22 October 2010 5 Comments

What IS Positive Energy? Part 7: Hyper-Positive Posturing, Part 2

Sept 07 Alberta 2 022Hyper-positive behavior, based on either/or thinking (See part 2) is not actually positive. What I am talking about is acting as if strident denial of anything that can remotely be considered negative is spiritual, perhaps seeking to impose this view on others. Resisting negativity or making a big show to others about how to be more positive is reactive posturing. It is also annoying.

Hyper-Positive behaviors involve the third definition of positive as “certain.” They involve over-certainty, which becomes rigid.

A hyper-positive stance is a generally a defensive stance. Hyper-positive posturing defends against emotions the individual fears will overtake them, plunging them into unmanageable states. It is a means of control.

There is always something fishy about excess conviction. Something is driving it. I am not talking about solid inner knowing. Experience-based understanding is a lovely achievement. I am talking about rigidity of belief, bolstered by resisting something perceived as a threat, something inside, or in the world.

These following issues are not exclusive to but can be aggravated by a hyper-positive stance:

  • Fear of your own thoughts and feelings
  • Suppression and denial
  • Fear or judgment of anyone who does not uphold similar viewpoints
  • Veiled moralistic superiority over persons considered negative
  • Lack of integration
  • Perfectionism
  • Harsh self-judgment when compassion is called for
  • Lack of discernment for fear of thinking the wrong things
  • Being out of touch with personal motivations
  • Inability to realistically assess risks
  • Use of platitudes that bolster parroted beliefs instead of observing life directly and allowing meaning to occur as an organic experience from within
  • Habitual over-commitment with less than optimal follow through
  • Making assumptions about what events mean without tapping into actual intuitive perception
  • Deciding what things mean for other people, which is a boundary invasion

Different personalities will express different clusters of these patterns. Very few exhibit them all.

Experiencing painful or difficult emotions is human, not negative. Judging and condemning them IS.

Looking at risks realistically is not negative. Refusal to acknowledge risks may leave you unprepared to overcome them.

If you are intuitive and sensitive, it’s especially easy to feel shame if you are around hyper-positive posturing. Sensitive people often feel the shame that others suppress, and mistake it for our own. Take care not to get drawn in and feel like you’re a negative person if you spend time around someone with a hyper-positive stance.

What have you observed and experienced hyper-positive states, in yourself, or in others?

Sept 07 Alberta 2 031

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5 Responses to “What IS Positive Energy? Part 7: Hyper-Positive Posturing, Part 2”

  1. Greg 22 October 2010 at 8:07 am #


    People with hyper positive states have always repelled me. The first reaction I have is to move away from that person as quickly as possible. To try and view them from a distance. This creates some space to try and access the person and there extrene position.

    When I put myself in the hyper postive state I usually get a strong reaction to the stance I am taking and back off to see what the other person is try to say.

    My life is spent being more the observer and questioner. Then taking a stand on the issue.


    • Teresa Dietze 24 October 2010 at 3:48 pm #

      Hi Greg.

      Yes. I think many of us initially and instinctively pull away. Then sometimes we tell ourselves we are just being negative and try to stay open and may even get confused because the words often sound so right while the energy feels so “off.” As we listen more to the energy and respect our innate responses we begin to see that it’s less about the issues and more about whether the energy is wholesome or fragmented.

      Your thoughts?


  2. Teresa Dietze 24 October 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    Hi Tom,

    It’s nice to know you are reading.

    Would love to know what resonates with you the most.

    All Good Wishes,


  3. Krishna 28 October 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Hi Teresa,

    I have found [in myself in my younger days] that one of the characteristics of hyper-positive people is the solid identification with mental belief. Underneath, of course, is suppressed insecurity which is compensated for by the rigidity of certainty. Carl Rogers has helped me realize that a healthy human being is a fluid entity, always in process. I recently read something by a progressive Christian theologian who questions all beliefs about the afterlife on the premise that nobody really knows and I found that it such a strong impression on me that my own belief in reincarnation was shaken. It’s healthy to let ourselves be “shaken” by new ideas, because it shows an openness to subjecting our set of beliefs to constant tweaking. It’s a process. Carl Rogers, “Clients tend to move towards being more openly a process, a fluidity, a changing. They are not disturbed to find that they are not the same from day to day, that they do not always hold the same feelings towards a given experience or person or view of ‘the way things are,’ that they are not always consistent. They are in flux, and seem more content to continue in this flowing current. The striving for conclusions and end states seems to diminish. One client says, ‘Things are sure changing, boy, when I can’t even predict my own behavior in here anymore. It was something I was able to do before. Now I don’t know what I’ll say next. Man, it’s quite a feeling….I’m just surprised I even said these things…I see something new every time. It’s an adventure, that’s what it is…into the unknown…I’m beginning to enjoy this now, I’m joyful about it, even about all these old negative things.’ He is beginning to appreciate himself as a fluid process, at first in the therapy hour, but later he will find this true in his life. I cannot help but be reminded of Soren Kierkegaard’s description…
    ‘An existing individual is constantly in process of becoming…and translates all his thinking into terms of process. It is with him as it is with a writer and his style; for he only has a style who never has anything finished, but ‘moves the waters of the language’ every
    time he begins, so that the most common expression comes into being for him with the freshness of a new birth.'” (From “On Becoming a Person,” pp. 171, 172)

    Sorry if this is a little long-winded

    • Teresa Dietze 28 October 2010 at 12:16 pm #

      Excellent observations Krishna! I look forward to your future comments.

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