Accountability: Can Feelings Be Wrong?

Feelings just are” is a famous phrase that popped up some years ago. The intent was good—it’s okay to be frustrated, disappointed, and hurt.


The problem with pendulums is they always swing too far. When I was a kid (1958 baby), I wasn’t supposed to have emotions. They weren’t approved of or allowed, at least they couldn’t be expressed. 

This was not healthy.

But then the feelings-are-everything movement happened, and now people everywhere are trapped in their emotions, ruled by their feelings. Yet the truth is, sometimes, ready for this?

Our feelings are wrong.

Fear the Karen

Let’s say, my wife of 44 years, a small but mighty woman, punches me in the nose. Purposely. How would I feel if I experienced a right hook from a 4’ 11 1/2” powerhouse named … Karen, who shadowboxes for aerobic exercise?

Mad for sure, and darn upset due to a bleeding and broken nose! That’s how I’d feel.

Fair and justified.

But what if she’s doing her boxing thing in our home gym—AKA the master bedroom—and I walk by and, as she focuses on her video trainer and doesn’t see me, turns and …….

BAM! I’m caught in the face. Ouch! 

However, it was an accident. She didn’t mean to. I got too close.

In my opinion—and opinions just are 😉—I have no right to be mad. My emotional reaction would be incorrect if I got angry at her for this whack on the head. My feelings would not be justified.

Feeling Too Many Feels

How often do you feel hurt, wounded, offended—or the buzzword of the day, harmed by others? If frequently, when these feelings come, ask yourself if your reaction is correct. This requires the superpower of considering this question: Am I tough or weak, strong or fragile, resilient or … not?

Have you ever noticed that humans are … human? Sometimes, the wrong words come out of mouths, and dumb behaviors happen. But are they harmful?

Or do I choose to be harmed?

The Healthier Path

Today, there’s a propensity to look for opportunities to be hurt and offended. Our culture demands that we do so, as politicians encourage it and social media vaunts it. Additionally, organizational training programs now teach people to seek those opportunities, basically asking … have you been harmed today? 👎🏻 

This seems wasteful to me—wasteful of our time, talent, and energy. Some say they have the “right” to be offended. I say I have the right to forgive, let go, move on, and live joyfully—all a result of not being offended.

I think there’s a better path …….. 

That path is one of personal growth. When someone says or does something I could choose to be wounded by, can I thicken my skin and be less sensitive? Can I use the energy I’d waste stewing by instead contributing to the world, making a difference, and adding value to people’s lives?

Yes. I. Can. 👏🏻

Possible Reaction to This Blog

I know it’s tempting to say, “But, John, there are some jerks in the world who … .”

Oh, well, I can’t change them, but I can change me. And that’s a truth that just is.

Want to change? Grab a copy of the QBQ! book here today.


11 Responses

  1. Oh, how timely this message is! I am struggling to take the high road and give grace rather than return hurt. I tell myself that I will never regret giving grace. It only strengthens me. Thank you for reinforcing what I am working on.

  2. In many ways, this message highlights a difference between “boomers” and younger generations. It is a personal choice to take offense at something, not a mandatory response. We can’t change others, we can only change ourselves and the way we react to others. I would love to be able to have conversations with people that might involve big differences of opinion without a brawl ensuing, but it seems that is an impossible wish.

  3. Anyone else learn this, then slip & have to relearn it? I find without intentionality, I become influenced by society around me. Definitely not where I want to be. I cannot always choose if I’m offended, hurt or sensitive, but I can always choose my response!

  4. This is from Ted Cunningham, Lead Pastor at Woodlawn Hill Family Church in Branson, MO:

    “Our feelings are like our children. We should listen to them. We should pay attention to them. We do not let them drive the car”.

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