Tomorrow’s another day.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
There’s a silver lining in every cloud.
These adages, along with others, are part and parcel of our cultural wisdom about coping with disappointment and setbacks in life, as well as part of the cheerleading that has us striving to persevere, no matter the odds. But is this kind of positive thinking actually good for you? The answer is that it often isn’t, and that this kind of thinking can be just more icing on a cake that has enough frosting already, thank you very much.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1. We’re already hardwired for overoptimism.
It’s called the “optimism bias,” and it basically means that we are inclined to think that bad things will happen to us (and those close to us) less often than they will happen to other people and that, conversely, good things will be more likely to happen to us than to the average person. The bias affects the kind of risks we take and our attitudes toward those risks; it also keeps us going at times when we really ought to be looking at changing our lives and maybe even bailing out of some situations. First noted by psychologist Neil Weinstein in 1980, it’s been looked at different ways over the years.
Tomorrow’s another day. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. There’s a silver lining in every cloud. These adages,...