Do you think there is a "mandatory optimism" in society today?

A friend of mine sent this video to me... link

I do get the feeling that there is something of a mandatory optimism in society. Have you ever experienced this? Have you ever had a situation where you have experienced legitimate hardship and someone has told you it's all in your head?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I have this happen to me all the time. I don't try to complain, I deal with stuff the best I can. But the past few years have been rough.

    I think whenever anyone is feeling down it's good to talk about it. Yet some people are just not supportive. I try to do what I can when someone has a problem and wants to vent. I try to be there to listen.

    I'll admit I'm not perfect, I am busy too and have my own stuff to do, but I do at least try when I sense someone is having a rough time.

    But I hear you, I am someone who feels better when I can talk to people about my concerns and problems. However, I find very few people are actually willing to listen. Sure when they are the ones having the problem everyone is supposed to care. But dare I say I am having a rough time. Apparently I am not allowed, because there are people who are suffering much more in the world.

    People always throw out why their lives are harder than mine and how I am just whining. Even if it's something very real and very rough to go through.

    I think the problem is that people are just more removed from their emotions and from empathy for others now a days. Back in my parents and grandparents time, people would bond together. Whole communities would try to do what they could. Now everyone is much more self-absorbed and more concerned with their own lives than others.

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What Girls Said 4

  • Do you think there is a "mandatory optimism" in society today?

    Yes though I don't think it's the main message as I think there's plenty of mandatory pessissm in society as well

    Have you ever experienced this?

    Perhaps if it counts when guys on the street ordering me to smile.

    Have you ever had a situation where you have experienced legitimate hardship and someone has told you it's all in your head?

    Perhaps if it counts when guys on the street telling me 'there's no way a gorgeous girl like you can have a problem' or 'it can't be that bad' while ordering me to smile.

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    • Just out of curiosity, where is the mandatory pessimism? I can't really think of anything in particular... Do you mean like, people are always pessimistic about the economy and stuff or?...just wondering...

    • @BassistForever

      In my opinion it's in:

      - politics

      - economy

      - education

      - environment

      - dating/relationships

      - the view on gals

  • I don't want to watch the whole thing.

    I don't know if mandatory is the right word but I have nothing wrong with it being that way. I guess it's about thanksgiving. No, I don't think I've experienced a hardship and had someone tell me it was all in my head. I can see what they would be getting at but that's not a very good way to put it to get their message across to someone who is probably in a negative mindset. If it's said like that without a good context it's too flippant for me.

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  • I wouldn't say that is mandatory optimism..

    That is people not wanting to ignore you..

    but also not wanting to listen.. help.. get involved...

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  • Yes. I think that's pretty accurate. Its sort of like "smile, you could be one of those starving children in Africa!", no matter how bad your current situation is. As if you should never feel down and should always be happy.

    I hate anyone who says that I need a "positive attitude"

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    • That's so true! I hate when people throw the "someone else having a worse day than you" argument out there. It just make the person feel worse and belittles their concerns. I think people use it as a way to brush someone off.

What Guys Said 3

  • Mandatory optimism is always mandatory when people have no true core values, Just look at Nazi Germany.

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  • Negativity never solved anything or made anyone happy. All it does is bring down the other people around you - which is why society dictates that you can either be positive, or if you really want to be negative, then you can go f*** off and do it somewhere else.

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    • I actually read somewhere that negative people are more productive at work. So it must solve something...

    • No, there's no causal linkage - negativity and productivity are just two different characteristics of the same common personality type (you know, those really awful anal-retentive types).

  • This is something very personal to me since "positive thinking" really screwed up my life at one stage.

    Basically I wasn't happy with how my life was going, I was vulnerable. So I got sucked in by the Secret, Law of Attraction, new age movement. For a while, I felt so much better. I convinced myself that all problems could be solved as long as I avoided negative thoughts.

    But I was really just self-medicating on delusion and ignorance. In my internal crusade against negativity, I destroyed my natural skepticism and objectivity, which is exactly the desired goal of new age snake oil peddlers to make money selling complete nonsense.

    So basically, one day I sobered up out of my stupor, and realized I had let my life go to s***. With the power of positive thinking, I hadn't achieved diddly squat. So I was back at square one.

    Reminds me of an episode of Star Trek called This Side of Paradise, where the Enterprise finds a group of colonists who are stuck under the influence of alien flower spores that leads them to be content just to sit around thinking happy thoughts. But in doing so, their colony has stagnated, all they've done is waste a lot of time.

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