🧠 Psych - 165/200
It is just so astounding to know that it’s the month of June. Are you accomplishing your monthly goals?
For today, let’s learn about Tragic Optimism.
What is it?
Have you heard about “Toxic Positivity”? According to Scott Barry Kaufman, it is a denial of reality.
Telling someone to “stay positive” in the middle of a global crisis is missing out on an opportunity for growth, not to mention likely to backfire and only make them feel worse.
The antidote to toxic positivity is “tragic optimism,” a phrase coined by the existential-humanistic psychologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. Tragic optimism involves the search for meaning amid the inevitable tragedies of human existence, something far more practical and realistic during these trying times. 
Why do I need to know?
Tragic optimism, says Emily Esfahani Smith, offers a perspective on adversity that helps people weather crises with more resilience and grow as a result of them.
“It acknowledges the difficulties and the pain and the suffering of what's going on, and at the same time, the ability to maintain hope,” she says. 
Paul Wong, a psychologist and professor emeritus of Trent University in Ontario, says the road to this transformation may be uncomfortable, because life currently isn’t easy. “It’s OK to be lonely,” he says. “It’s OK to feel bad, it's OK to feel anxious. Welcome to human club.”
But instead of letting these negative feelings overwhelm us – or ignoring them completely, as is par for the course in toxic positivity – embracing tragic optimism means making a daily effort to feel comfortable with loneliness or anxiety. In these moments, we may learn we enjoy solitude, that we highly value community or discover who we want to be on the other side of the pandemic.
It may feel tempting just to grin & bear it, taking the slightly more uncomfortable route of a tragic optimist may actually help us see that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – and help us take a breath as we wait to reach it.
References & Studies: -
Listen to the first episode of The Brain Psych Podcast 🧠🎙
Contribute to a small survey - Who are you reader?
Learn deeply about the Biases - The Psych Handbook
Explore more on Youtube - The Brain Psych
Find more on Instagram - @thebrainpsych
Maybe take a look at the NFTs - Curious Minds
Really want to dive deeper? - LearnPsychology.Co
Lastly, Looking for previous issues? Take a look at the Archives