October 13, 2016
Love this article that speaks to the tyranny of positivity. (Don’t worry, be happy! Think positive! Look on the bright side! and on and on and on…) It discusses a new book, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life, by Harvard Medical School professor and psychologist Susan David, in which she discusses why forcing yourself to think positive won’t make you happy.
My favorite related work is Dr. Julie Norem’s, that describes the benefits of defensive pessimism, as well as her theory that we should look at positivity/negativity, optimism/pessimism on a continuum of cognitive style. One size does not fit all.
Feeling positive is great when it’s authentic or you can muster it. But for some of us, being beaten over the head with it every day is frustrating, exhausting, and very often, belittling.
Whatever your style, own it. Then allow others to do the same.