Do bloggers need to be positive all the time?

Positive vibes only. Committed to spreading positivity. Just say yes. Everywhere you look as a blogger, you see the message pumped into the air- whatever you are, be positive. Of course, positivity is great. Being happy, helping other people, being kind to yourself- all of these are things that will enrich your life, but do we really need to put positivity above all else?

Should bloggers always be positive?
WHY NEGATIVITY IS A-OK

If you were to ask, I'd say I was a pretty positive person. I'm optimistic and a daydreamer. I try to see the best in people. Despite this, though, I'm also a cynic. Something too good to be true? It's probably a scam. Admittedly, this wariness has probably cost me some experiences in life but I figure it's better to be safe than sorry, right? So here's the thing- in a world where we're told to aim to be positive above all else, a little negativity is what we need. 

It's realistic. I'm willing to bet there are people out there who feel guilty or ashamed becase they're not rainbows and sprinkles 100% of the time. I'm happy to admit that there are certain bloggers I really dislike. Sometimes for a very good reason, sometimes just because. I refuse to feel bad for that. It's life. Sometimes in life, you'll be thrown against people who you just don't like and you can't be expected to treat that person as if they're the bee's knees. Admittedly, you don't need to be horrible to them either, but more on that later. Likewise, you may have days when you just feel grumpy. That's natural and you shouldn't feel the need to pretend otherwise. Life is full of ups and downs, and we need to harness both of those- not just the good times.

It's safe. There is a reason why our brains are programmed to feel both positivity and negativity. That cynical voice in your head is keeping you safe. Think some new blogging business is a scam? It probably is. Worry that somebody is dodgy? There's probably a reason. If we went into every experience in life thinking only on the bright side, we'd be vulnerable. The little niggles that tell you to be wary are there for a very good reason and we need to listen to them.

It's empowering. I'm not afraid to speak out about how we need to teach young people (well, all people really) the power of saying no. We can't just accept everything we're told and go along with it. This is how pressure peer happens. If you can stand up and say "No, I don't want to do that", "No, I don't agree with that", "No, I won't do what you tell me", you have instantly gained more control of your life. It's for this reason that I despise seeing people complain about "drama" on Twitter. If we see something we disagree with, of course we should speak up. Why should we just sit back and pretend everything's hunky-dory? Nothing in the world would ever have changed if everyone had been afraid of being "bitchy". Yes, I'm thinking big here- integration, votes for women, marriage for all, but apply it to a blogging context too. You don't like seeing bloggers write sponsored posts without disclaimers or feel like they're cheating their audience? Say something. You can make a change but it will never happen if you spend all your time trying to be positive.

GETTING THE BALANCE

Of course, with all that said there is a balance to be struck. Everything in moderation and all that. Just as being positive all the time is going to cause you issues, so will constant negativity. It's important to have some fun too, otherwise you risk becoming drained. These are the ways I try to balance my cynicism in life.

Consider the other person. This should go without saying but it's easy to forget when you're worked up. Rather than laying into someone all guns blazing if you disagree with them, consider their point of view. Yes, you might think that they are fundamentally wrong but nobody will get anywhere if they just shout at each other. Phrases like "I understand what you mean" or "I can see why you say that" show that you're thinking of things from their view and that you respect their opinion, even if you disagree. You can then put across your own ideas as part of a mature debate. End on a good note too- "Even though I don't agree, it's been really great talking to you. Thank you for such a positive discussion". See how positivity has creeped in there, even though it had the potential for drama

Share some love. This post may sound a little like I hate everything about positivity. Of course I don't! Whenever there are opportunities to show appreciation for other bloggers, I will be there. Write posts about your favourite bloggers. Tweet them to say why you love them. Help them out. Anything to show your support. The same goes for brands too. If you experience really great service from a staff member, let the brand know. Warm fuzzies all round!

Have fun! For so many people, blogging is a hobby so why would you let your hobby get you down? Similarly, if blogging is your business, you need some light relief. Enjoy yourself. Joke around with others. Share the odd meme. Do something fun. Anything to keep the pleasure in blogging, because I'm willing to bet that's why you started!

I guess what I'm saying essentially comes down to everything in moderation. We can't be expected to be 100% positive all of the time and I hate that blogging is telling us we should but at the same time, we need to keep some joy in our lives. Next time you see something you disagree with? Try letting it out rather than biting your tongue. But maybe share a cat video afterwards.

RELATED POST

In many ways, this post is similar to one I wrote in February: Why you should never censor yourself as a blogger. It also addresses why you should speak up about things you disagree with but is less focused on the issue of positivity.
I've also listed 4 ways to support fellow bloggers for those times you want to share the love.

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28 comments:

  1. Part of why I quit blogging last year was because I kept getting slammed for daring to say what you've encompassed in this post. Glad to see there are more bloggers realising how 100% positivity is not reality and can actually be quite grating.

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  2. Great post. I believe in being positive and supportive. But the comedian side of me also likes to poke fun at things. It doesn't mean I'm against them, I just like to find the funny in every day things.

