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XenoFish

Happy Rainbow Kitty Cat Thoughts

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Often I get assaulted by the positive thinking crowd around UM. You're too negative, pessimistic (kinda true), life has meaning so quit being so nihilistic. So I felt the need to open a discussion among us realistic thinkers and those of a more negative tone. 

So is positive thinking all it's cracked up to be. Think positively about your goals, you've already achieved them, the universe will align to your will, I could've been much worse, and the ever famous; Don't worry be happy.

Well that doesn't work for me. And it doesn't work for a lot of people. Even science says that positive thinking as a downside, especially overly positive thinking. But I'm not here to bash on you optimistic folks. No, I'm here to let you in on the darkside. We do have cookies.

It's time to end our obsession with positive thinking.

Sticking with the analogy of germs, negative thoughts and emotions (including stress) can be a good thing in moderation — like germs or viruses that stimulate the functioning of the immune system. There are a number of benefits of negativity, and at least some negativity in one’s life from time to time is probably desirable.

First, negative thinking can be adaptive. When problems arise, worry can be a constructive thing if it leads to problem-solving. Anxiety is useful when we are threatened and are in need of safety. (For example, you should feel some anxiety when driving in poor weather.) Sadness is a normal emotion in the context of loss. In fact, it is believed that the symptoms of depression evolved to facilitate the need for rest, protection and self-soothing.[1]

Second, negative life experiences (including negative thoughts and emotions) often play a significant role in maturation and character development. Guilt and shame not only allow us to recognize and correct mistakes we’ve made, but also to become a better person. Repeat experiences with frustration help build tolerance and may ultimately assist in the development of patience.

Third, the negative in life makes possible the enjoyment of positive things. Our perceptions are often shaped by contrasts. If you move your hand from ice-cold water to lukewarm water, lukewarm feels hot. A positive life experience will be more intense and meaningful if it occurs when stress and other problems have been in the background. When life is perfect, it is more difficult to enjoy the good things. Generally speaking, the threshold for receiving pleasure and enjoyment from experiences is more difficult to reach when pleasure and positivity are the norm. (from the link)

One of the things I've noticed about my own rather pessimistic view of the world is that nothing really hurts me too deep. Sure there are some things that are very painful emotionally, but that's okay. When I think about some of the things that could go wrong in a situation I am mentally preparing for the worst. As the saying going, "Hope for the best, expect the worst." While I will agree that excessive negative thinking has it's draw backs so does extremely positive thinking. 

The Surprising Power of Negative Thinking

Negative thinkers are tuned in to the challenges ahead. Thinking about future obstacles helps you begin planning strategies to overcome them. When you're telling yourself everything will work out, you aren't planning. Negative thinkers have a competitive advantage in the face of difficulties.

Negative thinkers are two steps ahead of everyone. They think of solutions before the problem even appears. You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

Negative thinkers undermine complacency. When most people expect everything to go as planned, negative thinkers are making a list of all the things that can fail. They're rarely caught off guard, and they always have a plan B.

Negative thinkers aren't so much pessimists as hard-edged realists. They can see not only problems but also opportunities before they arise. They're skilled at turning failure into lessons. They know how to cut through the bull and wishful thinking to see what's actually happening in front of them.

I consider myself more a realist than a pessimist because I look at things as they are. Contemplate how I'm going to fix my problems and get stuff done. The downside of positive thinking is that it destroys motivation. 

Added bonus:3 Shocking benefits of Negative Thinking. The positive power of negative thinking.

Now onto the shadowside of positive thinking. Yep, you positive thinking might have some problems. 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-positive-thinking-be-negative/

Too Much of a Good Thing?
Another potential hitch in the positive-thinking movement is that a sanguine attitude may be unhealthy when taken to an extreme, because it can become unhinged from reality. In a 2000 article University of Michigan psychologist Christopher Peterson, a founder of the positive psychology movement, distinguished realistic optimism, which hopes for the best while remaining attuned to potential threats, from unrealistic optimism, which ignores such threats.

