This subject has taken my attention over few months; I felt the need to write down my perspective on it.
Recently while driving home from office, listening to the radio, one of those few occasions; I heard two RJs talking about courtesy and formal conversation of asking “how are you”? One of the RJ said “I asked someone the question and the person told DJ the entire story of how he/she was not “fine”. The RJ was jokingly laughing on the radio that I didn’t mean to actually know or care, it was just a courtesy and both the RJs ended up laughing on this episode.
It was around this time, I had been thinking about this topic and the conversation intrigued me, that how asking “how are you” has remained only a courtesy without having any need of actually express or know it.
So in reality, are we allowed to be negative, sad, anxious or fearful? Are we allowed to express it? Where it can be received with patience and non-judgment. And if not what’s wrong with it?
There are fears that sounds and feels real as a result of real experiences of people. It could be grief, separation, divorce, loss of job, financial loss, illness or death of a loved one or unable to achieve life goals. This puts enough pressure and stress on the person’s ability to respond.
So what is False Positivity?
False positivity lays importance of being positive minded in every situation, even while the person is going through personal turmoil. It has become a new urban norm at workplace and in social gatherings.
With idea of positivity floating, every bit of any negative emotions are expected to fly away, hushed, pushed aside
We forget basic understanding of human emotions and mind that, emotions are integral part of who we are? Anger, Fear and Guilt on one side of the continuum and love is on the other. We as humans regularly feel these emotions based on circumstances and intensity of the experience. These emotions whether real or unreal needs to be processed, allowing the person to actually feel it through.
The ability to process negative experiences and emotions results into the person bouncing back to normalcy, is called emotional agility. This needs a collective tolerance of family, friends, colleagues, schools and universities.
False positivity creates stress in a person who is already overwhelmed with situation. A person has added responsibility to “be positive”, “put up a brave face” etc. despite of inner turmoil. Allowing a person to feel the emotions helps them process it and eventually release the same.
Respecting a person’s situation only makes us recognize humanness in us, and has far and wide implication on the quality of our life and quality of our society.