When can your positive intentions ring false, cause harm, and backfire? This week’s video will alert you to “false positives” that may prevent growth or discourage those you care about.
Do you understand how sometimes the upside can be harmful? Today, let’s eliminate false positives.
When you’re personally discouraged, or trying to help someone who is, you look for the positive. What’s true and useful here? Can you find or give something that’s genuinely beneficial? This effort sometimes backfires, though, resulting in quite the opposite of what’s intended. Here are two examples of false positives.
First, there’s positive delusion. Now this amounts to saying, thinking and doing what feels good and useful, but ultimately harms you. It includes indulging in escapes and addiction, denial, deflection, and victimhood – thoughts and behaviors that get you through the night, but positively hinder the days ahead. We’re also guilty of this when we encourage someone else’s delusion, ignoring what we know will ultimately destroy them.
The second false positive is toxic positivity, which happens when you diminish someone’s hardship, emotional reality, and pain. If you’re tone deaf to someone’s suffering, your encouragement has the opposite effect. Instead of creating hope and connection, you’ve further discouraged and isolated someone by minimizing their struggle.
Another example of toxic positivity is saying that hard things are easy. They may be easy for you after you’ve moved through a learning process. But when you oversimplify complex challenges, you diminish both the reality and the reward – the eventual accomplishment to be earned through persistence.
True positive isn’t simplistic, fluffy, and superficial. It’s complex, compassionate, and based in belief. There is an upside. The future can be brighter. And your effort and attitude are both vital to improve and contribute genuinely helpful, positive influence.
Until next week, stay Off Balance On Purpose.