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4 Ways Positive Thinking Keeps You Stuck (So Don’t Do It!)

Growing up in a family that never encountered a cliché it didn’t embrace, I was surrounded by positive thinking. There was a tea cozy that announced that “Every cloud has a silver lining” and, at some point, a chintzy plaque that read “When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade.” Yes, it had a lemon painted on it. So, my distrust of these upbeat mottos and mantras runs deep—rightly, as it happens.

6 Comments to
4 Ways Positive Thinking Keeps You Stuck (So Don’t Do It!)

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  1. If we think positively about ourselves we will be able to see who is negative around us. We can also positively believe that it is OK to walk away. We need to be positive about our self-worth and be ready to walk away from anything that clashes with that strongly positive self-belief.

    • Well, it does depend on how accurate your positive vision of self is. Everything you’ve written is precisely what someone high in narcissistic traits believes.

  2. I recently had to distance myself from a niece who is married to the most narcissistic man I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting. I’ve been saying that she is pathologically “nice” but the behavior you outlined in your article is exactly what I’ve seen and heard from her over the past 6 years. Postivity is her mantra NO MATTER WHAT. In 6 years he’s had 7 jobs, 3 DUI’s, 2 failed businesses (3-4 still in the hopper), 5 changes in residence, more vehicles than anyone can count, a brief jail stint and now their 5 year old has such severe OCD she is seeing a psychiatrist. However, my niece is proud that when he’s in one of his moods and treats her poorly in front of the kids she responds by being peppy and asking the kids if they want to make cupcakes….every time I feel bad about cutting ties with her I’m going to reread this article. THANK YOU SO MUCH PEG

    • Yes! This is what I did! Stayed with awful abuse for 5 years always looking for the good and believing the best. My Pastor father called it “looking at kingdom purposes.” Forgive the abuse and think about long term getting him into heaven. Like my victim mentality could ever “save” him. I was encouraged to forgive him and remove the restraining order because that’s what Jesus would do. Very sad and dangerous. I feel totally swindled. Wish I was taught practical ways of living like how to set boundaries and spot abuse and walk away. I thought there might be something phony about the way I sugar coated everything but I honestly didn’t know how to see it any other way. When I felt mad I was taught to not believe that but instead believe I was blessed so I learned to ignore my internal warning signs. All my defenses were snuffed out and I practiced this for 30 years knowing no other way you see the world realistically or listen to my own inner voice. Been practicing for 4 years now, but still find myself being too positive and wondering which parts are accurate and which thoughts are too high.

      • That’s organized patriarchy…I mean religion for you. Keep women guilt-tripped into believing abuse is acceptable, keep women in their place via a religious infrastructure that rewards them in some sort of fantasy after-life. One needs critical-thinking skills to combat this cultural and religious misogynist brainwashing.

  3. Avoiding negativity and this whole positive thinking crap needs to stop.


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