Are You Too Positive Or Too Negative?

I never really thought of myself as a very negative person, but I was told I was my entire life.  My mother, a self proclaimed optimist in spite of her ability to find the negative in any situation, has said this more times than I can count.  My husband even made similar comments over the years about how negative I am.

 

As a result, I have tried to be more positive.  I have been able to see more positive things than I used to in negative situations.  This has been beneficial to a degree.  It has helped me to be a bit happier than I used to be.

 

That being said though, God showed me something this morning about positive thinking that never crossed my mind before.

 

I was getting laundry out of the dryer & praying as I did.  I had a dreadful night last night, barely getting any sleep & what sleep I had was full of nightmares.  I’ve been in a nasty funk for a few days now which wasn’t helped by last night’s “sleep” & was telling God about that too.  Complaining really.  I wasn’t finding any positive in anything, & feeling guilty for that.  I didn’t admit that to God but of course He knew anyway.  And, He said something about that.

 

“Being too positive can invalidate your pain.  It says you don’t have a right to be disappointed, hurt or angry because something good came from the situation.  Being positive is good, but only in balance.  It’s OK to say things just suck sometimes.  This is one of those times.  Feel the pain, & get it out.  Then, & only then, the funk will lift.”

 

So many of us who have been abused have been told by other people we’re too negative if we discuss it.  Some people think it’s a taboo topic not to be discussed.  Sweep it under the rug, pretend that didn’t happen.  Or, if something good came out of the awful situation (such as having kids with the abusive partner), then you shouldn’t be upset about it.  Something good came from it, so you shouldn’t complain or have problems stemming from the abuse.

 

What these people fail to realize is by telling victims to “stop being so negative” or to “think positive”. they are being abusive.  They are invalidating your pain, & invalidation is abuse.  Invalidation says your pain doesn’t matter, & there is something wrong with you for feeling the way you do.  Whether that is the intention or not by saying “think positive” & such statements, that is the result.  The person who is told to think positive feels there is something wrong with them for feeling as they do.

 

Dear Readers, please remember this post when someone tells you to be positive.  Being positive is a wonderful thing.  It helps you to feel good.  But, it also is unrealistic to think you can be positive 100% of the time.  Sometimes things just suck!  There is nothing wrong with admitting that.  There is also nothing wrong with thinking about those things & feeling whatever emotions that the event triggered in you.  Ignoring such things does no good.  Those emotions will come to the surface at some point, & probably not in a good way.  It is better to have a short period of being depressed or angry as you heal than years of emotions manifesting in unhealthy ways such as addictions, self harm or suicidal thoughts & actions.

Advertisements

15 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

15 responses to “Are You Too Positive Or Too Negative?

  1. Yes, invalidation is abusive. To be in pain because of abuse and then to be told to stop being “negative” (telling someone the truth about our pain) is abusive. My aunt did this to me when I was young and suffering horribly from my parents abuse and neglect. To this day I still hear her voice and it’s still hurts.

    Like

    • (((hugs))) I’m sorry Suzanne! That is so painful, especially when done to a child by an adult. I don’t think most people realize just how incredibly invalidation really is. I’d rather take a punch any day than be invalidated. (which is saying something since I’d rather never take a punch again!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Julie

        Hope you are sooner feeling much better in body and spirit, Cynthia. Surely we are optimistic because we have made some good choices to get where we are today and have endeavoured to make our own and the lives of others better. There”s nothing wrong with nurturing ourselves when we feel down or unwell.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you so much, Julie. I am doing a bit better today. 🙂

          I totally agree with you. There is nothing wrong with nurturing ourselves when we feel down or unwell. It’s simply showing compassion & understanding to ourselves. That can’t be a bad thing at all!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Julie

          I’m sorry about what happened to you, Suzanne. My aunts used to comment to my mother that I wasn’t happy but she told them I was a problem child and enjoyed being unhappy! Now of course I realise I wasn’t the problem – she was.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Wow, Julie… I hadn’t thought of it for years until you shared that but my mother said the same about me enjoying being unhappy. It’s a sad thing how these people project their issues onto their children.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Julie

              Did she also tell you “Children don’t have feelings” and “Children don’t get headaches”? There was also the rather confusing “Oh, grow up!” one minute and then the “Don’t grow up too quickly” the next. The words that mostly come to mind when I think about my childhood with my mother are “Shut up!” and “Go away!” I feel I’ve brought myself up and now realise that there are many people who’ve had to do the same.

              Like

              • That is awful Julie! I’m so sorry. No child should hear such things especially from her own mother!!

                Unfortunately, you’re right- many of us raised ourselves because our parents were too selfish to think of anyone but themselves.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Cynthia, I didn’t know you were in a bad mood in the past few days. I was in a bad mood, too, almost mild depression. So, this post really speaks to me. Thanks!
    Sarah Chuang

    Like

  3. To force one self to be only positive is like not daring to be authentic. I think this speaks to me too. I have been very influenced by the Faith movement where you are not allowed to speak anything negative because it’s then not faith. That is sometimes a difficult balance to know when to say what

    Like

    • That is beautifully said, Maria. It’s so very true, too. Being too positive isn’t authentic. People respond to people who are real- people who admit their mistakes, who cuss about that driver who cut them off in traffic & the like. People who are too positive & never have an off comment or moment can be very discouraging to others around them because they end up feeling like failures.

      So true, too. The faith movement has many good points to it, but not being allowed to say anything negative is simply depressing! Negative things are a part of life too, & there’s nothing wrong with admitting they’re happening sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Unhelpful Advice | CynthiaBaileyRug

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s