It’s Okay Not to Be Positive (All the Time)

I was debating writing a post like this; one with less purpose and fact, but more feeling. 2020 has just not been the one for many of us and I truly admire those that have managed to inject positivity into their day from the minute they wake up. I’ve always admired those people. Growing up, I had a terribly negative mindset, particularly a self-deprecating one. Very much glass-half-empty rather than half-full. I would see the negatives before the positives, and be too realistic for my own good.

Since getting older and experiencing more of the ‘real world’ we’re always told about, I do think my mindset has grown with me. I allow myself to see the positives in situations and can reassure myself that things aren’t that bad, or everything happens for a reason, so trust and let go. However, this attitude only stretches so far some days. I’m human after all, not a robot programmed to see the good in all things.

Eventually, I do think I forced myself into seeing the positives and telling myself that someone else always had it worse. It turned into a type of complex whereby I’d feel guilty for being negative and honest with my emotions because there’s always someone in a worse position. I’ve come to realise just recently that this is so toxic and we’re all allowed to feel what we feel.

Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

It’s fantastic to have perspective, but it’s not everything

Acknowledging our own privilege and situation compared to others is of course not a bad thing. Belittling our own thoughts and feelings, however, is not so good. In life, there will always be someone that we believe is in a worse position than ourselves, or even in a better position. It’s all about the balance of appreciating this and allowing ourselves to feel valid at the same time.

Particularly with the whole Covid situation, there’s never been more opportunity to compare ourselves to others. Who’s had a holiday cancelled? Who’s lost a job? Who’s struggled the most transitioning into working from home? I feel so guilty sometimes when I want to share a bit of negativity rather than positivity – in my hopes of keeping my social platforms as real as possible. Why should I feel frustrated and anxious, when since March I’ve had a full-time wage working my job from home, surrounded by my pets and family with my own car?

Because yes those things have kept me sane and stable, but I’ve also had a holiday and day trips cancelled, my driving test postponed twice (thankfully I passed in the end), I lost my dog I had for 12 years and I’ve felt quite stuck in which direction I’m headed in. These things have induced sadness, frustration and anxiety. Even writing this is making me feel a horrible sense of guilt. This is because people have lost their jobs, family members, been lonely without help. I completely acknowledge the hardship others are experiencing, but I need to stop invalidating my own feelings and allow myself to be negative.

Is there a stigma attached to being negative and honest online?

Personally, I do think so to some extent. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good positive morning tweet or motivating insta post. But on the days where this is all I see, I feel like a dark cloud who doesn’t want to rain on everyone’s parade, so I swiftly move along and wait till the sun comes back. I don’t want to be the person to dampen someone’s day, but by sharing my honest feelings, I could be helping someone more than I know. Helping them to feel less alone, less frightened to share that their day is not so great either.

I love realism. Obviously, I don’t love knowing people are having a hard time, but I always appreciate their honesty. We can’t be our best selves all the time, it’s just not possible.

Photo by Abigail Faith on Unsplash

I’m not sure there was much point to this…

Truly, I just fancied a ramble. A bit of chatty honesty and a chance to open up a discussion. I wanted to share the fact that you are well within your right to feel what you want to feel, and when. There is no rulebook and we are all in this together (will I ever not think of High School Musical?!).

Despite social media often being a negative and scary space due to what’s going on in the world, that doesn’t mean we should ever feel obligated to stay quiet when we just want to share our true feelings. It’s healthy to be open with ourselves and others, and heck, it might even benefit us in the long run. Life is not simple and nor are we. Not everyone wants to share their not-so-sunny days, and there is nothing wrong with that either.

If sharing a down day on social media will lift even the tiniest weight off your shoulders, then DO IT. Do what makes you feel most comfortable and happy, I can guarantee there will always be a pair of eyes/ears waiting. I think the blogging community is fantastic for genuine support and friendship, no matter the following you have or whether you’ve spoken before.

It’s okay not to be okay. And it’s okay to share that.

What are your thoughts? Until next time,

Emily x