It’s all good to be positive and grateful but this mentality actually can be unintentionally detrimental to moving forward. In this mindset, we are at risk of becoming more resentful and not only impact our wellbeing but our negativity often spreads, infecting all our relationships. We tend to marinate in negative emotions and only create the perfect environment for these thoughts to breed.
I write about this in my book, at a time when I had a very negative mindset. In fact, I internalised many of my unhelpful emotions as I feared impacting those around me. Also, it was evident to me throughout my recovery, that when others around me stopped me venting about their issues (only discussing positive situations), I was adversely affected. I couldn’t relate to, or match their optimistic outlook and felt only more isolated.
“…The waiting period at Caulfield was the hardest time of all. I often only had one hour of therapy a day, so I had way too much time to think about my future. During the day my friends and colleagues were working. In the evenings their visits were comforting but by then I had had the entire day to stew. Often I felt closed to their attempts to infect me with their positivity, and unable to celebrate their good news. Friends who had previously told me their problems suddenly stopped sharing, reluctant to dwell on their issues, which now they probably thought were minuscule in comparison to mine. I felt as though I was tainting everyone’s lives. I was definitely heading into a downward spiral, having become inward focused and self-indulged, bitter, irritable and resentful.” (Reinventing Emma, p176)
Having an outlet to share my negative feelings has also enabled me to be more proactive in dealing with future obstacles as they present. This is highlighted in my book,
“… Negative thoughts viciously cycled in my mind and damaged my self-esteem even further. I was still having weekly outpatient therapy at Talbot, so at least I was able to share these experiences with my therapy team. My speech therapist helped me practise short and concise responses to prove to strangers that I was cognitively OK, and the psychologist allowed me to vent, and develop strategies to help me better cope with life outside…” (Reinventing Emma, p168)
Venting definitely aids perspective – “…At times when I have become too engulfed in an issue my many supporters have helped me to highlight the positives and put things in perspective.…” (Reinventing Emma, p230)
It’s important to be grateful & positive, but without acknowledging the difficult and negative thoughts, gratefulness & positivity are suppressed.
It’s not only important personally to vent your emotions but your response to another’s issues can act as a huge enabler & give them perspective or just encourage them to vent their concerns. So, are you unintentionally being too positive and overlooking the issues that you or someone else is experiencing?