I just read another post on the power of positive thinking. I was glad to hear one more time how I can conquer pain and make my problems go away by believing they will. Are blessings reserved only for those with a positive attitude? If you don’t smile, will the Powers-That-Be fail to love you?
I don’t think there’s a malevolent deity or evil destiny stalking me or anyone else. Life just is. It’s not omens and portents: it’s stuff that happens.
Positive thinking is not bad. It’s just that positive thinkers have a way of forgetting how suffering people don’t necessarily want a pep talk. They want to be in less, preferably no, pain. They want love, comfort, and sympathy.
My suggestion? Listen. Find out what they want and do your best to give it to them. Your positivity may cure your problems and you are welcome to use it to make yourself feel better. Just don’t impose it on me or anyone else. Don’t force anyone to smile when they want to cry just so you can feel okay.
I’ve got a few problems that are hard to manage. I have bad days. I want to avoid dragging others down, but I have given up trying to make everyone else feel better by internalizing everything.
It’s unfair to tell people to relax, be happy, smile and that will make everything fine.
It’s not true.
Internalizing pain and sadness increase stress. In the long-term, swallowing your pains makes them worse. Don’t stop hoping or searching for help, but don’t assume that whatever you just read in a book or magazine article is sure to work for you. I personally think “positive thinking” is wildly overrated. No single solution, attitude, or way of thinking will fit most people, much less everyone.
It is said you cannot know anyone until you’ve walked in their moccasins and those moccasins can pinch something fierce.