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  3. One of the things I can't stand in life is forced positivity. It's only human to have a negative reaction to something or have days where you're not feeling good. It would be a nice, but boring, world if everyone was positive all of the time!

    Love Ness www.wanderness.co.uk x

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  4. This was a great post Becky. I'm an optimist at heart and generally positive but I also struggle with anxiety and depression and trying to be positive all of the time can actually work as a detriment and drain me of my energy. I think it's healthy and normal to have our bad days and like you said, sometimes there are issues we need to speak up about and make others aware of - one of the recent things on social media I spotted were people sharing the cute slow loris videos but a lot of other people (myself included) were sharing posts from a conservation charity trying to discourage people from sharing the videos as it tied in with the illegal exotic pet trade. I definitely think there has to be room for balance, so great post! - Tasha

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  5. It's totally human to be negative but I think the whole blogs being positive is more of a keeping up with the jones' thing. More of a look how happy and how much fun I'm having. It's a way of gloating and although gross I can see where sometimes you do want to flaunt what you have because you're happy and you want others to be happy but you forget that what makes you happy isn't what makes everyone happy. Sigh, this is muddled mostly because I'm hungry since it's way past my usual lunch time but I'll just end it with an AMEN!

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  6. I know for sure I'm a pretty pessimistic person so any positive moment i get is amazing, but it's still okay to not feel okay too! x
    Love Vicki | victoriajanex.co.uk

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  7. Really great post, especially about the power to say "no"! I'm mostly a positive person but think that negativity is a part of life but has the right time and place and way to be expressed

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  8. I love this post, there's little more grating than overly positive people. It's OK to be unhappy sometimes and to share that and I hate that it's expected to put on a happy front, it's unrealistic and not always appropriate. I love when bloggers share the downs in their lives from time to time, it makes them more relatable.

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  9. I totally get what you mean! I swear if I see one more period war though I will cry. Lol, I just think we need to be civil and polite to everyone, the beauty of the Internet is if you don't like someone you can block them lol, how easy :D I do try all the time to be positive, but I will not force it, I hate fake! But instead I just won't say anything at all :)

    Http://www.makeerinover.co.uk

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  10. Great post. I try to be a positive person, but I'm certainly not always and I've always thought that's okay. Life is about balance. And I struggle to believe there is anyone who is positive 100% of the time! x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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  11. I rarely bother with pretending to be positive all of the time, if I feel like saying something that can be considered negative or will make me look like a douchebag then I'll probably say it. Saying that though, I do get fed up with the blogging drama sometimes. There have been plenty of arguments that have erupted on Twitter (in particular a certain holiday the majority of us knew was a scam) that I have well and truly supported - but refrained from joining in as I couldn't be bothered - but the drama that happens for no reason irritates me. Plus it always seems to happen when there's a big development in one of the few things I care too much about and my timeline ends up clogged with a bunch of bloggers calling each other bullies. Enter unhappy Mel!

    Raise The Waves

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  12. Although positivity is great and I try and be as positive as I can we have to be real. I feel as though I'm not being honest with my reading if I just show them the "all sunshines and rainbows" part of my life. It just wouldn't feel right.
    www.emilybelleblogs.blogspot.com

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  13. Great reflective post Becky. I made the decision recently to try to only put positive vibes out on my social media/blog because I'm job hunting at moment. I am very aware that what is the Internet can be seen by all. In reality though 100% positivity is impossible. Regardless of our intentions we are feeling will always creep into the tone of what we write.
    In the heat of the moment I've posted some very negative tweets or FB updates etc only to read it back later and think ummm maybe not such a good idea. The delete button is often my friend.
    Most of us aren't stupid though and can read through forced positivity anyway.

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    1. Thank you Katy! Things get so much more complicated when you have other factors to take into account like job-seeking!

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    2. Thank you Katy! Things get so much more complicated when you have other factors to take into account like job-seeking!

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  14. YES! I LOVE this post, Becky - it's something I've thought about a lot. I don't get a huge amount of negative comments on my blog, but a lot of the ones I DO get are - ironically enough - related to my perceived negativity, and not being "positive" enough, and it really bothers me. I feel like you can't win: all I ever hear from readers is that they want bloggers to be be "real" and "relatable", but as soon as you stop pretending everything is rainbows and unicorns all the time, the message becomes, "actually, we'd prefer you to be fake, and just pretend to feel positive all the time."

