I think that whoever created so-called “Positive Psychology” should be willing to accept a rethink of their theories. For example, calling themselves “positive” automatically makes every other psychology person, that thinks differently, to be a “Negative Psychologist”.
It seems to me that their love of dichotomies has also created a confusion of thought. The example being that they seem to have a love of the concept of “acceptance”. That is: if we want to be cured from whatever is bothering us, we need to stop our “denial” and learn to have “acceptance” of it!
Unfortunately for the positive psychologists the definition of acceptance is as follows:
1. the act of taking or receiving something offered.
2. favourable reception; approval; favour.
3. the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory.
4. the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable.
So, if you are having a problem with your anger or someone else’s, just “accept” it first. After all, it is denial that is the problem, right? Hmmm sounds Freudian to me. When I questioned a self confessed positive psychologist, he split emotions from behaviour, stating that “…emotions are unavoidable but behaviour is up to us”. We can “…control our actions if we truly accept (emotions).”
I don’t agree. Anger, to me, is a behavior and is a choice I make at the inception and thereafter, of whatever stimulates it. If anger was not a behaviour then way is it that sometimes I can react with hurt instead of anger? But either way, anger is not acceptable to me. ie I cannot think of one valid reason to justify that response. Anger is understandable to me because we are human but not acceptable to me because I don’t like it. I do not think that I am “denying” my anger, I just do not want to set up a system where I or anyone else can justify it.
I think that “acceptance” (favourable reception; approval; favour.) of anger, means we can justify it under certain circumstances. As I said before, anger is understandable and I can even appreciate it but it is “not acceptable” to me.
I don’t think that this is semantics, but a case where, if given half a chance, we will accept a way that we will try to justify our latest outburst rather than unequivocally apologise for, what I consider to be, unacceptable behaviour.