Personality tests used by career counsellors aim at identifying the main drivers in the character of an individual, such us introversion or sensitivity, in order to recommend studies or occupations that match particular traits.
The idea behind the tests is that those possessing an analytical mind might enjoy turning into devoted scientists, fast talkers into indefatigable lawyers, and rabid individualists into entrepreneurs. Counsellors administer those tests on the assumption that civilized society has a place for everyone, whether shy, confident, turbulent or quiet.
Strange enough, it seems that, when it comes to hiring new employees, decadent businesses have colluded into a single preference for positive people. What is this contemporary personality trait that overrides the wisdom of the ages? Are we taking for granted the alleged value of “being positive” without a close examination of its dark side-effects?
As it is understood today, being positive does not define the state of mind of those with good-mannered, optimistic, and benevolent personalities. On the contrary, the p-word has come to encompass a series of self-defeating traits that can bring down even the most solid companies or individuals:
- empty cheerfulness
- blind obedience
- anxious conformity
- relentless denial of reality
Who are those people? Why are they doing such horrible things to themselves? Why on earth are they trying to pretend that they are in total control of lost causes or that serious problems don't exist? Answers to these questions might fill libraries. The simple fact is that, in our days, we are facing an epidemic of self-appointed positive people who titter on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
Rationality is the key to happiness, private and professional. Serenity in thinking and logic in action are prime characteristics of satisfied individuals. How come that these essential traits are absent from the ramblings of the positive flock?
Empty smiles won't cure the deep loneliness of the crazed. If they serve any purpose at all, it is to mark those who are absolutely, positively beyond redemption. Stay away from those people. They need more help than you or anyone else can provide.
[Image by Phillie Casablanca under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]