authenticity / learning / love / relationships / transitions

Day 20/28: The Dark Side of Being Positive (Part 1)

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For Day 20 and Day 21, I have created two posts about The Dark Side of Being Positive.

Part 1 (For Part 2, head over to Day 21.)
Last night hungry for more understanding about myself, I read an entire book about my Myers-Briggs personality, Heidi Priebe’s The Comprehensive ENFP Survival Guide. It got me into a deep wormhole as I ended up taking notes and charts in my journal. I kept nodding my head in agreement and then things started to get a little too real. When things get a little too truthful, that’s when I like closing the book shut. And, I oftentimes get distracted by something more shinier and more happier. But not that evening, I decided that I wanted to finish the book and dig deeper.

Pondering These Painful Truthbombs
1) From Priebe’s book, one of the biggest misconceptions people have about me is I’m always happy. I am able to feel a full range of emotions: feeling the highs and lows that come along with life. However, I am very uncomfortable about experiencing my negative emotions. So, most people will only hear about the good things happening about my life.

When it comes to negative emotions, I’m a hypocrite. I’m completely comfortable with other people telling me when they are upset and even asking questions about their feelings. But, oh hell no, very few people will hear about my negative feelings and traumatic experiences. I am finally owning up to my ability to squirm away from experiencing horrible experiences and my need to aggressively take action while pushing aside my emotions.

2) Another truth laid out to me in Priebe’s book was staying in bad relationships. ENFPs love to overlook the flaws of the people close to me. I will always optimistically focus on the possibility of greatness rather than focusing on the way things really are. It’s hard for me to see the unsweetened truth most of the time especially if the real and raw emotion that is happening causes pain and suffering.

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Struggling to Accept the Truth
When I always keep things positive or create inauthentic happiness, my negative emotions will end up haunting me later.
Honestly, I am struggling with this, and am focused on learning how to work through emotions instead of always jumping into action.

1) In my family, we were not allowed to express our disappointments out loud or even cry in front of others. If I was upset, my parents told me to go to my room and deal with it privately. I do remember journaling or diving into doing other things like drawing or reading. I don’t really remember really sitting with the discomfort or letting myself work through these bad emotions.

2) I have always looked at the possibility that things will get better instead of noticing when current bad circumstances should not be tolerated. In work environments where things tend to be pretty stressful with a high volume of deadlines, I was the one who just always “kept it positive.” I believed it was not good to be pointing out the flaws or to express when things were truly honestly bad. When you don’t push back on boundaries, people will just walk all over you. The sad thing was I didn’t even know that my boundaries were being crossed most of the time. I always simply thought, “Oh that person is just hurting inside, that’s why he was rude to me.” Never did I ever think , “This is just not okay for someone to treat me like this. This needs to stop.”

So, what happens when you are constantly only focusing on possibility and positivity? (Head over to Day 21 for more.)

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