Is it always right to be positive? Always wrong to be negative? Is it possible for negativity to be positive and positivity to be negative? Can positivity ever be counterproductive and negativity productive? Here are my thoughts.
Positivity doesn’t always acknowledge your feelings. You are everything and all you feel, and it all has value to you, even your grief, heartache, confusion, and anger. You must honor your feelings and their underlying motivations before you can move past them to other more pleasurable emotions.
Positivity implies there’s nothing redeemable about the existence of the supposed negative in life. However, there are almost always important lessons learned going through tough situations and coming out the other side alive. Trauma, death, loss, and destruction are not thought of as inherently positive, but can act as teachers revealing the direction of one’s life.
Positivity denies the opportunity for growth. You learn about yourself moreso through the bad times than the good. In the good times, facades are impenetrable and masks don’t slip. In bad times, your mettle is tested and character is revealed. Your triggers, your natural responses, your learned coping strategies, your natural tendencies all come to the forefront, and it’s a time of self-exploration and digging deep.
Positivity is often unrealistic. Things sometimes suck, and it’s okay to call a spade, a spade when they do. Denying reality seldom fixes anything.
Positivity, or “putting on a brave face”, is often used as a charitable act towards others. People seen as “positive” are generally more well-liked and enjoyable than those seen as “negative”. Negative people can even be seen as a burden to others.
So what’s the take-away? It’s natural for your mood and outlook to be aligned with your current emotions and circumstances. If they’re not, you risk being untrue to yourself, sacrificing self-care and the hard work of self-discovery on the altar of social acceptance.