Mark Manson from the article Fuck Your Feelings introduces this table of what he calls "meta-feelings":

Feeling Bad About Feeling Bad (Self-Loathing)
  • Excessive self-criticism
  • Anxious/Neurotic behavior
  • Suppression of emotions
  • Engage in a lot of fake niceness/politeness
  • Feeling as though something is wrong with you
Feeling Bad About Feeling Good (Guilt)
  • Chronic guilt and feeling as though you don’t deserve happiness
  • Constant comparison of yourself to others
  • Feeling as though something should be wrong, even if everything is great
  • Unnecessary criticism and negativity
Feeling Good About Feeling Bad (Self-Righteousness)
  • Moral indignation
  • Condescension towards others
  • Feeling as though you deserve something others don’t
  • Seeking out a constant sense of powerlessness and victimization
Feeling Good About Feeling Good (Ego/Narcissism)
  • Self-congratulatory
  • Chronically overestimate yourself; a delusionally-positive self-perception
  • Unable to handle failure or rejection
  • Avoids confrontation or discomfort
  • Constant state of self-absorption

Is this chart based on any theory? At first it seems like to be the same with meta-emotion, but reading that I feel like meta-emotion is more about parenting style, and focusing more on feeling bad about feelings (the top quadrants).

Here are the four types of meta-emotions (Bailen et al. 2019):

Meta-emotions can be classified into four types: negative-negative (e.g., feeling embarrassed about feeling sad), negative-positive (e.g., feeling guilty about feeling happy), positive-positive (e.g., feeling hopeful about feeling relieved), and positive-negative (e.g., feeling pleased about feeling angry)

The positive-negative and positive-positive emotions in meta-emotion doesn't seem to match with the bottom row of the table (self-righteousness and ego/narcissism). The chart also reminds me more about moral emotions.


Bailen, N. H., Wu, H., & Thompson, R. J. (2019). Meta-emotions in daily life: Associations with emotional awareness and depression. Emotion, 19(5), 776–787. https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000488

  • $\begingroup$ I haven't read the articles yet, but why do you say that the positive-negative and positive-positive emotions do not match the bottom row of the table? feeling hopeful about feeling relieved and feeling pleased about feeling angry are only examples. Looking at the table though, I would question some of the entries made by Mark Manson. For example Feeling as though you deserve something others don’t when you are feeling a negative-negative emotion? $\endgroup$ Jun 14, 2021 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ I also haven't read Bailen et al due to paywall; the quote from this article is the only one I have. The positive-positive and positive-negative quadrants in meta-emotion theory seem to be healthy mental states, while the counterparts quadrants in Mark Manson's chart are not that healthy. "Feeling as though you deserve something others don’t" is a positive-negative emotion, not a negative-negative emotion $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jun 15, 2021 at 2:12


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.