 There are those of us who thrive off our pessimistic view. Perhaps we haven't always had to rosy side of life. That positive thinking let us down one to many times.

Downside of Optimism

Anything in excess is going to be terrible for you. So you optimist lighten up on us pessimist. We don't always see the sunny side of life, but when we do we're going to wear sunscreen.

 

Now I open this up to verbal battle. Are you an optimist, pessimist, or realist? Something in between. Does looking on the bright side of life help or hinder you? If so why? 

 

(FYI) I hit more marks as a realist than a pessimist.

Fine line between realism and pessimism.

 

 

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I am pretty far over on the pessimistic side, which I consider closer to the realistic side. You know...optimists are happier, but pessimists are closer to the truth. 

Honestly, it isn't always helpful. I worry too much, because I think of every possible thing that could go wrong...all at once. Maybe I'm better prepared for when it does, but in the mean time, I can be a wreck. 

I will say that it helps me when I'm driving. Assuming that every single person around you is a complete idiot who is going to do something stupid...it does make you ready for when someone does do something stupid. I avoided a serious accident the one time when I had a bunch of people in my car, and none of us even had a chance to flinch. I just expected the person to do something stupid, and wouldn't ya know it...they did. 

I do still have hope. It's not something I lack, completely. I'm just more realistic about the odds. 

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I thought of this when I saw the title...

 

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22 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

I hit more marks as a realist than a pessimist.

 

I ranked a pessimist.  By a nose.  I'm not sure I agree with the methodology :w00t:   Seriously, some of those questions seem to fit what I'd call being a "whiner" rather than a pure pessimist and I can admit to being a whiner at times.  Suffering for years with major clinical depression, I learned that I just can't afford to allow myself to dwell on life when it sucks.  I HAVE to actively focus on what's right, not what I think is wrong.  That said, I'm sure there are many people whose lives have been FAR, FAR worse than mine and I might not be able to withstand what they have.  I admire their strength.  I try to remember a quote I heard once that was attributed to Abe Lincoln:  " Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Often enough, I think this is true.

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I really relate to that quote I've been through many terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened. 

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Really, it was the type of thing that happens to people and they have to pull over to the side of the road and breathe until their hearts stop racing. 

I was so ready for it and reacted so quickly that we just kept on going and someone commented that they didn't even get a chance to flinch. Neither did I. 

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After having come out of my own depression which was actually brought on by exaggerated expectations due to positive thinking. (Hint hint)

I realized that nothing mattered in life, that I wasn't the center of any universe, and my adventure through nihilism, to existentialism, and finally becoming a kind of absurdist. I found that many of my "problems" were imaginary. That my hope and expectations were way out of proportion. In a way I blame my efforts in occultism, as it's nothing more than a bunch of self-help positive thinking techniques with spiritual baggage. I found that looking at the darker aspects of life were strangely a positive think. My expectations were low and results were high. I kept thinking that it could be worse and I began to adjust accordingly. I became truly grounded. 

While I hold that life has no inherent meaning, that no one really cares as much as you think they do, and not giving an F is the best thing you can do. Sure not giving a F doesn't mean being a jerk. It means no worrying about what isn't important. 

 

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One of my problems is the idea that we are always suppose to be happy. If you're not happy there is a pill for that. They always show these Happy Rainbow Kitty Cat Thought people as a means of selling happiness. If you're always chasing happiness how miserable are you? 

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29f5976f9044742bb3c33903bea08045--excite

Xeno, you're actually right...

I just wanna let you know that I truly did take the time to thoroughly read everything you just posted, and wanna officially thank you for posting this. No seriously, this was a clear wake up call to me, and I thank you.