    Like you say, it's good to be positive and nice and all that, but I totally agree that it's not realistic, or even helpful, to be like that ALL the time. Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes people get upset, or annoyed, or sad, and sometimes it's for reasons that aren't particularly rational or important, but it's how they feel, and I'm SO sick of being effectively told that I'm not allowed to ever feel bad, or to have feelings other than "positive" ones. It's at the point now where any time I DO admit to having had a bad day, or whatever, I have to caveat it with all of this stuff about how "I know it's not the worse thing that could have happened!" and "I'm just so grateful!" etc etc - it sounds ridiculous even to me (I mean, do people seriously never, ever feel bad about something comparatively small?!), but if I don't do it, I know I'll get jumped on for not being positive enough, and someone will tell me how there are children starving in Africa, and I have lots of nice dresses and shoes, so I MUST be happy! Gah! Anyway, sorry for the rant, but thanks for writing this - I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

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    1. You can't win, can you? I think it's really unhealthy to just bottle everything up and pretend it's all ok. We need to let things out! And don't even get me started on the whole "there's people dying and you're whinging about XYZ" thing!

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  15. I liked this post. Some people seem to think all bloggers are obliged to support all bloggers and I just think that's ridiculous.

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  16. I think I mostly agree with this. I've such conflicting ideas. I know that if you're negative and continue to be negative, you will just spiral and it's been proven that negative behaviour can just allow you to become a wholly negative person. That's it's bad for your mental and physical health. So for example, the urge to rant at someone, to rage, all that will do is add fuel to your rage and you will end up more negative and more angry. I always thought venting was the way to release it, turns out it's really not. If you swallowed it and moved on, it doesn't have the same mental impact. If you're positive and cut out the bitching and moaning, then that again replicates in our brains. So we become more positive people. Now don't get me wrong, when there is something wrong with a situation, or if your rights are getting trampled. Anything like that. We should point it out, we should highlight it, we should change it. I don't count that as negative behaviour, but then others might. It's good to share a bit of realism in the world. It's when it's just a constant diatribe of rage or negativity, I find that hard to see and read as it impacts my moods too. I've unfollowed certain folks on Twitter because all they ever did was moan. I hate though that positivity gets a bad rep. I've worked hard to improve my moods and become more positive and I try and see the other side, to improve my outlook. For me it's a good thing. I've learnt to let go of so many pet peeves, there will of course be a few remaining! My head is in a better space when I let go of negative stuff. My physical and mental health has vastly improved with just that initial changes in attitude. It's such a confusing conversation. I don't discount the negative stuff, I just try not to dwell on it. We all know there is rubbish going on for most people. I've read seriously sad posts, I wouldn't count them as negative, I count them as real life stories. If it's someone just having a whinge then I ignore it. Maybe I prefer the positive posts because I encounter enough negative behaviour in my real life. I work with a few people closely, one in particular is the most negative person I've ever met. It's draining. I have headphones on a lot of the time because their attitude has such a bad impact on my day. Why would I then sit down to read someone ranting? Give me all the shiny, happy everything with just a dash of real life.

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  17. I agree with this. Although I'm for the be positive camp, I do believe in standing up for what you think is write, understanding the other person's point of view and challenging the status quo.

    Very well written.

    www.lookwhatigot.co.uk

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  18. Thanks for writing this post, it's great to see some realistic posts from bloggers from time to time rather than the constant churning of 'happy' and 'positive' reviews of products and places. I think a lot of bloggers have no room for individuality and convince themselves that presenting themselves with a certain look and style is enough to put them stamp on the internet when they're just replicating everyone else - and that means being positive about *everything* all of the time just to gain followers. Personally I like a bit of opinion and I'm glad you've written about it here :D

    Mel ♥ everyword.meljwills.com

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  19. Oh my gosh I 100% relate to this! I've just started blogging again and am sharing my self-development journey focussing on authenticity - NOT purely positivity. I love aiming for positivity, thinking positively, trying to find the good in things, but I one hundred and ten percent agree that it is not always the easiest, or best, or natural reaction to certain situations!
    Nicola x
    itsnic.com | @itsneecola

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  20. 2016 has been the year of me saying 'No' a lot more and I have taken so much happiness from it - I'm tired of doing stuff that I don't really wanna do! I don't tend to get involved in blogger's 'drama' on Twitter as I often don't feel like it's my place to say anything, but you've inspired me to say something the next time I disagree with something! So long to being a bit of a pushover Megan!

    Megan xo
    Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

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  21. This is so true and it's great that you're speaking about it. I will always champion the idea of everything in moderation because I feel that that is the best way towards happiness. Maybe some people are just positive all the time, but I find it hard to believe that even they don't have down days or disagreements. People need to know that it's OK to speak honestly about what they think and feel, and if that's 'negative' then that's OK! Like you say, a bit of each and finding a balance is definitely the way to go.

    Jenny xx

    www.ramblingsofajaffacat.blogspot.co.uk

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  22. Bloody good post m'lady :-) All things in moderation- with kindness and consideration is my motto X

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  23. Love love love this post Becky! I definitely feel down sometimes and I usually feel like I'm being a moany boring person when I say anything about it .

    hellomissjordan.com xx

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  24. Positive posts are easily on reader's brains,negative posts make you human. Both are necessary to help your community feel close to you. (:

    bit.ly/CutieBloglovin

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I read all comments and appreciate every single one, even if I can't always reply. If you have a question or need a reply, feel free to tweet me @BeckyBedbug- I always reply to tweets!