What was your first reaction when you read that title? Your immediate thought? Was it a yes or a no? Well, this cuppa and a chat post was triggered by Instagram, and the reaction I saw to a little positivity. I thought I had wrote my last post of the year, (this post, Setting goals 2019) but I felt compelled to get opinions on this one. Grab your cuppa you gorgeous lot, lets chat.
I have said it before and I will say it again, I do not understand Instagram. It seems almost like people feel they have a right to act as judge and jury on anyone they feel deserves their finger pointing. Is that what people call a keyboard warrior?? I’m not sure. Although this post was triggered by a particular incident, it seems that people feeling they have the right to judge others is a common occurrence. I once got told I lived in the land of fairy dust when I put a positive spin on something on Instagram…..you can imagine my polite, but to the point response….
So, let me tell you the background to this post, and make it clear that this post it not about the content of what the lady I follow put. It was in part, the reaction to it. It just triggered my brains thought process. Someone I follow on Instagram had posted about how she felt about approaching a new year. Her honest view, her feed, she can feel however she wants to, I have no issue with that. However, as she had replied to my comment I’d put, I popped across to read it, so had to find my comment to find the reply.
What I saw surprised me. Some of the people that were agreeing with her view, were also saying that people who approached the new year with positivity and goals, were “unrealistic” “not keeping it real” (which is my most detested phrase that I have ever heard, EVER) had a “forced positivity” and other judgemental twaddle. I was shocked. It came across like any form of positivity was a negative thing. Then, on someone else I follow post, someone mentioned that she was being “sickeningly optimistic” because she was positive about the new year. It made me ask myself whether it’s more preferable to some that people are moping about, feeling doom and gloom, dreading what life may have in store for us? Is that more acceptable? Is that easier for people to stomach? It made me feel that being positive could actually have a stigma attached to it.
People are all different. How we react to things, how we deal with things, how much we chose to share on social media. Everyone is different. Now, I have not had the easiest ride in life, some situations in the past leaving me at times, on the brink of being unable to face it, but I choose to not share too much of the personal stuff on my socials, because thats my choice. I like to try to keep my social feeds positive, and I do try to always look on the bright side. Again, my choice. Its not because these things didnt happen to me, but because I will not let them define the rest of my life. My friends and family are my go to for stuff thats troubling me, I dont feel the need to spill it out to strangers on the internet, but if you do, if that gives you some kind of comfort, then thats great. Its your choice! But, the fact that people seem to have a negative opinion on people that have a positive outlook is a puzzling one. I have a theory on it, that I am going to throw into the discussion. You ready?
Misery loves company.
Thats it. That is my theory. Controversial maybe, but hear me out. I think that people like to read about other peoples troubles and misery, because in part, it makes them feel better about their own lives, and, lets be honest here, people are nosey! For some people, (not that they wish it on others in any way), they like to know that others also have a hard time. If they too are having a rough time, not feeling particularly upbeat, then they feel a validation and acceptance if someone else is writing about the miserable time they are having, especially if its a similar thing that is keeping them down. It almost gives them a free pass to feel negative. Im not in anyway saying that its wrong, each to their own, but neither is being positive wrong! Why is it that someone like me, that prefers to keep my life a little private, that prefers to count my blessings rather than my troubles, is seen as being unrealistic? It is like it is more acceptable to be a pessimist than it is to be happy! Is this the level that human kind has reached now?
I put my thoughts on my Instagram stories, and the messages that I got told me that it seems this is a common occurrence. Others have found some backlash if they are being “too positive”. If someone puts some positivity on their feed, it dosen’t get half the attention and interaction that something negative does. How crazy is that! Im not for one minute saying that showing empathy for someone struggling is not the right thing to do, (and I received wonderful support on the rare occurrences I spoke about Nik’s cancer) it absolutely is, but why isn’t the same level of desire to comment etc given to something positive? Why do some only want to interact with the misery? We have all had/seen the comments like “I love how you keep it real” on something that is downbeat, or sharing a trouble, but if you share something positive, no such “keeping it real” comments are made. Why? Is positivity seen as fake? One girl that messaged me on Instagram even said that her work place find her annoying because she is so positive. I literally sat there shaking my head in disbelief. How can happy, (Im not talking Disney Princess, have-a-nice-day sickly sweet happiness here, that really is annoying) be found annoying. Do people not find happiness contagious? I know I do.
Life can be tough. Life can be hard. There isn’t a person in the land that hasn’t been troubled by something, been devastated by something. As shit as it is, thats life I’m afraid. No one gets a smooth run. But, do you go through life thinking that its going to never get better, or do you try to see the sunshine? I would never, ever tell someone to “cheer up” or other throw away comments, as I know for some its not a choice for them at this time. I have been in the depths of depression, I have lost some of the most precious things to me, so I can talk with absolute knowledge and experience of how that feels, but you cant let it define you. Life can be shit, but life isn’t shit. Its a beautiful thing, a precious thing, and we should be grateful every day that we are still here to enjoy it. So many, so very, very many, do not get that pleasure.
My positive outlook isn’t me being unrealistic, not keeping it real or having forced positivity. Why do people see it that way? Im curious. As the well known saying goes, “Until you have walked a mile in my shoes, you cannot know me”. Don’t be so quick to judge. Some of us just try to always be positive. We are not killing puppies! Choosing to try to live life to the fullest. Choosing to find the happy as much as we can. Choosing to keep life a little private.
If I allowed myself to give in to the total sadness that some memories can overwhelm me with, then I am letting that dictate the remainder of my life. Its defining me as a victim. Its defining me as someone thats suffered catastrophic loss. Its letting my past define my future. I don’t allow that. I choose happy! That does not make me a creature from space. It does not make me a weirdo. It does not make me fake. It just makes me positive! Thats it. Nothing deeper than that!
So, tell me, what are your views on this? You can be as honest and frank as you like, you know I love discussion. Do you see people like me as not keeping it real? Do you find yourself annoyed by positive people? Have you experienced any negativity by being positive? Have you noticed that troubled posts get more interaction than positive posts? I would love to hear your experiences and views.