Limits of Positive Thinking

Hey, be positive! Shed your negativity! Look on the bright side! We see them everywhere. These are always seen as a way to deal with any kind of crisis, right? We have been told that we will bounce back from any disappointments by being positive. But does being positive all the time helps? Maybe not. As the 19th-century German thinker Arthur Schopenhauer argued, “this is merely a recipe for disappointment and frustration.”

So, Where Does Positive Thinking Go Wrong?

The thing is, all people, at times filled with grief, spill over with joy, and tremble with anger. Most of us are taught to ignore the negative ones. And by that way, we learned not to probe our feelings too deeply.

Sometimes we experience disappointing outcomes that don’t match our prediction. If we guide ourselves through positive thoughts all the time, what happens when things don’t work so well?

We became confused, frustrated, and disappointed when our beliefs and experience don’t match. This is why positive thinking is so limited. As psychiatrist Dr. Mark Banschick argues, “positive thinking can become a way of avoiding necessary action.” People say everything is fine when it is not and avoid fixing the problems in their lives.

So, Is It Optimism or Pessimism?

It depends on the people, on the circumstances. First, we need to understand the fact that sometimes the best way to sail through life is to know that there are no simple answers to the complex problems we face. Sometimes there is no bright side. Happiness is not always a choice. Some pessimism may even be good for our souls. It allows us to prepare for the worst outcomes. We strive to become better humans every day, but in the end, we are always half-baked humans. And we always will be.


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