Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

the power of positive thinking...

One of my pet peeves is: The "positive thinking junkie." So what is a "positive thinking junkie"? Such persons try to live in a world where there is only white, no black; only happiness, no unhappiness; only pleasure, no pain; only good, no bad; only right, no wrong; only yin, no yang. In short, they try to see the world as it isn't. Nay, they yearn for a world which doesn't exist. Therefore, at the personal level, they try to suppress any "negativity". They try in vain to be only "positive". It goes without saying, that they ostracise from their lives those who are not also committed to such a "noble" pursuit. I call such people "the pseudo-enlightened ones".

I've got a lot more I can say on this topic, but only interactively with people engaged enough to comment on what I've written thus far. ..


Blogger GreenSmile said...

If I take the bait and wind up convincing myself the hook tasted pretty good too, do I go on the list with the Pollyannas? I'm wondering if there are any such folk you would not mind naming since examples make your point so much clearer.

July 03, 2005 11:35 AM  
Blogger Brownie said...

the most understandable answer I have ever read, to that question 'is the glass half-full, or half-empty?' was "this isn't the drink I ordered!'.

July 03, 2005 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

I think it's best to accept the fact that life can be a tremendous bitch at times and move on. It is possible to be happy and still cogniscent of the fact that life can knife you in the guts when you least expect it.

July 04, 2005 10:18 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Greensmile, there are no folk I will name, but I'll give you an anecdote.

She was quick to imply that she was an oh-so-positive person, then went on and on about how negative her husband was.

Generally speaking, I'm talking about people who make it mandatory for people to be positive and casticate others for their negativity, yet when you deconstruct what most of the crap they're on about comes down to, it's just about putting others down for being human. I have never met an example of this form of "positivism" who is not a very negative person in denial of their own negativity.

brownie, exactly! This whole crap about "you're positive if you see the glass as half full, and you're negative if you see the glass as half empty" is just that - crap. It's exactly from the school of thought I'm vomiting about here. It's the way they put "negatives" down for being "negative".

Guy, I'm talking about people who categorise all of their thoughts (and those of others) as either "positive" or "negative" and then try to allow only positive ones and banish negative ones. It's nothing short of neo-Puritanism.

July 04, 2005 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Kent said...

Love your comment, Gerry. My gripe is not with happy people - I know someone who seems happy even when she is sad (yeah I know, but trust me it's somewhat true). At least she knows she's sad, though. It's the people who have a go at me for slamming doors and telling Ray Martin he's a fuckhead, then proceed to bitch about their workplace to other adults, they're the ones that shit me.

And the classic type of person Gerry writes about can be, IMNSHO, found easily at church. I think back to my churchie friends from school. You could tell them they were a wanker to their face and they'd still smile back at you. Actually I kept that up for a whole hour to one guy and he was only just cracking by the end. Positivity is like a drug to them.

My grandma gets very pre-emptory when my sister and I embark on a minor fight in her presence. We simply aren't allowed to disagree with each other in front of her - fighting is out of the question. She simply can't grasp the concept that my sister and I could fight with knives and still love each other deeply, if not deeper for it. Everything has to be happy, everything has to be positive, anything that isn't obviously so - banished!

July 05, 2005 1:28 AM  
Blogger the urban fox said...

What's with the conditional posting? Want us to pay you by the word too? Heh.

July 05, 2005 5:20 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Kent, stop fighting your sister with knives. ;-)

Urban Fox, I've decided there's no point in going on and on about something if no one's even willing to get into it with me. Hence the conditionality. You bit beautifully by the way. :-P

July 05, 2005 9:16 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

Hmm. I think I must be that husband she mentioned. I am right with you here Gerry: validating rather than trying to revise [for whatever reason: it always comes down to the comfort of the person who is withholding validation] the emotional state someone is trying to express seems to be something only good shrinks are trained to do. Which is odd. There is a 2000+ year old piece of advice in the Talmud that covers this territory with a vivid bit of advice:
[pretend blogger handles blockquote]
23. R. Simeon, the son of Eleazer,
said, "Do not appease thy fellow in
the hour of his anger, and comfort
him not in the hour when his dead
lies before him, and question him
not in the hour of his vow, and rush
not to see him in the hour of his
[quit pretending]
That is verse 23, chapter IV "chapters of the fathers", found here and only one of literally hundreds of translations from the mishna. Google "pirke avot" and your buffer will overfloweth. [And not to disagree with Kent in the least but to note the exceptions: not all who are heavily into religion have their heads up their arse. Then again, even this source is annoyingly male chauvainist and a bit obsessive. I think they do ok for an oral tradition (the romans kept burning the scrolls after wrapping them around a handy rabbi) that finally got transcribed around 200 CE]

Brownie: I have put it differently but yes...a one dimensional question about the quality of your fate does not mean you have to give a one dimensional answer. I once made just such a comment on some random blog.

July 07, 2005 3:30 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

You've said it so much better than I, Greensmile. It's about withholding validation. It may even be about invalidation. It's certainly about a greater concern with one's own comfort. I think it might even be narcissism in the psychological sense.

July 07, 2005 10:44 AM  

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