Negative Nellies – that’s the term people use to describe those embroiled in negative emotion. But is that fair? Are we judging people before we know what life is like for them? For example, my husband is very sick. Lately he has been battling a cough that makes it next to impossible for him to sleep at night, and consequently, me as well. He has a slew of health issues and is on several medications, which makes taking something for the cough problematic. Medications can interact with one another to make a bad situation even worse. It’s hard not to be negative when you’re sick and not getting the rest you need to recuperate.

And for me, lack of sleep combined with worry has made battling my negative demons even more of a challenge. Sometimes the societal demands to be positive when just putting one foot in front of another seems like a herculean task. Speaking for myself, it feels cruel. I am tired! So, can we cut one another a break? We don’t know what is going on in the lives of others. Can we set aside the judge’s robes and the demand for positivity?

Yes, positive emotions are easier to live with and a positive attitude is preferable to a negative one. Yet, we are all only human. Sometimes life is hard. Placing demands on people to be positive when we don’t know their situation or what issues they may be struggling with, is, frankly, inhumane in my view. Kindness and compassion will go a lot further to help people become more positive than the judgment and labeling of them as ‘negative nellies’.

Let’s be a little more gentle with ourselves, and with one another.

18 thoughts on “The Tyranny of Positivity

  1. We all are human and as such have all the highs and lows of the emotions belonging to our beings. Understanding each other’s emotions and mental state is also one of the capabilities given to us, so we should use these. Be sympathetic and kind. Try to see from the eyes of others and get their perspective. Good post. Hope your husband recovers soon.

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  2. I think there is definitely a time for being positive, but it should come in the form of encouragement, not judgment, acknowledging the pain and struggle. I admire your honesty and your patience during this trying time. I’m praying for you.

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  3. Hi there. This was a good read and touched on a good aspect of the positivity push the exists today. Although I try to encourage positivity and growth in others, I come from a place of knowledge and experience in how hopeless things can seem. It’s important, when you’re sending a message of positivity to acknowledge the difficulties people face. You must have empathy. I never put others down for negativity though.
    Thanks for posting this food for thought! 😊

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