Putrid Positivity

Another inconvenient truth about the edict to think positive thoughts as a panacea – thinking is fluid.  Forced positive thinking leads to negative thoughts, and it’s just added mental work for naught.

The bottom line is that positive thinking doesn’t work because, other than for solving math problems, thinking doesn’t work. Or said another way: if not for thought—you’d never be stuck. So why intentionally fill your head with more of what sticks (thoughts), and thwart your own level of performance and contentment?

Therefore, the next time you are tempted to reach for an affirmation, remember: you’re reaching for an illusion, for fool’s gold. You can’t think yourself into peace of mind, competitiveness, resilience, or love. For true positivity—you’ll  never, ever, have to work that hard.

One thing leads to another

A cartoonist gets thwarted belongingness but not the myth of attention seeking motivation.

Which leads to the inevitable discovery that there are also mental health professionals writing inane things on the web about suicide.

Which leads to the perceived importance of the components required for social acceptance – eg, belongingness.

For , honesty and kindness—which researchers describe as communion traits—are more important for relationships than intelligence and ambition, both considered agency traits, says Oscar Ybarra, professor of psychology. Agency traits help people attain skills, talent and status.

“Social life pressures people to view themselves as possessing high levels of communion traits and to ensure that others have this perception as well,” he said.

Which, in turn, leads to the other main factor in suicide – perceived burdensomeness: in this case, the perception of ill health:

Our findings provide initial evidence that perception of poor health is associated with a significantly increased likelihood of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt among adults in the community.

Which leads to the hypothesis that suicidality is minimized in societies which don’t use ostracism, have mechanisms for supporting and comforting those in ill health and who use kindness, honesty and inclusive humor in abundance.