I've spent most of my life as an extreme pessimist. I've had extremely low self-esteem, PTSD, ADD, social anxiety, depression, and have even spent many a night contemplating suicide. I'll spare you my back story detailing how I got that way, but there are certain things I feel I need to express. I've spent so many years in so much pain, agony, loneliness and isolation. Negativity and pessimism just simply became commonplace to me. Due to my fundamentalist Christian upbringing, I would constantly beat myself up for being such a terrible evil sinner, worth of being tortured forever in eternal Hell...

However, as the years progressed I became stronger and stronger as a person because of it. Painful things that would originally cripple me seemed to have less and less of an effect. Eventually I began to progress spiritually as a person, and I began to hope that I finally could get myself out of this negative rut I've been living in for so long. I began to have hope and a sincerely positive outlook on life. Things were finally changing for the better.

And so, I began researching ways to advance spiritually and how to manifest real-world positive changes in my life. In many cases it worked, however it hasn't always worked, and there have still been many negative speed bumps along the way. I figured these speed bumps were there simply because I wasn't exerting enough of a positive attitude out into the world. You've heard of "The Law of Attraction" haven't you? If not I advise you to look it up. I've been trying to use it lately along with many positive affirmations, and for the most part it genuinely has been successful. However it seems that I've been regressing back into my bad habit of hating myself every time I flub up the least little bit. This has caused a great deal of inner turmoil and negativity in me lately, and ironically it appears to have come as a result of my insistence that things must be viewed positively at all costs.

I want there so desperately to be these positive changes in my life. I figured if I could remain positive at all times, then the external environment will reflect my internal experience. If I deny all negative thoughts and emotions then the external environment around me will reflect those changes as well, and for the most part that's turned out true. Yet denying my negative aspects has left me feeling... Superficial...

It's so obvious now looking back at it it's laughable. I'm ashamed and embarrassed to even admit it publicly but it's true. I can't just wipe away all the pain of the past or deny my negative thoughts and feelings anymore... It just isn't healthy... I thought that I could get rid of all of the pain and fix all the external problems I have by denying all things negative and embracing all things positive, and for a while now that's what I've been striving towards. But it just left me feeling a bit empty, like I wasn't being true to myself, and ultimately no matter how much I tried to deny it, the pain was still there. This isn't to say that I won't keep striving towards a more positive experience, or that I'll stop using the law of attraction or affirmations in order to achieve my goals, because they've done wonders in bringing me to where I am today. But now I won't try to ignore or deny my dark side any more either...

Thank you Xeno. I know what I'm saying probably sounds ridiculous, and you're probably thinking I'm a total idiot for thinking and doing all that in the first place. But what you wrote here just now really helped me personally. I think the obvious choice moving forward is to bring the proper balance into my life that I so desperately need. Balance. That is the key... Ironically your stubborn to the end pessimism ended up bringing about positive change for me today, and for that, I truly do thank you. ^_^

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Posted (edited)

The problem with the law of attraction is that it doesn't work. It's more like using affirmations to program a subjective view of things or even actions. Typically all those positive affirmation start off with "I am". So right there all your motivation is killed. You aspire to nothing. I found that sigils were more effective at programming my subconscious. Not for positive things but realistic goals. Without suffering and a desire to end that suffering you have no motivation for change. Hate your life situation? Positive thinking won't change it. Realistic goals and consistent action will. That's the point of my pessimistic view. I acknowledge the problem and plan accordingly. I do not sugar coat many things. 

*Snip*

The thing about suicide is that you always do it to late and what is the point. You're going to eventually die anyway. Just enjoy the ride, it won't always be fun. 

Edited by Still Waters
Removed unsuitable link.

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1 hour ago, ChaosRose said:

I thought of this when I saw the title...

 

Mostly hated their politics but LOVED their music... it was a decent trade.  In spite of the heavy duty hitjob Michael Stipe did on Reagan and Co. with IGNORELAND,  I LOVED that song.  I also got a chuckle out of his WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY KENNETH"  Who remember's how that song came about?

