Positivity mongers- put on your big kid pants

11 Aug

Several months back, a friend sent me an email on facebook, stating, in so many words, that my posts have been too negative lately, and that I should try to keep things more upbeat and positive.  The email was replete with a warning that I would “drive people away” if I kept posting negative status updates.  The annoyance that I felt was so great, that it still hasn’t diminished.  

The thing is, is that I was kind of proud of some of my status updates.  Sure, they weren’t the kind where I brag about getting a new a new job, a new car, my new shopping acquisitions, how awesome my boyfriend/friends/family are or pictures of me getting married, traveling, or popping out babies (but aren’t those kind of obnoxious in their own right?)  Instead, they were wry musings on the goings-on of my life.  Some good, some bad, but I was never an Eeyore about it.  When I was sick, I wouldn’t just whine about being sick, I would work in a pun or otherwise crack a joke.  Likewise, when I was stressing about school, work, or pet peeves.  I pretty much always made an attempt to be clever.  And people “liked”, laughed at, and commented on my status updates, so it really didn’t seem to be a problem, save for a select few (I’m assuming that there are more silent dissenters among my facebook friends, I’ve only heard from the one).  

So why did I let it get under my skin?  Probably because it felt like a rejection of me, not just my status updates.  The truth of the matter is that I’m not all that stoked about my life right now.  And it is largely circumstantial.  I, ironically, don’t feel like getting into the details right now, about the things that make my life so difficult, but suffice it to say that it is.  Really, truly, effin’ difflicult.  And so I vent.  And I tend to vent in the form of tongue-in-cheek quips and sardonic musings.  It doesn’t help me at all to wish problems away and fake being happy about things that I’m not.  And frankly, there’s a growing body of evidence on my side.  Pretending to be okay when you’re not doesn’t do a damn thing, but create tension and feelings of dissonance.  More so, it’s phony.  I don’t believe in hell, and all that other mystical garbage… but phony people alone are almost enough to make me want to believe in it… so that I can hold out hope that they’ll end up in the deep recesses of it.  Ha!  I kid.  There’s a taste of that sardonic humor for you.  

Those that know me well are better able to laugh at such jokes, because it’s clear to them that it’s very much tongue-in-cheek.  After all, I’m firmly against the death penalty (this is a very nuanced thing, so let’s NOT delve into that issue today).  If I can find it in my heart to want compassion for the committers of truly heinous acts, surely I wouldn’t wish a horrendous future on people who are merely phony.  And, I don’t.  It’s just that saying “boy, phony people sure are annoying” isn’t as colorful and lively.  

But, I digress… I’m not someone who smiles all the time, nor do I care to be.  Sometimes I’m a rather serious person, sometimes I’m a lovable sarcastic ass, and sometimes, I’m just plain happy (of course, there are many layers in between, and sometimes the aforementioned come together in various permutations).  I don’t want to pretend to be the latter all the time.  To ask that of me, is to ask me to conceal my personality a great deal of the time, and to deny myself of my benign coping mechanisms.  It’s asking me to be disingenuous and it’s asking me not to be me.

Sometimes we need to make fun of the douche bags who make life tough and laugh about crappy life events.  Sometimes we need to put heavy stuff on the table and really address it, dissect it and trouble shoot.  All of these things are valid and all are, at times necessary.  To “focus on the positive” all the damn time means that everything else gets brushed to the wayside, left to grow into something much worse.  So, positivity mongers, how about you put on your big kid pants, and deal with life?

NY Times had a worthwhile article not too long ago along these same lines:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/opinion/sunday/the-positive-power-of-negative-thinking.html

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2 Responses to “Positivity mongers- put on your big kid pants”

  1. Stacey August 12, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    Wow. If someone told me I was writing too much negative stuff on MY OWN BLOG, after my response I imagine our friendship would be quite strained. Nobody is happy all the time.

    • margauxgrowsup August 14, 2012 at 2:00 am #

      Glad I’m not alone on this! Some people act is if it’s so uncouth to not “put on a happy face” at all times!

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