I delivered a short presentation recently to a group of local business people and entrepreneurs. The main theme of the talk was ‘mindset’ and, in particular, how to identify when we are in the wrong mindset – how that can present itself to us – and what we can do on an everyday basis to keep our unhelpful and impulsive minds in check so that we are in control of our fully conscious minds, leading to a more positive and productive disposition.
After my talk I took a few questions and one I received was ‘can a person be too positive?’. I’ll admit, it did cross my mind that this could be a loaded question; had I been ‘too’ enthusiastic with my delivery in a subject that I find incredibly interesting?! It wouldn’t have been the first time I’d been told to calm down when talking about something I am so very passionate about – though this does tend to only come from my elder sister (and I think it’s done tongue in cheek!).
So, is it possible to be ‘too positive‘? I have a few thoughts.
No. This is my first and immediate thought. How could being positive possibly be interpreted as something negative unless the person making such as accusation has a negative mindset them self? It’s true that there are people out there living a life of mediocrity and regrettably their mindset tends to be fixed in an ‘it cant be changed’ kind of way. I find it such a shame that so many people do not yet recognise that their life is the way it is because of the choices they make. Yet these people do exist and when in the company of those who are striving to better themselves and their lives, these ‘friends’ can’t cope and so unconsciously try to bring the positive person back into line; their own comfort zone. It’s the perfect example of the ‘crab metaphor’, which you can learn more about here from hideandseeker.com: http://hikeandseeker.com/crabs-in-a-bucket/.
‘Can someone be too positive?’ With a second and longer reflection on this, my mind says “also, no”. I fully accept that some people may come across as false with their positive energy – something I hear often remarked upon by Brits who have been in the company and culture of Americans (sorry USA!). The twang of “have a good day now” isn’t something we Brits are often on the receiving end of, and our penchant for sarcasm and dry humour can lead us to think that this is an insincere gesture. It isn’t; it’s just different. I’d like to think that wishing someone well after receiving a service is something that we Brits are slowly coming around to though!
Finally, it was suggested to me that someone’s ‘over positivity’ was a demonstration of their arrogance. I struggle to see the connection with this. Arrogant in thinking that their life is better than yours and that they know better and have better fortunes, and so play up to that mindset by being in-your-face positive about life? Perhaps. I guess. But takes us into the territory of being false, and if there is a sudden change in someone from ‘unremarkable’ to ‘super positive’ then, arguably, this will be a difficult pill to swallow. But I believe that a true shift into a positive mindset takes time and effort. Well done to that person who wants to change, but it’s possibly a more sustainable journey to make small, incremental changes and monitor on a daily basis that take one giant leap into this great new world for you.
So, can someone be ‘too positive’? If it’s done with sincerity then I really don’t think it can. There is so much hate and suffering in the world today, why do we feel a need to change those who with a positive disposition? Will it make us feel better? Absolutely not. Nothing positive ever comes from being negative. I believe we NEED these positive people around – and more of them! Imagine what life would be like for humanity if there weren’t people aspiring for better things and showing the rest of us what can be done with a different mindset and approach?! So if you are naturally positive or you want to change your outlook into one that’s more optimistic for your own growth and development, then you’ve gotta own it! Be positive, become more positive, and share that love and energy with others. It may take time if it’s a seismic shift but it can start simple enough: “Have a great day!”