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  1. #1
    Senior Member niki's Avatar
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    Default fake "positivism" in Life

    hi, for all NF out there (especially NFPs),
    we all know how 'moody' we can be, all the time, sometimes even with seemingly extreme mood-swings!
    but we've heard people around us, especially the practical-minded ones, told us to "be positive! stay optimis! be upbeat! be energetic! you gotta be ACTIVE, not passive, and look & grasp every single little opportunity that you can find!" etc etc, whether it mostly would involve in seeking big money, big profits, or big opportunities! (maybe it's also because people kept looking at me as a 'passive' prson who spent too much on thinking, but lack (or lazy) in doing, or 'pushing forward', or materializing on something).

    but I , for one, sometimes kinda 'despise' that idea, even thinking that "it is just NOT me" , to be able to stay positive & active like that all the time.
    furthermore, to me, it seems like a fake 'positivism' when one don't want to feel happy, excited, or active. why faking it?
    why can't we just be depressed, and DON'T have to stay/keep upbeat & active all the time, "like those succesfull people out there", that's what those practical-minded people keep telling me all the time..
    yeah, that's easy when you already get succesful , maybe. but for a person like me, who's at the wrong job, and when i'm endeavor in something, it still hasn't materialized as i've thought/expected, in fact, it's rather dissapointing and not according to what i want..then i don't see 'why' i have to stay positive, upbeat, energetic, with face shining everyday.
    in fact, if given a choice, i just want to be dead, and just leave this money-oriented world, where everything seems to be appreciated mostly on the level of "how much money & connections you get" , and that's what matters in this physical,material world!

    can anyone relate with what i'm saying here?
    do we really need to stay "positive" all the time, in order to progress in ANYthing, in this material,physical world? especiall if we want to be so-called 'succesful' in this worldy's standard ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member aufs klo's Avatar
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    well, you get a tad morbid towards the end (to which I say: life is too amazing to not live it), but I agree with your basic point. if you're being positive and upbeat 110% of the time, you're not being true to yourself. everyone has bad moods sometimes, and i find that brushing all your negativism under the rug just leads to problems down the road.

    if i'm in a bad mood, even if it's for no reason, sometimes it's nice to wallow in it for a little, listen to sad songs, think about what's bothering you, you know... but once you've experienced the mood, and explored it to its fullest, take what you've learned and apply it! if there's something you can do to solve the problem, do it, if there's nothing you can do to solve the problem, then just take some time to decompress and just keep going.

    the ups and the downs are both part of life, so enjoy them to their fullest!
    What's up universe?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gauche's Avatar
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    Well, I know what are you talking about.
    You know, we face the majority here - the down-to-earth, conforming, and somehow materialistic majority. Those are usually sensors (well no offence here - I don't connect materialism and conforming and that things to sensing here - I want to say they are sensors - so they basically mind only what they see around) and so they basically mind only what they see around. And often it is just money money money; and make a good school, then find good paid job, then find a sposue, buy good housing, buy good car, raise kids.. Thats success for them. But you know, for us - NF, it's somehow different. We have very different values, I'd call 'em deeper, or more spiritual. They won't understand us because they don't see our inner world, which isn't about money and well-being, but about deeper, idealistic values.
    I don't listen to that people which try to direct you what is good for you. I tell them "hmm, ok" but I think my things still. And go my way. I think we should just follow our own path, and try to create the world we dreamt about. I mean not to change the whole world, but to live our own lives with no regards of what others think what is good for us. It can be hard from time to time perhaps, but you know, we should never stop believing.... That was just my ideas

  4. #4
    Senior Member placebo's Avatar
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    Ugh I hate people like that. It's like when people tell you to 'relax' or 'chill out' when you're upset. Makes me wanna punch them in the face. They don't understand.

    I can see that they have good intentions, but they're going about it all the wrong way with me. The thing is not to tell us what we should be, but to get us to understand why that would be good for us, or to help us to look at things in a different perspective. To me, it's true that attitude is an extremely important thing. However, this does not constitute always being 'positive' and 'energetic'.

    What it seems like to me is that you are very occupied with the notion of you being separate from the "material/physical world". The materialistic idea of success is perhaps very prominently shoved in your face when this is not what you desire. So you seem disillusioned about life and don't see why you should take a positive attitude towards it.

    The material world is not something you can avoid though. You have to learn to accept it, even if you want to chase something else. When I'm in a similar situation, what gets me through it is the attitude I adopt. If I don't have a somewhat positive, strong attitude, I will easily fall into the trap of thinking there is no way out of my situation.

