a dismissive or argumentative way. Jamie is skeptical of child-rearing “techniques,” and he hasn’t glanced inside a book about parenting since he tossed aside What to Expect When You’re Expecting after the first chapter, but even he started to use this strategy. I watched one morning when, after Eleanor threw herself, kicking and screaming, onto the floor, he picked her up and said soothingly, “You’re frustrated. You don’t want to wear your shoes, you want to wear your ruby slippers.” And she stopped crying.
-Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project