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55 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

If you're not happy there is a pill for that.

There always has been.  Millions die from chasing self-medication every year.  I think depression truly is an organic condition, just like diabetes or cancer.  I'd never tell a diabetic to get a grip and get on with their life (not suggesting this of you either) and the same is true of people whose brain chemistry is naturally out of balance.  That "pill" for me wasn't about happiness.  It was about keeping the lights on.  I learned, almost too late, that sometimes when the darkness falls, it's hard to find the light again without help.

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1 minute ago, and then said:

There always has been.  Millions die from chasing self-medication every year.  I think depression truly is an organic condition, just like diabetes or cancer.  I'd never tell a diabetic to get a grip and get on with their life (not suggesting this of you either) and the same is true of people whose brain chemistry is naturally out of balance.  That "pill" for me wasn't about happiness.  It was about keeping the lights on.  I learned, almost too late, that sometimes when the darkness falls, it's hard to find the light again without help.

I'm not going to disagree with you. Real depression is a problem no doubt about that. It can be destructive and crippling. But the way advertisers sell it to us is that being sad is the worst thing on the planet and they want you to buy some pill to fix it. I guess a happy consumer is a better consumer. We all have days or even stretches where we do not want to do anything and feel low. I think that's normal really. When I have days like that I find that probably the dumbest "cure" for me is doing 10 push-ups first thing in the morning and then making the bed. I guess it's the endorphin rush or it's because it's a determined act. But I find myself more focused and productive, less in my own head. The thing is that even optimist can be just as depressed as pessimist. It really is all in how you handle it. Sometime watching cat videos on YouTube can get you out of it.:tu:

Life really is all in how you handle it. It's build on our choices, affect by the choices of others, and it's not always good. It in accepting that you have bad days and good days then keep on going. That's what actually matters. 

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Something else that has crossed my mind. Is that....

Optimist think positively

Pessimist think negatively

Realist think constructively

Which in my mind makes me think that success isn't all about attitude. It's about thinking of solutions, setting goals, and then actively achieving them. Thoughts are only a part of the results. Even the optimist and pessimist can succeed. So long as they act. It's not really that complicated.

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11 hours ago, and then said:

Mostly hated their politics but LOVED their music... it was a decent trade.  In spite of the heavy duty hitjob Michael Stipe did on Reagan and Co. with IGNORELAND,  I LOVED that song.  I also got a chuckle out of his WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY KENNETH"  Who remember's how that song came about?

Crazy mumbling person came up and said it to him. 

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14 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Something else that has crossed my mind. Is that....

Optimist think positively

Pessimist think negatively

Realist think constructively

Which in my mind makes me think that success isn't all about attitude. It's about thinking of solutions, setting goals, and then actively achieving them. Thoughts are only a part of the results. Even the optimist and pessimist can succeed. So long as they act. It's not really that complicated.

Action and effort are the keys, I agree.  When I was deeply depressed, I shunned BOTH.  I still believe that our ability to see beauty and joy in this life is up to us.  It depends on the perspective we strive for unless our brains are chemically unable to "make the trip" no matter what efforts we make.  THAT'S where I was when I tied the slip knot and started looking for a good location to see what was on the other side...

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3 hours ago, and then said:

Action and effort are the keys, I agree.  When I was deeply depressed, I shunned BOTH.  I still believe that our ability to see beauty and joy in this life is up to us.  It depends on the perspective we strive for unless our brains are chemically unable to "make the trip" no matter what efforts we make.  THAT'S where I was when I tied the slip knot and started looking for a good location to see what was on the other side...

There are some posts you have to qualify which part you're "liking." I wanna make sure ya know it's not that last bit. 

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18 hours ago, XenoFish said:

When I have days like that I find that probably the dumbest "cure" for me is doing 10 push-ups first thing in the morning and then making the bed. I guess it's the endorphin rush or it's because it's a determined act.