    I like a quote by Viktor Frankl, which goes: "Everything can be taken from a man but ...the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

    When someone tells you how you should feel, ignore it. You yourself have the ability to choose how you face the world.

  5. #5
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by niki View Post
    can anyone relate with what i'm saying here?
    Before I read the replies, I want to say that you have incredible capability to bring up many of my long time issues like this. It's like almost every time you start a topic, I know it will be something I have thought about at some point. Maybe they are just different viewpoints to something that we see wrong in this world...

    But, yeah, I agree. I am not like depressed and I wouldn't say positivity is a bad thing. What is a bad thing, though, they don't think about what is it that they are being positive about. Ok, they are positive to go to work. The goal is to make money. Money is an instrument, not a goal. I would be positive for some other reason, like.. I like the colleagues, so I am happy to spend time with them while I make the money, or I think we are working on a good cause so I am happy we are making the world a better place.

    But, don't get me wrong, I think positive is almost always better than depressed. The fake positivity just isn't positivity.

  6. #6
    Member Oleander's Avatar
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    I get fed up with feeling relaxed and at peace with the world and then some nuisance has to interrupt with "You all right?" Well I was! Sometimes things have to work themselves out, they need to be thought about instead of rushing in with the first thing that comes to mind and then having an endless muddle to sort out.

    We're surrounded by instant everything and people so determined to show how dynamic and pro-active and on the ball they are that they'll come up with any instant reaction to anything and because they're all doing it, nobody notices that they all make the most almighty cockups that take longer to fix than if they'd dared to think about it for a couple of minutes first.

  7. #7
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    That's true. People really have less time to think than ever.

  8. #8
    Senior Mugwump Apollanaut's Avatar
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    Excellent topic!

    First off, I'd say that I'm a generally upbeat person by nature - I try to stay optimistic about life and maintain a positive attitude. However, this has very little to do with the materialistic approach to life you describe, which does not interest me very much. More of a generalised "joy to be alive" type of thing.

    However, I have plenty of NF-type "down days", when I struggle to maintain my usual positivity. At these times I find it useful to remember the Taoist philosophy of yin-yang. The modern world encourages us to maintain a positive yang attitude at all times, which is basically impossible according to the laws of the universe as I understand them! The quieter, more withdrawn yin attitude is just as important and essential for maintaining balance and equilibrium. Introverts are by our very nature more attuned to the yin side of life, so we suffer more when we are prevented from accessing it.

    I would hazard a guess that a lot of depression is caused by trying to deny, ignore or overrride the need for quieter, yin activities. Think of it as like trying to hold back the tide - you might be successful in building up defenses for a short period, but sooner or later you are going to get swamped by the incoming waters. Then it can be a real struggle to recover and return to "normality". It's a lot healthier to simply go with the flow and acknowledge the natural rhythms of life.

    It is possible to build this into a daily routine, for example by taking short, medititative breaks every 90 minutes or so. This allows the mind and body to recharge and makes you a lot more effective when you swing back into the next yang phase.
    INFJ 9w1 sx/sp/so

    "A wizard is never late. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to." - Gandalf The Grey

    And if I only could,
    I'd make a deal with God,
    And I'd get him to swap our places,
    Be running up that road,
    Be running up that hill,
    With no problems.

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  9. #9
    Member Oleander's Avatar
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    Maybe this is looking a bit deep but I think that anybody able to maintain that Oriental understanding of universal Balance has a kind of meta-positivity. The always-positive often give the impression that they are really afraid to face up to problems. Everything has to be an oppportunity, nothing ever goes wrong, it merely has unforseen results. Life is good all the time. So how do these people cope with a real problem?

    I think they don't and can't. That's why we see so much counselling and self-help publication. They have to look on the bright side of life because they are terrified of being crucified (and you thought Monty Python was 'just a laugh'!). When they hit real problems they need tranquilizers and 'parents' to tell them it's alright.

    Now, those with the more Oriental attitude that we're all dead in a hundred years, into every life some rain must fall, really hold a much more stable attitude to life. Even if they go off the rails and blow up they can carry on without too much bother because that was then and this is now. Underneath it all they feel that life may not be perfect but there's no reason it should be and by and large it all works out in the end.

  10. #10
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apollanaut View Post
    It is possible to build this into a daily routine, for example by taking short, medititative breaks every 90 minutes or so. This allows the mind and body to recharge and makes you a lot more effective when you swing back into the next yang phase.
    Yeah, I have cigarettes for that purpose.

    EDIT: Well, said, Oleander.

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