Primary Emotions

Emotions are a part of life. We all have them and have to work with them. Some of these feelings can be good, while others may seem bad. Regardless of how these feelings may look to us, they all work together to make you a whole person. There are two main types of emotions, primary and secondary. Primary ones are the basic emotions that we all feel. They are:

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Disgust
  • Surprise
  • Anticipation
  • Trust
  • Joy
board with posititve emotions listed on i


Each of these feelings are simple emotions that everyone feels. You have joy when you are happy and sadness when you are gloomy. Other primary emotions help us when you deal with others. For example, trust can teach us how to build friendships.

You don't want someone you don't trust as our friend, so that teaches you that a friend needs to be someone that you are able to trust. Fear can also be a teacher. Fear can keep you from doing something dangerous, like running out into the street when many cars are coming.

One of the most difficult primary feelings that we all have is anger. Parents and teachers often say that you should not get angry, however that is not true. It is one that you will have to deal with.

The trick is to be careful not to act on your anger in a negative manner. It is tricky because people will make you mad. The best thing to do is not to get into a fit of rage. A better solution would be to talk about what is bothering you. It can be difficult, but that is part of growing up.

Secondary Emotions

The second type is called secondary emotions. These are a blend of two primary emotions. Here are a few examples:

Pride - This combines anger and joy. Pride is a mixture of the two. When we feel joy over something good that we did, we can say that we are proud over that good thing. We also feel pride when we are angry and feel that we are right, we may not want to apologize because it will hurt our pride.

Hope - Hope is a blend of anticipation and trust. A good example of hope is Christmas Day. We trust that our parents are going to get us the gifts that we want and we anticipate getting those gifts. This mixture gives us hope.

Envy - This emotion is a blend of sadness and anger. Normally envy comes about when we do not have something and someone else does. We are sad that we do not have that item, and it may lead us to get angry over it. Like anger, the best way to handle envy is to talk to someone about it.

Secondary emotions may seem more complicated, but they are just more advanced forms of basic feelings. The difference is that we do not have to feel them; they are just a combination of our more primary feelings.

Some primary emotions can be combined to form different stages of feelings like anger + sadness + fear can equal grief. The key is just learning the right way to deal with these emotions.

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