Sunday, January 22, 2012

Relentlessly Positive

A little navel gazing never hurt anyone, right? So here is mine for the week.

In real life, I gravitate towards people who are a little neurotic.  They tend to be very intellectual, and perhaps as a result, they may struggle socially.  Everything in their lives tends to be over analyzed.  I typically have at least one friend who fits this profile, and have since high school.  They can, over time, become exhausting.  Self pity and a theme where they feel victimized by the world are common.  The negativity builds up over time and starts to feel toxic to me. This also, incidentally, describes my entire family of origin.  Smart and funny and talented, but exhausting and frequently mean spirited.

In real life I often avoid people (and environments) who are what I call "relentlessly positive".  I am not sure why.  Perhaps, due to the much more hostile environment I was raised in, I feel that they are not genuine?  Part of me believes that no one can be that genuinely happy and grateful?  

Yet, I love these people in an online format.  Perhaps it is because effusive-ness doesn't get overwhelming when it is in print.  I tend to get overwhelmed by tactile and audio input.  For example, when at the big mega-churches, the music and everyone trying to greet and hug me makes me want to crawl under a rock.

I find that the relentlessly positive tend to be "of a certain age".  Say, over 45.  This gives them at least a decade on me, and I'm wondering if the positivity is something that comes with age?  Perhaps it is something that comes on when the stressors of, say, dealing with children and ex-husbands passes them by?

Or is it a generational thing?  Are people 10, 20 years older than me conditioned to view things differently and more positively?  My generation and subsequent ones have been raised on a steady diet of sarcasm and snarkiness, so that is entirely possible.  My older commenters always manage to find something kind and constructive to say, that's for sure!  (Love you guys!!)

I am a very direct person.  Sometimes to the point of offending people - often people I care about.  Part of this is symptomatic of my illness.  Part of it, I believe, is from being raised in a family where we don't mind about silly little things like other people's feelings.  In my family, very few things were valued - among them were "smart, funny, and reliable".  I aspire to become more "smart, funny and kind".  And I aspire to surround myself with more "smart, funny and kind" people too.


  1. You're showing admirable insight with your introspection into family and friends.

    Positive attitude isn't due to one's generation: there were snarky, unhappy people in every era.

    You're on more solid ground when you link it to age. Studies show that most people start relaxing in their forties, a process which accelerates in our fifties. We let go of anxieties that previously gripped us.

    I find quite interesting the point you raise about relating to people based on the means of communication (IRL v. online). There's a lot to explore in that.

  2. positive people annoy the shit out of me in real life. I get so mad at the "look at the bright side' all the time people.

    YET I am one much of the time. To the point my husband gets mad. BUT i didn't used to be. I used to be the screaming meme. The one who got mad and screamed. It always left me feeling gross though. Then I changed it. Basically I annoy myself then.

    The postive bloggers honestly just make me roll my eyes. You can't have sweet without sour and those that ignore the sour make me feel like they are fake.

    I am not direct. I am paralyzed and never say what I am thinking when I want.


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