This posticle about positivity found its way onto my Facebook wall today and got me thinking: What is it about positive thinking that turns so many people off?


I am a positive person and a natural optimist. But when I respond to a situation in this way, I am often criticized for it. Why is it seen as a weakness, frivolousness, even small mindedness? I have been accused of not ‘fully understanding’ the situation, or of not ‘taking it seriously’. I have been asked ‘Don’t you care?’ or told ‘You obviously just don’t understand’.

No. I do understand. I have the full picture. I am aware. But I think it’s better for everybody if I stay positive and look for a way to make the best of things. Dancing in the rain and all that.

It takes a positive person a lot more strength sometimes to stay positive. To strive in the face of all the harsh realities thrown at them, weather the storm, and still look towards a better outcome. Being negative is the easy choice – it’s the path of least resistance. But it is the long-term killer of all things good.

Reality is reality, but it is up to you as to how you deal with it. So as a sickeningly positive optimist, I’d like to draw an analogy that will no doubt annoy my fellow pessimists with its seemingly simplicity.

Reality is coffee. And if reality is the coffee, positivity or negativity are the cups you bring to the tea party. A positive cup is one made of fine china, glazed and hardened in the furnace. Your cup can hold that coffee for as long as it needs to, no matter the temperature. Your cup is still fragile, and can have chips in it. It can even show cracks. But if well maintained and handled with care, your cup will never fail you when it’s time for a steaming cup of coffee.

But negativity is a paper cup. It’s easy and cheap – the more ‘down-to-earth’ choice. Doesn’t show cracks. Doesn’t chip. Appears to be the stronger of the two. But given enough time it becomes soggy and falls apart. Even if it works ok for one cup of coffee, it will only take so many refills before giving out. Your reality will spill horribly all over the place causing a mess and possibly even burning you.

So which would you rather be?

I choose to be a china teacup. With pink cherry blossom painted on it.