Positive negativity

2014-10-30

Positive negativity

We are taught of the importance of being happy and positive at work. But Alexander Kjerulf, one of the world's leading workplace researchers, counteracts saying that an honest dose of grumpiness has its advantages.

There is an IT company in Germany that has signed "happiness contracts" with its employees. Those who are not happy and do not laugh at work are sent home. This is of course a rather radical example but surely one that definitely could be plausible. We are expected to be positive even in stressful and difficult situations. But is this always something to strive for? One person who does not think so is Alexander Kjerulf, who has written the book ”Happy hour is 9 to 5”. He establishes in a much-discussed report that a positive mindset has definitely benefits but in moderate doses.
"There is large problem with all these psychological self-help books. It is easy to be swamped by them. Holding back your real feelings can have difficult consequences, both at home and at work," says Alexander Kjerulf.
The following are five examples of how excessive positive thinking can mess things up for us according to Alexander.
1. Surveys reveal time and time again that when people are forced to fake a positive approach at work, it increase stress levels in those around them.
2. People who are unhappy and stressed at work are in no way helped by a positive mindset. On the contrary.
3. Negative feelings are a part of life and work. They should not be avoided but instead utilised.
4. Excessive positive thinking leads to workplace problems being brushed under the carpet.
5. It won't work forcing anyone to be happy. Ironically the only way to happiness is to let out all your feelings. And this is what it is all about, knowing all your personal sides, both good and bad.