Positive Psychology Truly Can Improve Our Quality Of Life
I believe I am one of the few people who are the most committed to positive psychology.
I am an incurable optimist.
I love to refer the old psychologist example of the glass half full – half empty pointing out the attitude differences among people.
I pay special attention to find the positive actions of my children and make sure to provide them positive feed-back.
My firm opinion is that the best way of influencing people is by positive feed-back incorporating reinforcement as well as reward.
I convince people to give voice to their positive feelings, especially to their acknowledgment and appreciation.
My psychotherapy practice is based on the Jungian conviction that people are naturally healthy beings. If they show some symptoms, those are mostly their unconscious communication attempts messaging about something that has not been integrated to the conscious yet.
I love the fact that after many strange – sometime oversimplifying, sometimes dysfunction based branch of psychology – positive psychology stood out and spoke: we are OK. We have to focus on the positive side of human development and a satisfactory life.
Surprisingly, positive psychology can be misused as well. If it is, it can be as harmful as any other abuse.
1 – Blaming the victim
The basic principle of “Focus on life’s positive side and then everything will be all right!” speaks volumes but it can be turned around. If you experience difficulty, you are surely focused on the negative side so you are to blame for your misfortune. It is a terrible “Blame the victim” game which makes the life of suffering people even more miserable.
No matter how positive we are; mishaps, illnesses, mistakes or conflicts are finding us time after time. However, most of them DO NOT depend on our basic positive or negative attitude.
Blaming the victim for difficulties infuses the blamer not to feel empathy for the sufferer.
2 – Denying our feelings
We might undermine our own problem solving skills if we are not willing to accept negative aspects of our lives. Illnesses have to be cured. Mistakes have to be undone. Conflicts have to be resolved. But how can we figure out appropriate actions if we are not willing to realize there is a mistake. There is a conflict, or there is an illness. In order to find solutions, we need to face, acknowledge and accept that those negative things happened.
3 – Rejecting other’s feelings
Nagging someone who is experiencing difficulties is utterly cruel. Not enough that they are suffering from something and frequently being embarrassed by their imperfection, someone expressing further discontent with them that they are not doing well thinking about their complexes. They “should “think positively about what is bothering them. (Really?)
Note 1: “SHOULD “is the telltale sign of manipulation. It reveals the assumption that the manipulator or some arbitrary rules can tell you how you “should” feel or behave instead of accepting what you tell.
Note 2: Complexes in the Jungian psychology are not more than contradictory feelings, thoughts, and judgments. Their nature is drawing the person’s psychic energy to them in order to work on them, understanding them and untangle their contradictory attributes. IT IS NATURAL that we turn our attention to our complexes. Investing psychic energy is the way we solve them.
4 – Natural balance
Having a positive attitude towards life can help us to create and maintain happiness. On the other hand inevitably we will meet the tragic side as well: we will lose very important persons and things. We will experience failures, we might feel lost and we might suffer in many other ways. This is natural as well. We need to accept the negative side of life in order to find solutions for them.
Moreover: we need to accept our friend’s negative feelings in order to maintain meaningful connections.
There is nothing contradictory in it: we can focus on our blessings and positive feelings while we accept that sometimes life is simply not perfect.
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