Thinking positively doesn't mean being the bad mood police

Every now and again you'll hear people use a word or phrase to describe something completely different than what the phrase actually means. Such as, "I was literally dying I was laughing so hard." (Read this if you're unclear about why that's wrong. ) Or, "I could care less where we go to eat." (If you "could care less", that means you still care a little about where you go to eat. If you "couldn't care less", that means you care the least amount possible and it doesn't matter to you where you go to eat, which is probably what you meant to say. Seriously, people.)

Before this turns into a grammar lesson and everyone closes their browsers, let me start talking about what I sat down to talk about. The seemingly growing trend of people making New Year's resolutions that involve "thinking positively", and then going around and trying to pick out something positive about every situation. Like there is some sparkly fairy going around farting goodness on every crappy turn life throws your way. Since we know that doesn't happen, people are resorting to the next level: comparing some god-awful event to the current situation and saying "At least this horrible thing didn't happen!"

Ahhh yes, now I feel so much better.

Or not. Let's say a friend dropped her 3-year-old on accident, and feels horrible about it. He's fine, a little bruised, but she can't stop replaying the whole thing over and over again in her head. Any mom who has had something bad happen, or almost happen to their kid, feels for her. They tell her their story, and let her know she'll stop thinking about it.... sometime. Meanwhile they try to distract themselves from replaying their own cringe-worthy events in their own head. Then, some adorably chipper friends attempt to cheer the mom up by saying, "At least it wasn't your two-week-old!"

Stop. Stop it now. Giving someone a worse scenario does NOT make them feel better about their own situation. There will always be something worse than what is going on with anyone on this planet. Any horror writer could come up with something in no time flat. Probably with aliens and zombies. Does this mean nobody is allowed a little time to be miserable just because it could always be worse?

It's frightening that people are losing sight of what thinking positively means. It doesn't mean pretending that bad things don't exist, or sugar coating everything. It means knowing that bad times aren't permanent. It means that you're not the root of all evil. It means knowing that everything you touch won't turn to crap.


Sounds simple. And yet there are people out there who insist on making life some forsaken garden of unicorns and rainbows where everyone loves mornings and nobody gets bent out of shape over things like that one annoying woman who cuts you off EVERY afternoon at the school.

But it's not. Shit hits the fan. People get upset with that. It's normal. Who wants to pretend they don't notice the crap flying everywhere? Being miserable for a little while is allowed. It doesn't make someone a negative person. It doesn't mean they're not trying hard enough to be "positive". It's more of a "Hey, bad day/week/month... I see you're here. Let's just hang out for a little while, because I know you're going to leave sooner or later. Don't mind me, I'll just sit here silently hating every last piece of you."

So, if you're New Year's resolution is to start thinking more positively, by all means, go ahead. Stop dwelling on bad situations, and stop talking down to yourself. It makes for better mental and physical health.

But if your New Year's resolution is to start thinking more positively, and you think this means correcting everyone else when they're in a bad mood, stop. Walk away. No matter how much  you want to, you really don't need to bring up the one time your aunt went through the same thing, only much, much worse.

And if you're that person that's telling me I need to just bring back the kid in me and start loving winter again. You really need to stop. I freaking hate winter.

Let's take back the real idea behind thinking positively. If only so we can all have our crabby days in peace.

xoxo Rosie

2 comments:

JJ Ellis said...

Thank you for this! These are my exact sentiments and I couldn't have said it better myself. <3

Sarah said...

Well said! And I hate winter too, I'll embrace the kid in me for the sake of a semi-positive attitude but y'all can keep the snow days.

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