August 1, 2015


A lot of people can’t stand positive people. Especially when they’re in a slump. I know that when I’m feeling sad or distraught or upset, the last thing I want to hear someone say is “Oh, buck up. Think of the positive!” Sometimes I can be one of those people, and even I want to punch myself sometimes.

But I want to talk about this thing that Robert Holden calls the tyranny of positive thinking. My blogger friend Melissa Field wrote a post about it as well not too long ago, which was pretty spot on. It looks sort of like this in your head.

Ugh, everything is going so badly today, but I know I should be thinking positive. Positive, positive, positive!

Everything is so hard right now, but I need to stay positive.

Why can’t I be more positive about things? Why do I let them get me down? Why can’t I just be a positive person, instead of drowning in my own sorrow?

(These thoughts brought to you directly from my own head. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming).

The tyranny is always trying to be positive, even when our soul needs time to be sad. We get this idea into our head that we need to remain positive in order for good things to happen, but that’s just not true. Good things can still happen when you’re honest with yourself and your feelings. Sit with yourself for a moment, and let the feelings be felt. Once they’re felt, you can come to grips with them, and allow the energy to flow. That’s when good things start to happen.

In other words, you’ve gotta feel it to heal it.

Marie Forleo also says something like ‘Sit with it for five, and say bye bye.’

There’s a lot of little catch phrases we can use here, but the important thing to remember is that it’s 100% okay to be sad or angry. Yeah, you probably knew that already, but seriously. Don’t discount the fact that you feel a certain way about something. What is the feeling telling you? Louise Hay always says when there are problems in our lives, it doesn’t mean there’s something to solve, it means there’s something to know. 

And even people who seem super positive, like me, have super low points and low days. It’s part of the beauty of life. I like to sit with my sad feelings, because they’re begging to be felt, and I can feel them demanding my attention. I even wrote a blog post about sitting with your tears years ago when I first started blogging. (Looking back on that post still makes me cry, because I remember how sad I was writing it.)

Sometimes I just have to cry it out and let it happen. Things fall apart and people upset you, but that’s what life is. It’s not cherries and daisies, it’s blue, it’s black, it’s deep, deep gray, and then out of the great wide nowhere, it’s fucking pink. It’s a box of chocolates, Forrest! Trying to keep it together all the time is just too damn tough, and not a way I like to spend my time. Feelings are so beautiful in all of their beautiful spectrum of colors. We wouldn’t have them if we weren’t supposed to feel them.

Don’t get me wrong, I like positivity to a point. I really enjoy trying to make myself feel better about things by thinking loving, positive, and uplifting thoughts. I genuinely enjoy throwing my whole self into self-development when I’m feeling down about something. It’s so wonderful to focus on things that you are passionate about, and that uplift you.

But what I’ve learned is that I can’t ‘positive’ my way out of a depression. And that is the biggest takeaway here. I’ve tried to think positive in situations where I’ve been extremely low, and it just doesn’t work. That’s when I really realized that what I needed was self-love and self-care, not an injection of sunshine and rainbows.

You have to truly listen to what your inner self is trying to tell you, and sometimes it presents itself as a bucket of tears. So you coddle that bucket of tears, and listen to what that voice inside your head is telling you afterwards. Sometimes it’s telling you “cookies…let’s get cookies” but other times it’s the silence after the sniffling, telling you exactly what to do.

What methods do you use to keep yourself sane when you’re feeling upset? Do you cry it out or do something else? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading! This post is part of a 30 days to 30 series, read all about it here

Share or Pin this post with your about-to-be 30-year old friends below! Or your 30+ friends :)


Monique Muro

Monique is an exceedingly happy human from LA. She runs the blog A Novel Quest, and writes. A lot.

Latest posts by Monique Muro (see all)

  • Melissa Field

    This title is so good! That totally sums up when I’d been trying to express. I also love that you mentioned how annoying it can be when someone tries to shove their positive on you. I think what makes that so hard to take is when people do that, it makes me feel like I”m not being heard. Feeling like I’m not being heard makes me want to revolt. I’m learning now to allow someone to express how they feel, and then if it feels right, offer up some positive insights. And if they don’t want it – I get it.

    The part about self-love and self-care in there was my favorite. I love that you’re putting so much good stuff out there in your 30 days! Just imagine what kind of thought-rockets this sends out to the Universe. “Yes, I am a writer… yes, I will prioritize my writing, because I am born to write… I will do the writing, and make some sacrifices, and You take care of the rest…”

    • Monique Muro

      I totally agree with the not being heard part. They just take their own positive spin of my situation, and it feels like they’re not listening to what’s really going on. I’m definitely guilty of that, so I try to be more understanding and less likely to jump at ways to tell them the good side of things. Thank you so much for the comment and the support! It’s tough to gauge how people feel when you try something new on the blog, and I’m so glad some of the posts are resonating! :) Have a wonderful week!

      • Melissa Field

        It’s totally tough to try something new and put it out there, but the Universe loves risk takers! It’s what keeps the world moving forward. As my video journey went along I slowly allowed myself to let go of expectations for an outcome. Which is good because there were quiet a few that got zero or one view! I began to realize it was about what this was helping me to do, which was to find my voice and my message. I think 30 blog posts in 30 days is like a crash course in being a journalist. You could seriously put that on a resume and say, “Are you seriously asking me if I can work under pressure and handle deadlines? I made 30 kick ass blog posts while holding down a full time job!”

        • Monique Muro

          Hahaha I love that! ‘The Universe loves risk takers’. Thank you so much for that Melissa, I’m so ready to throw myself out there for the hell of it and see what happens. I think your videos were fantastic, and I remember you saying you stopped them, but by that do you mean you stopped the emails? Where can I find the later videos? Because I’ve seen a few of them pop up on Facebook now and again.

  • DomSharee

    I LOVED this post! Most days I’m surrounded by constant messages and people chanting over and over “just think positive,” “change the way you think,” “be more positive;” that I was literally screaming on the inside. I began to feel like I couldn’t share my bad days with anyone and so I kept everything negative on the inside. Which, of course, was not the ideal solution either.

    I eventually have really made some great positive changes; however, I still have bad days and I will always have an occasional bad day, BUT as you said if I stop and take the time to listen to what that day or experience is trying to teach me I usually come out wiser and happier!

    I love how you have been totally open and honest here because it feels even more real. It’s like hearing someone else say what you’re thinking on the inside but not hearing from anyone else.

    Thanks for sharing! :-)

    • Monique Muro

      Oh man I feel the same way! That’s all you hear nowadays about the positive, and while positive obviously can be a good thing, there comes a point where you have to address uncomfortable stuff that’s really going on. Thank you so much for visiting, reading, and supporting! I mentioned in the previous comment, how you never know what you’re going to get when you put something different out there, and I’m glad you got some good out of it! Good to see you (virtually) again! :)