Fri | Jun 5, 2020

Hello Mi Neighbour | Control negative emotions

Published:Tuesday | January 22, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Hello, mi neighbour! I made the observation some time ago that a big drawback to building and maintaining good relationships is our propensity to allow negative emotions to control us, especially at critical times, when it should be the other way round. More often than not, neighbours who fuss and fight over trivialities find, when the dust dies down, that they had just opened the door of nonsense, thinking it was of common sense. The lesson for us here is that we must always ensure that before parting lips, wisdom is standing by to guide words and actions.

Sometimes at the end of a verbal duel, with feelings hurt and pride bruised, much damage would have been done not only of both parties’, but other relationships. Sincere and quick apologies must be applied, at this juncture, to remedy emotional bruises before they accumulate and cause further problems.

It is said that continuous accumulation of negative emotions within the mind can compromise our health and make us incapable of building good relationships with others. We see the result of this accumulation at the workplace, in the community, at home and even at worship centres, where compressed negative emotions cause wrangling among people. Makes a lot of sense, therefore, that we pay special attention to and treat emotions like fear, shame, guilt, arrogance, envy, jealousy, etc, with the right remedy.

One of the best means by which negative emotions are controlled is through the involvement of neighbours in the affairs of others. All neighbours have a part to play in the peace management of their communities. At times, it may be a high risk to help quell a quarrel, but we have a duty to ensure that people who cannot control their negative emotions do not hurt themselves and others. “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Whenever I think about peacemaking, my mother comes to mind. She had a way of using kind words to defuse destructive anger between parties who could hurt themselves and an entire community, if allowed. People who hear a kind, calm, disarming voice with words of wisdom, during a fit of anger, can make a sudden switch to sobriety. And how can I forget my church sister of blessed memory, whose kind voice saved me from committing a misdemeanour (that I would have regretted) during a fit of anger?

As we speak, there is someone in a community somewhere, speaking to someone else about controlling a negative emotion. It may be a boyfriend who is planning to hurt his girlfriend because of jealously, or an angry brother who is planning a reprisal because someone disrespected his mother. There are myriads of ways by which negative emotions are triggered, and there are equally myriads of ways by which they are controlled. We can control them by:

- Breathing deeply and slowly.

- Discussing the matter with a friend.

- Consciously examining your reactions to what has been said.

- Considering the outcome of a particular action.

- Giving ourselves about 15 minutes in a quiet, relaxing environment.

- Calling for spiritual help.

Another very effective way to control those negative emotions is to reach out with a helping hand every day.


- Mrs Maitland, St Andrew, offering to train young women in handicraft free of cost.

- Norma, St Ann, donating a stove to Venesha in St Ann.

- Natoya, New York, for clothing.


- Miss Christie, St Catherine, asking for a TV.

- Violet was displaced and badly in need of accommodation.

- Joyce, St Catherine, desperately needs assistance to construct a one-bedroom board house, needs ply, etc.

- Racquel, suffering from a disease called PAD – no blood is flowing from her waist to her legs and it is very painful; needs $45K for test and $325K for surgery.

To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 334-8165, 884-3866, or deposit to acct #351 044 276 NCB. Alternatively, send donations to


It is said that continuous accumulation of negative emotions within the mind can compromise our health and make us incapable of building good relationships with others.