The Positive Power Of Negative Thinking

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Title The Positive Power Of Negative Thinking
Publication Type Book
Pub Year 2008
Authors Norem, J.
Number of Pages 252
Publisher Basic Books
Keywords individuality, positiveness
Abstract How often are we urged to "look on the bright side"? From Norman Vincent Peale to the ubiquitous smiley face, optimism has become an essential part of American society. In this long-overdue book, psychologist Julie Norem offers convincing evidence that, for many people, positive thinking is an ineffective strategy--and often an obstacle--for successfully coping with the anxieties and pressures of modern life. Drawing on her own research and many vivid case histories, Norem provides evidence of the powerful benefits of "defensive pessimism," which has helped millions to manage anxiety and perform their best work.
Notes individuality"I should make clear from the outset that I don't think defensive pessimism is the ultimate solution to the world's problems, or even to I problems of any particular couple or individual. Defensive pessimists are neither saints nor paragons, and defensive pessimism has both costs and benefits. People are different, and what works well for some people may not work well for others--that's the point. (And what works well in some situations may not work well in all situations.) The costs and benefits of any strategy depend on who is using the strategy and what the circumstances are." positiveness"Precisely because the positivity zeitgeist is so strong and compelling, we need to work to reframe the oversimplified picture that equates optimism with all that is good and pessimism with all that is evil. Addressing the positive power of negative thinking will expose, and encourage us to explore, some of the assumptions we make about positive thinking--and even some of the costs of optimism, which we may underestimate or fail to notice."
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