Positive thinking is thinking you will do well and that you will be safe. It involves being confident that you can always do the best you can to feel as good as possible whatever happens.

For example, instead of being worried about a job interview, the positive thinker will feel that it will work out for the best even if he or she does not get the job. An unrealistic form of positive thinking may be exercised if the person actually expects to get the job.

Negative thinking is when you think you will not do well and fail to be safe. An unrealistic form of negative thinking may be exercised if the person actually expects to fail and is sure of it. An unrealistic form of negative thinking may lead to the person being certain that everything is a threat. He might not get help with cancer for he thinks he will die anyway. Or he might not help his loved one.

Positive thinking and negative thinking are dangerous if the person is not interested in reality or in being realistic.

Yet society's rule goes: Look at the good in everything and you will be fine eventually.

This is only an anti-diagnosis trick. It speaks more about those who don't want to know about your problems than anything else. The mature rule is that you look at the bad as well and work out how to increase the good. Society is only going to blind you and that will do you grave harm.

The unspoken thing in the rule is that if you think positive you will be happy. That is bluntly a lie.

Happiness is made up of two kinds of happiness.

One is the feeling-good side - emotional.

Two is the side that recognises that your situation is good - cognitive.

When people strive to be happy it is really one they are thinking of. When they are in a good situation it is never appreciated.

Happiness just comes. You can only open the door but you cannot make it come. That is why striving to be happy only makes you miserable.

Positive thinking which says we are missing the good when any bad happens and we feel devastated is toxic. It is always dangerous but infinitely more so when you take it seriously. You need to see past its façade of helpfulness and see that it is actually to one degree or another callous. By highlighting the positives you dodge any suggestion that you should suffer with the person to help them. You throw empathy and rapport out the window.

Consider the following.

Ann’s toddler gets out of the house and crosses the road and dies in a hit and run.

There are positive ways to approach this.

One could be that the death was fast. Another is that the child was going to develop a cruel disease perhaps. "God plucked a flower." All rationalisations are just different ways of saying, "It is for a reason." There are other rationalisations we could use that are just as shameless if we could think of them.

If we don't see how warped this is then there is no hope for us. We are making it about how we don't to feel the sheer horror of what happened. We are using the child as an exercise for our self-absorbed faith.

Here is another version of toxic optimism that is related to what we have looked at.

The word try is bad. Try is the enemy of successful goal setting.

But setting goals and aiming IS TRYING!

They then say that trying means you think you will not succeed. Hello??? It also means you think you can.  It definitely means that you will learn something from the effort that will serve you well in the future.

It may be said that optimism is not about expecting wealth or health or whatever. It is about feeling they are wonderful if they happen. So it is really about emotional bliss. Now you are expected to feel just as good if they don't. So that is why they want you to hate the concept of try. Their philosophy will keep you where you are at. If you are as happy with a dime in your pocket as with a million dollars in the bank then you will be good for nothing.

Prayer is like trying-not. Ordinary trying is trying. If God never gives us more than we can handle then it would mean it is our fault if we cannot handle it.  It tells you that by yourself you will meet things that you cannot survive, things that you cannot solve using your own strength.  Trying is not really trying if God is pulling the strings.  Don't be patronised by religious faith or believers.

Is optimism or positive thinking rational? It is said to be no more sensible or rational than the notion that things will always get worse. It depends.  It is a case by case thing.  Generally speaking you are better to assume that all efforts bear some good fruit.  And it is more than just an assumption.  They do bear good fruit.

Both positive and negative thinking are about protecting yourself. In so far as they are an effort to do that, they are praiseworthy. But it is how they go about protecting you that is can be a problem. There are mistakes to be avoided.
The battered wife though able to leave her husband easily might tell herself, "It is my fault. He is a good man." Then she ends up staying with him. She sees herself as deserving punishment and so she stays with him in the hope that soon she will be punished enough and be happy again or that she will still be punished somehow if she leaves.
The person who is tormented by his religion might stay in it telling himself, "It is better to put up with this than to rock the boat." Or, "Better the devil you know." Or, "I can't be happy in any religion, it is my fault. I'm so useless."

A kindly secretary bullied daily from start of work to finish by her boss might tell herself, that the boss will change or that she is not all bad or that she cannot do without her. She may even say the boss does not mean to be evil or cruel. These are her excuses for putting up with it.

Evil must be like a ghost or a god or something or a power when a person can do it and not really be accountable!  Do we have to call up ghosts in order to be positive?  |is fearing that evil as in power has it in for you going to help?  No.
Why do people put up with being used and abused?  Why do they not listen when asked to stand up for themselves?  They definitely think it is a weakness and a shame to feel hurt and be degraded.  The outgrowth of that is that they think it is pathetic to have to ask the abuser or oppressor to stop.  They may think the person wants to hear how hurt they are and that will make it worse.  They will then know how much damage they have done and feel invigorated to continue it. If they feel they are not good enough or likeable enough they will blame themselves for the harsh horrible treatment they get.

They need to see that doing nothing fails to help and is worse than doing something.

In a relativist society, "There is no real moral truth but only moral guesses" can lead to you thinking that there is no point in challenging your abuse and it is only your truth that it is abuse but it is perhaps not the other person's truth.

Judging others as in hating somebody for doing a reported wrong, is telling yourself you should be judged too if you do wrong. You will learn that from experience that this is what happens.  You will learn that by permitting yourself to fall out with another you are permitting others to do likewise with you.  You are making it possible with your example.  Try and make it about assessing.  Tell a person that something they do affects you and it is not the best but keep it friendly and helpful.  Do that for a day and it will get easier.

If you start thinking that when things go well for you that something bad has to overthrow them and maybe something terrible will happen you ruin the enjoyment you can have.  Do that and you are doing the overthrowing.


No Copyright