TED Conversations

Abid Azam

York University

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Is there a stigma attached to positivity?

I was going to write a lengthy argument about this but I want to give the conversation some space to grow. Basically if you've ever been called too idealistic or preachy you have some experience with something I like to call the stigma of positivity.

Is it warranted to say there is a stigma attached to being too positive? And what is it protective of?

Have you ever tried to make your case about something with a positive outlook and have your opinion be disregarded as too naive?

Are you attracted to narratives or pieces of art that have a message of growth embedded within? Do you fear it being labelled as too socially conscious or even "corny"?

What do you think about this?

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    Jan 19 2012: I see your point, but depression can also be subconscious and work to affect a person's interpretive framework and leak out into their attitudes. Subconscious phenomena remain poorly understood and poorly researched other than among the Freudians. Freud's "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life" remains a classic and explains how the little ordinary glitches we experience in our daily thought processes and subsequent actions have deeply symbolic motivation. Consider that you think at talking speeds with words mostly, yet electrical signals in the brain are ocurring 20,000 times faster- computations and anticipations and conclusions occurring in unperceived ways before the thought reaches consciousness. People can have depression but not show it except by a vague sense of unease about attitudes that are anti-depressive or situations that trigger a more overtly depressive response.

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