Exercise of any kind has been proven to help the depression.  The more the better, up to a point. 

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Posted (edited)

On ‎9‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 7:05 PM, XenoFish said:

 

Are you an optimist, pessimist, or realist? Something in between. Does looking on the bright side of life help or hinder you? If so why? 

Cool thread Idea.

As with many things, I fall into the something in between. In my life what has worked for me is to treat it as a reaction.

With some things such as my marriage, my family, my job, my art and my music I am very positive and optimistic. It's stuff that doesn't really let me down. I have a great family and a good job that makes me happy.

With some other things such as our government, the economy, my family's health (I worry but it's proven to be a good thing), other drivers on the road (because people make you have to be defensive) and common core education are things I approach with pessimism and a Murphy's Law type of mentality. It's stuff that is prone to flaws and usually causes me problems without proactive measures. You are right it's good to be a step ahead.

Their are still other things I am for the most part a realist about also like religion, "God", miracles and things like that. And realistically it's most likely not real. Most likely.

I don't think people should have the same mindset and outlook for every occasion and situation. I think at points people must follow their instincts based on trends in their own life and react. Sometimes positive, sometimes negative and sometimes just realistically neutral without positive or negative emotions. Just logic and ration.

This us just my own opinion.

Edited by nephili
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10 hours ago, nephili said:

Cool thread Idea.

As with many things, I fall into the something in between. In my life what has worked for me is to treat it as a reaction.

With some things such as my marriage, my family, my job, my art and my music I am very positive and optimistic. It's stuff that doesn't really let me down. I have a great family and a good job that makes me happy.

With some other things such as our government, the economy, my family's health (I worry but it's proven to be a good thing), other drivers on the road (because people make you have to be defensive) and common core education are things I approach with pessimism and a Murphy's Law type of mentality. It's stuff that is prone to flaws and usually causes me problems without proactive measures. You are right it's good to be a step ahead.

Their are still other things I am for the most part a realist about also like religion, "God", miracles and things like that. And realistically it's most likely not real. Most likely.

I don't think people should have the same mindset and outlook for every occasion and situation. I think at points people must follow their instincts based on trends in their own life and react. Sometimes positive, sometimes negative and sometimes just realistically neutral without positive or negative emotions. Just logic and ration.

This us just my own opinion.

Nice reply. Thanks.:tu:

My pessimism centers around uncertainty. Because no matter how well laid out a plan is there is always a chance it can and will go wrong. I naturally tend to look at things in a grounded and practical way (realistic) most of the time. Any time I have an optimistic outlook on something it either comes in the form of knowing that there will be a higher success than failure ration. Or I've done it enough times to know that it'll work out just fine. I do think the real definition of a pessimist is someone who is cautious. A lot of the times I see it as "A pessimist is a negative person." even a realist looks like a pessimist. So I honestly think that if you're not on your toes you'll have more failures in life.

I see optimism as a shield in a lot of ways. Trying to numb the sense by having exaggerated expectations about a situation. Then again when it comes crashing down it hurts more emotionally. 

I like the idea of being a pessimistic realist anyway. Hope for the best, expect the worst, plan accordingly.

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Posted (edited)

57 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

 

I see optimism as a shield in a lot of ways. Trying to numb the sense by having exaggerated expectations about a situation. Then again when it comes crashing down it hurts more emotionally. 

 

You do realize not everything crashes down in life like a lead zeppelin? And although some things do, it can open up life to all new opportunities. Some of the worst things that have happened to me in my life have led to some of the best things that have happened to me in my life.

For example, my dad died a terrible death from agent orange exposure during his time in the Vietnam War. His battle with it ended on my 18th birthday. It really messed me up. Part of me died that day. But it started a chain of events that led to me meeting my husband in a way that couldn't have happened any other way. He completed the broken version of me where as the person I was before would have been incompatible. It led to my children who are the product of the 1 in million chance I met their father the way I did. None of it would have happened had my dad not died. That is my optimistic interpretation of that.

