An unedited rant on the positivity police….

I’ve had it with the positivity police!

You know, those people who will absolutely not let a ‘negative’ word be spoken about anything, ever ever EVER.

Who stalk out of a room rather than hear you say something isn’t right, or shout you down on social media because you dared to point out a thing that really could be better.

I’m Franck by name and frank by nature.  If I see BS, I call it.  I try to be nice about it, of course, but I call it.

So, I’ve had it with those perpetually smiling death-to-all-negativity squads.

Positivity police.  You know the ones I mean, right?

I’m not talking about people who are committed to spreading positive lovely goodness in the world, no, I love those.  I work to be one of those.  Yay to those.

I mean the other kind.  Like the Hippy version of Delores Umbridge from Harry Potter.

I imagine them in sensible sandals, dressed in floaty, light blue organic cotton, wandering around with a tray of raw food snacks to stop up your mouth if you say anything which doesn’t match up to their relentlessly positive worldview.

Frowning if you drink coffee, even more if you put SUGAR in your coffee.  You know the ones I mean!

Have a carob-spirulina-goji raw BISCUIT, dear, and stop killing my cacao induced buzz, m’kay?

Those who have a way of smiling and saying ‘Namaste’ in a way that makes it sound like

IMG_4310.JPG‘Please stop telling me your bad stuff, I’m planning my next water fast and you’re knocking my chakras out of alignment’.

Who, when you are less than radiantly blissful for, like, a minute, say things like

‘It’s all unfolding as it was intended to’

or ‘This was meant to be’ or

‘Something good is destined to come from this, you know’.

or my personal non-favourite

‘This difficult time you are going through is the universe rearranging things for your Highest Good’.IMG_4313.JPG

Nonsense.  So much nonsense!  Sometimes things just suck, you know?

Now, I am big on being positive, seeing the bright side and making the best of everything.

Whilst I don’t personally believe there is some invisible intelligence giving meaning to events in the universe, I *do* think we can assign meaning to the worst of situations.  I do think things work out for the best, most of the time, if we let them.

It’s our choice, after all, how we work with what we are given in life, right?

Yay to that!

Negativity is, of course, harmful and it spreads, and yes, I do have a pretty low tolerance to it myself.

In fact, I find it very challenging to express my worries and frustrations to anyone who isn’t really close to me (so, you know, Bik gets most of it, poor bugger!).

But there is a difference, best beloved.

Between general negativity and somebody who is being honest about their feelings in a given moment.

Between being positive and … well, lying to yourself about a situation.

Between pointing out that something isn’t working and just being critical for the sake of it.

Between being REAL and saying ‘this situation/thing/whatever sucks’ and being somebody who can’t see the good in anything.

IMG_4307.JPGBecause sometimes a spade is – well – a SPADE.

So, positivity police, I say this to you…..

Sometimes, you have to call something out into the open to make it better.

This may mean getting angry, or pointing out that something is wrong.  You may have to use ‘bad’ words.

Sometimes, you will make yourself ill if you don’t vent to a friend about the crappiness that you’re experiencing.

Because real life DOES get crappy sometimes.  Really, really frikking crappy.

Sometimes, you have to feel what you’re feeling for a few moments before you move on to better things.

I’d never advocate wallowing in a negative headspace and it is important not to spread the bad stuff in your head.  Facebook is terrible for that, and more than one constantly negative Nelly has been removed from my feed, because I go on Facebook for, you know, fun, not to get dragged into somebody’s perpetual drama.

But somebody who is having a bad time right at this moment is not a leper to be pushed out of happy hippy land until they have a Buddha-like smile on their chops again.

Not exactly compassionate, that attitude, is it!

Here’s the thing.

Life comes with negative bits, ’tis a package deal with the good stuff.  They are seductive, because they catch us up in a great dramatic ‘oh poor me’ story it can be hard to escape from.  They give us an excuse not to behave well to each other, an excuse to be lazy with our dreams, an excuse to numb the pain with food, booze, fags and whatever else we can find.

These negative bits can have a short lifespan if we face them head on, honestly, bravely…. and choose to move on from them.  We don’t have to sit in that space forever.

These negative bits do not get easier or go away by denying them, they just come out in other forms, and last longer.

Life also has so many positive bits – small moments of beauty and epic happiness.

Whoop to the good stuff! Do it lots!

Whoop to the good stuff! Do it lots!

They should be enjoyed, spread around, celebrated and we should immerse ourselves in them fully, every chance we get.

But it’s only by embracing life in ALL it’s complexity that we really live, and that means experiencing – and expressing – even the bits we don’t like so much.

So, positivity police begone!  I want to live my life with all the bits, the good and bad, the silly and the serious, the crappy and the happy.


Thanks for reading this, you lovely reader you! If you liked it, please share and consider joining my email community for more stuff and free goodies and stuff and glitter.  I’m not always this ranty!


An unedited rant on the positivity police…. — 8 Comments

  1. One of the worst things that ever happened at my old place of employment was the introduction in planning meetings of the idea that nothing negative could be said. it absolutely destroyed the work place. it’s alway well and commendable having ideas and sharing them, but if it’s not going to work or you can see problems, they HAVE to be explored.

    Inevitably, someone would come up an idea or practice that simply wasn’t practical. We would have to praise the idea and implement it, rather than talk about it, work out why it would or wouldn’t work and fix any problems with the idea before they were implemented. It’s basic strategy.

    As a result, the old employer is in the process of complete collapse, it’s losing staff hand over fist and because of the huge mess, is unable to pay its staff a proper wage. EVery job description has been downgraded to a level below, although you’re still expected to work at the level above.

    If the positivity police had listened to the people that foresaw the problems in advance and least put contingency in place, that wouldn’t have happened.

    Embrace the positive, yes, but acknowledge and prepare for the negative.

  2. YES – such a good example! Not being allowed to air things that aren’t working is a recipe for disaster.

  3. “everything happens for a reason.” I’ve always disliked this phrase. Because they never mean.. Cause equals effect… No they mean that some magic will fix the problem. I tend to find the “magic” is always me working hard to find out what went wrong and how to fix it. I love hippie types but often the wishing things better attitude really does got on my nerves.

  4. Yes, that fake veneer of positivity can be very oppressive and as you say be bad for your health! It’s so different from facing and embracing negativity with presence and creativity, which is what the best friends do. And where would we all be if no one ever took political direct action against the nasties because they didn’t want to taint themselves with the negativity of police or big business or people’s anger (I know of someone who turned down being part of a wonderful direct action against nuclear weapons because confrontation with the military and police would be negative!). Guess if everyone insisted on staying in their photoshopped bubble of positivity we’d all be really fracked up… Yep, we need our tears of sadness to flow as freely as our tears of joy. Dams have a way of breaking, one way or another… great post, apart from carob-spirulina-goji biscuits sound alright. Will the Art House be selling them? 😉 And I do actually wear quite sensible sandals…

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