Positivity is overrated. If you’ve lost a sports game the politically correct “it’s ok, we did our best” can be super annoying. If you really feel you didn’t play well, that comment is not helpful. It’s NOT OK: I’m grumpy, angry, upset – let me HAVE it!
The positive psychology movement through the last decades meant well but made it WRONG to have BAD feelings, and GOOD to have POSITIVE feelings.
A deeper understanding of ourselves and others – and personal growth – starts from appreciating ALL emotions. There is no good or bad emotion, they are all signs and reactions to something stirring us inside – and we should listen and take it on board.
This goes for sports. For relationships. For teams. Bottling up our “bad” emotions makes it worse – and resentment sets in. Can you please let yourself and others call it what it is – let them have their moment, don’t take it personally.
This has been the biggest stretch and learning for me in the last year, I’ve truly come from a “the sun is shining – and if it’s not it’s right there behind the clouds” philosophy. I’m happy and proud about it because positivity and trying to see things from the bright side of the street IS a true gift to have. The stretch is in not seeing it as the only way, brushing own and others’ true feelings away.
Have you seen the Pixar movie “Inside Out”? If not, you must. How clever it is. Animation for children, but immensely deep and spot on when it comes to how our brains work with a range of emotions taking the lead at different times.
A lightbulb moment for me when I first watched it was how “Joy” worked so hard every day to make it a good day for “her person”. They all needed Joy and missed her horribly when she wasn’t there – but a turning point is when Joy realises that “Sadness” is not just messing every moment and memory up, Sadness is needed and can be that listening ear for us all in those pivotal moments.
So, allow yourself and others ALL their emotions, and (re-)watch the movie. P.S.: look out for the Brazilian helicopter pilot moment…. And when the foot is down, the foot is down!