Another lesser example is right when I got out of culinary school I got a job at a huge restaurant making a lot of money. I liked it and I liked the people that I worked with. I was a great kitchen manager. My boss was a raging drunk though. He shut his wife's finger in his car door one night during an argument and she pressed charges. It led to a divorce and he lost the restaurant. I lost my job and I ended up hating booze and alcoholics. It put my family in a hard spot and we learned a lot about being thankful. We lost our house and moved into an apartment. But at that time we met some of our current best friends and we seriously became very happy. Our whole building became a group of friends and our kids even became friends. We sold our big TV and got a smaller TV. We were very content and humbled.

One day I got a call and irony had it that a huge beer company was buying the building the restaurant was in and they wanted to talk to me about a job. I am now an actual chef instead of a kitchen manager. I get to run the place without a raging drunk. I hired my same crew I had and it's become my dream job. I make double and the funny thing is, we stayed in our apartment and don't plan to buy a house any time soon. We were so happy we just kept our modest life and stayed with our friends. I have extra now so I can help my widowed mother because the VA sure didn't. Another instance that I try to interpret with optimism.

It could just be my mind convincing me life is good, but maybe it's my nature.

57 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

 

 I like the idea of being a pessimistic realist anyway. Hope for the best, expect the worst, plan accordingly.

There is a different pessimism that is a bit worse. I think it's pessimistic anyways.

A girl that works for me is so negative we call her Eeyore. She's the type that expects the worst and makes it happen. She goes into relationships expecting to get hurt and treats guys terrible because of it, then they leave her. She comes to work at least once a month asking if I am going to fire her. She's been doing this almost 2 years. The anxiety she gives herself has almost got her fired. It ruins her life.

This may be pessimism or it may be something else. It's what I have always called it.

Edited by nephili

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I acknowledge that not everything crashes down. I am not stupid. I am saying that people get hurt more due to exaggerated expectation. So they build up these hopes with no grounding, they live by happy kitty cat thoughts (thus the threads title) and end up more disappointed when it all goes to hell. Those individuals are the kind that are addicted to being happy 24/7. Using anything that gives them a shot of dopamine to mask reality. Religious people are this way, same for the ones that always want to restore our faith in humanity. I have little faith in humanity. I do not fully trust people, because a lot of them are driven by purely selfish motivation. They are nice to you because they want something from you. Same reason I detest religion in all it forms. 

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10 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

I acknowledge that not everything crashes down. I am not stupid. I am saying that people get hurt more due to exaggerated expectation. So they build up these hopes with no grounding, they live by happy kitty cat thoughts (thus the threads title) and end up more disappointed when it all goes to hell. Those individuals are the kind that are addicted to being happy 24/7. Using anything that gives them a shot of dopamine to mask reality. Religious people are this way, same for the ones that always want to restore our faith in humanity. I have little faith in humanity. I do not fully trust people, because a lot of them are driven by purely selfish motivation. They are nice to you because they want something from you. Same reason I detest religion in all it forms. 

Definitely not insinuating you're stupid. I guess just making bad points.

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Not everyone has a rainbow sunshine life. Not everyone's dreams come true. Not everyone has a blessing to count. And sometimes no amount of effort can get rid of a lifetime of hardships. That having faith, hope, and trust in anything become damn near impossible. If I were to give a good example of the duality of thinking. My father is the ideal of a positive thinking, always having one of those saying about life, blah, blah, blah,. He's lived his life by this and is a physical wreck because he couldn't gauge his limitations. My mother is the embodiment of a pessimist. Everything is a tragedy to her. Not only this she's probably one of the most narcissistic people I know. I honestly hate her. Then there's me, I am right in the middle. I don't always see the bright side of life, nor am I going to over exaggerate a positive outcome. **** happens, grab a shovel.

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