The facade of “Being Positive”

“No babes, I’m absolutely Ok… of all the people, I have to be positive in these times…!” Exclaimed my friend. She was completely in shock hearing about her dad’s news (he had a heart attack 2hrs ago), but owing to her role as a coach & religious practitioner, she thought she just couldn’t afford to cry out loud! Neither she expected that from herself, nor the close people around her expected that from her!

After sometime, when we were alone in the room, she just couldn’t hold back, and burst into tears. I could feel her hurt in that tight hug.

Really!! Are we saying, that when we are professionally a “Coach”, “Spiritual Healer” etc.. or when we are taking sessions about Positivity, we HAVE to be POSITIVE all the TIME?? We lose our right to emote – to get angry, hurt, sad, happy?

I’ve met so many people in last few years, who have this whole facade of “Being Positive” in their heads. So much so, that they are just unable to “really” emote anymore! For some people “Being positive” becomes a defense mechanism to avoid dealing with the situation.

I really don’t understand the phase : “Keep Smiling”… WHY? I will instead want to be authentic, if i’m not getting a smile, it’s ok to not smile. It’s a really very short term solution.

I’m sure these are well meaning people, who have some explanation to this phenomenon – Fake it till you make it!… however, in most of the cases, prolonged faking of Happiness and Positivity becomes a true detriment for relationships. People lose their capability to emote, as they get in a habit of faking. The depression seeps into the system after a prolonged faking.

So let’s understand the process of being TRULY POSITIVE . Here are 3 things on top of my list, feel free to add the rest in your comments:

Dealing with it / Facing it : If you are angry, say that you are angry and hurt. It’s ok. The catch is not about how you feel, the catch about being positive is

How soon you acknowledge your emotions, deal with it and bounce back to normalcy.

Standing up for your emotions Graceful acceptance of your emotions can help a lot. If you have tears in your eyes and you are trembling, but saying – “Nah, it’s ok, I’m ok”… then you are creating a facade in your head. Instead, just stand up for your emotions and say – “Yes, I’m feeling a lot of hurt, give me sometime to deal with it, before I react” – that is a graceful exit from the immediate situation.

Learning from the emotions (reflections): After some time, when your rational brain starts working normal, being positive truly means thinking about – what are my lessons from this situation, what can I do more to respond better in similar situations going forward, who can I share these lessons to help, do I need to apologize to someone?, do I need a professional help to guide me? Are there any positive friends with whom I can discuss and get clarity in my own thoughts?

While there are many more dimensions, but to start with, these 3 things should get you to ACCEPT and RESPECT yourself & your emotions.

P.S. to all : Please STOP telling these 3 things to people

  • Always Smile
  • You are such a strong and positive person, how can you cry or feel sad
  • I like you because you don’t show your emotions even when you are upset – that is so brave!

Instead you can consider saying these empowering phrases, that can help someone deal and respect their emotions –

  1. It’s ok and very brave of you to acknowledge your emotions, I’m sure you’ll find a way to deal with it
  2. Your emotions only tells me that you are authentic and human, it’s a very natural emotion, I understand and respect that
  3. I’m glad you are attempting to deal with this emotion, instead of carpeting it in the disguise of “Being Positive”

In summary

Being truly positive is a journey. As long as you are acknowledging your emotions, learning from them, and your bounce back time in difficult situations is reducing from the last time, you are on the correct path!

I hope you liked this short write up. Please feel free to share your insights and comments.

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