Nov 22, 2010
Tigger vs. Eeyore - Is there a winner?
If you’re a Tigger, you say things like… “Happiness is a choice.”, “Look on the bright side.”, “Smile!”, “Fake it ‘till you feel it.”
If you’re an Eeyore, you say things like… “No one can be cheerful all the time. It’s fake.”, “Thinking the glass is always half-full isn’t realistic. It’s self-deception.”, “If someone asks me, ‘How are you?’ I’m going to tell the truth, even if people don’t want an honest answer.”, “Authenticity is important to me. I hate phonies.”
Tiggers: remember, you can’t make someone happy. Let your happiness naturally rub off on the Eeyores, but don’t exhaust yourself trying to jolly them along. Telling Eeyores “Cheer up!” or refusing to acknowledge anything negative won’t make them cheerier. Your effort will just drain you, and it will irritate the Eeyores – in fact, they’ll probably hold more stubbornly to their worldview, and may become even more intensely negative to counter-balance your positivity.
Eeyores: remember, you believe you’re being “realistic” and “honest,” but Tiggers may find you gloomy and critical, they dread being sucked into your negativity. Remember, too, that while you believe that some Tiggers are “fake,” their extreme cheerfulness may be in reaction to you, as a counter-balance against your attitudes; or the extreme cheerfulness may be in reaction to some major happiness challenge elsewhere in their lives. Cut them a little slack.
Research and experience show that the “fake it ‘till you feel it” strategy really does work. People who act happier, friendlier, and more energetic will help themselves feel happier, friendlier, and more energetic (the opposite is also true). Tiggers often act Tiggerish because they’re trying to keep that Tigger flame alive.
Tiggers, Eeyores, let your actions and attitude speak for themselves. Do what’s right for you, and don’t worry about explicitly persuading other people to change their views. Don’t flatly deny someone’s viewpoint – “Things aren’t that bad!” “You have to face facts!” – but briefly acknowledge their perspective. Be yourself.
I would definitely say that I am a Tigger, and the Eeyore view definitely results in a short fuse for me. However, having read about this, I have a new appreciation for not trying to convert or cheer someone else up.
Let your actions speak louder than words. So no thanks, my glass is already half full :o)