Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

What’s wrong with being a Pollyanna?

156 Comments

Image Courtesy of IMdB.com

Image Courtesy of IMDb.com

Would you take offense if someone called you a “Pollyanna?”

Years ago, a co-worker paid a visit to my office. She was experiencing personal difficulties in her life and needed to talk.

I listened as she went on about struggles in her marriage. She later paused and asked, “What do you think about that?”  When it comes to matters of the heart, I’d learned years before, it’s best to keep your opinions to yourself.

She looked me in the eyes and waited for an answer. Did she want me to agree with her? That was something I couldn’t do, so I played it safe. I suggested she try to focus on the positive things in their relationship, and in her own life.

“Jill, you’re such a Pollyanna!” she snapped.

I’m sure she never intended to hurt my feelings, but she did.

According to Merriam-Webster, a Pollyanna is “a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything.” Is there something wrong with this attitude? By her accusatory tone, it appeared I was wrong.

It’s funny, many years have passed since that day, but I remember it like it was yesterday. At the time, I did take offense. Now, I think of it as a compliment. I’d much rather live my life being thought of as a Pollyanna than a curmudgeon. Living that way has carried me through some difficult times.

Do you feel comfortable offering relationship advice to friends or co-workers?

 

**This will be my last post for 2015. Thank you all for a wonderful year. You’re the best! Be safe and have a fantastic holiday season! ❤

 

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

156 thoughts on “What’s wrong with being a Pollyanna?

  1. I grew up surrounded by negativity so I carried that into my adult life. After a series of events I decided I could either give up on life or look for the positive. Now I count my blessings every day and the older I get the more aware I am of all my good fortune. As for giving advice, it depends on the person I am dealing with, but if I do give it I am always sure to say, I’m not in your shoes and it’s your decision, but whatever happens I will be there for you. Jill, I’ve enjoyed following your blog all year and appreciate your visits to mine. Here’s to a Pollyanna 2016!

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    • Thank you for sharing your experience with being positive, Roslyn. Counting our blessings daily is a wonderful way to realize the good in our life.
      I appreciate all of your comments this past year and I look forward to more of your spectacular photos in 2016.
      Merry Christmas!

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  2. lol. No, I’d be flattered if anyone ever called me that, but it would never happen. Evil woman would be more like it. There’s certainly nothing wrong with it. Oh and I own that movie and adore it. Hoping it will inspire me to be more like Pollyanna I guess. 😀 I came by to wish you and your family a fantastic Christmas and a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year, Jill. ❤

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  3. I am totally a Pollyanna! I own it. You’ll never meet anyone more optimistic. REALLY!

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  4. I totally agree that being a “pollyanna is much better than being negative. I am one of them, too. What is sometimes challenging is to be the positive that is surrounded by negative. For some reason, it is so easy to hop onto the band-wagon of negativity. Glad you are a Pollyanna, and I wish you a wonderful Holiday and a “Pollyanna of a New Year!” (OK, not sure that really makes sense, but I think you know what I mean. 🙂 )

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    • Yes, Janell, I know exactly what you mean. 🙂 Your beautiful artwork screams Pollyanna. I agree, it’s difficult when you’re around negativity not to fall into the same pattern. I try hard to avoid negative people. They tend to drain my energy. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy holidays, Jill! I try to be a “Pollyanna,” too, and I agree with you -it’s a great thing! 😀

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  6. Oh, my dear! Your co-worker should not have been looking for advice if she wasn’t willing to take it. No, I don’t give advice, at least not without reams of caveats to absolve myself any undesired consequences if my advice is taken. I have a friend that, in private, I occasionally refer to as a Pollyanna because she will put a positive spin on things when the opposite is true. But she is also my best friend in town, someone I am very close to, and I wouldn’t change anything about her. In many ways, I wish I was more of a Pollyanna. Isn’t Life more fun when you’re looking on the bright side of things? Have a happy Happy New Year, Jill!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Marie! I wasn’t really giving her advice, as I knew whatever I said wouldn’t fall in line with her thoughts.
      Yes, life is more fun when you look on the bright side of things, but it’s also a little easier.
      I’ve had my fair share of tough times, but no one said life would be easy. All of my challenges have made me who I am.
      Wishing you and your family peace and joy in the new year, Marie! Thank you for all of your support in 2015. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, my friend has had a lot of hardship in her life and I think her “Pollyanna” perspective is a coping mechanism. But calling it a coping mechanism seems to undermine it as well, when, in truth, her perspective is what keeps her family together.
        Happy New Year to you and yours, Jill! I’m so grateful we are friends 🙂

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  7. Count me in 🙂 In my opinion, being “Pollyanna” doesn’t mean ignoring the reality. It’s a conscious choice on the individual’s part to try and focus on the positive (in spite of the grim reality). Sometimes, that positive mindset can shed light on other options that we’d be unaware of if we were only negative. Happy 2016! 🙂

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