Thursday, September 25, 2014

Why we find it difficult to say good things about ourselves

I recently took part in a challenge on Facebook. The purpose was to write three things you are grateful for, or as I prefer to say, appreciate, or three good or positive things, every day for five days.

(You were also supposed to nominate three other people to do the challenge each day, but I don't like that and stopped doing it after the first day).

For me it was natural to write positive things, but I observed that other people seemed to find the challenge, well, a bit challenging. They seemed to prefer being "grumpy" or cynical. I started to wonder why we feel uncomfortable saying positive things about our lives.

On the one hand we are encouraged to project a confident and positive image, but on the other hand it might feel like boasting to portray your life as positive and free of problems. Some people even feel guilty about their happiness when there is so much suffering in the world. I think it is precisely because there is suffering that we should appreciate and celebrate the positive things in our lives. Happiness should be shared.

Some people bond through complaining about problems, and this can make them appear bitter and petty. Yes, it is important to get support from others when you need help, but if all you do is complain, you are no fun to be with. Some constant complainers turn into toxic people.

Emotions are contagious, so it's better to share the positive ones and keep the problems and complaints to yourself as much as possible. If everyone focused on consciously and deliberately spreading positive emotions and experiences, the world would be a better place.