Benefit #6 Positivity Makes Us Less Self-Centered

Benefit #6 Positivity Makes Us Less Self-Centered

So I’m doing research for today’s post – trying to find a quote or research or a post to validate my idea that positivity makes us less self-centered, and I come upon post after post after post after post from the widest array of publications linking self-centeredness and a concept known as “toxic positivity.” **

How can positivity be a bad thing? you may ask. When it’s not really positivity at all – or when it’s fake.

I’ll reiterate here a message I posted recently in my Facebook group, Fairy Positive Club:

As our focus here is positivity, this message bears repeating. I keep seeing posts that say things like “Don’t focus on the past,” or “Release the negative thoughts and move on” –  designed, I believe, to encourage positive thinking and forward movement. However, these messages can sometimes cause more harm than good, because it isn’t really positivity if you are faking it or suppressing other emotions to get there.

You can’t pretend you don’t feel what you feel. You can bury your head under the covers for only so long – then you must emerge. If you try to do that without having made the often complex effort of working through your difficult emotions, you will find yourself stuck and unproductive.

Take the advice – [on this blog] and everywhere on [the internet] – with a grain of salt. If it resonates with you, it might be for you. Or it might just be what you want to hear at the moment you want to hear it. If it makes your hair stand on end, it might not be for you. Or it might be challenging you to take a step you know you’ve been avoiding. If you can get to a neutral place, your heart will tell you what is really right for you.

How does this relate to the self-centered person? Well, this gal doesn’t really care about you. So she’s either going to ignore you if you have a problem, or demand that you just cheer up, because everything always turns out all right in the end. Neither of those responses is very helpful or really takes you or your challenges into consideration.

How can we turn this around to see that authentic positivity makes us less self-centered? I believe that when we are authentically positive, we have the emotional awareness to understand that while things are not always perfect, there may be a more constructive way of working through our challenges. And we see this both for ourselves and for others. If we accept that what we focus on expands – we get more of what we think about – we know that dwelling on the bad stuff is likely to bring more bad stuff, or send us into a spiral of negative thinking which leads straight to the self-fulfilling prophecies of doom and gloom. So we’re going to try to avoid getting into that spiral and encourage others to do the same.

Some years ago when I was in my early 40s, I attended a church-sponsored function where I didn’t know anyone. I was seated at a table with a group of senior ladies, and the conversation was a demonstration of one-upmanship, each trying to outdo the other about how bad their health or medical condition was:

“I had a fall.”
“That’s nothing, I broke my foot and will be in a cast for six weeks.”
“Trivial compared to my visit to the ER when I nearly died.”

On and on it went. This is the most egregious example of negative self-centeredness. But you’ll see it other places. Complaint conversations in the workplace. Bitch sessions about how bad the economy is. Anytime the focus is on blaming, shaming, or complaining, it’s likely bearing out the truism that misery loves company.

When you find yourself confronted with these situations, you have a few choices: join them, try to insert a positive thought to redirect, or just walk away.

Perhaps you’ve been the leader of your share of complaintfests and now want to make steps toward bringing more authentic positivity into your life. A great way to do so is by taking part in the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”

The choice is yours: Will you opt for positivity or stay where you are, mired in less productive emotions?


#fairypositive #blogboost

** Toxic positivity can also show up when you feel guilty for being upset or angry; hide or disguise painful emotions; ignore problems on the horizon; or unrealistically believe “that could never happen to me.”

Laura Orsini is an author, speaker, consultant, publisher, and creator of Fairy Positive, an antidote to the worries of the world. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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