Are you too grateful? How many times have you heard the clichéd phrase, “Too much of anything can be a bad thing.” Well, gratitude is no exception to the rule. Practicing gratitude is necessary in finding happiness and achieving enlightenment. It is a practice, and as with anything if you practice enough, you can reach a new level of understanding–sometimes to a fault. In fact, practicing gratitude can almost become addictive. It feels amazing when you start to notice the life changes, it’s effects on your mood and overall well-being. But what if I told you that it can be dangerous to overdo it. Yes, you read that right.
If you become so focused on the positive side of everything in life, you may fail to see the negative. Like-attracts-like, and if you surround yourself with positive happy people, you may begin to view life from the perspective of being in a blissful bubble. This can feel like a wonderful place to be… if only we could stay there. The bubble is bound to burst because this is simply not reality, no matter how much we try to will it into our existence. The truth is, the vast majority of the population does not operate on such a high vibration. Surprise surprise! There are plenty of people disguised as people with high moral character who are ridden with greed, jealousy, infidelity, lies, and deceitful behavior… Shocking right?! Not really though is it? When you achieve this level of happiness, it becomes so easy to ignore the evil, that you almost forget to watch out for it.
Complacency sets in.
You may begin to overlook negative aspects in others, ignore red flags when you meet a potential partner, coworker, or in a job interview. We may begin to ignore that nagging feeling in your gut that tells you something is wrong because you want to believe so badly that things are good and people are ultimately good. Your intuition exists for a reason. It’s a protective mechanism that helps guide us away from dangerous situations. We should never ignore our intuition!
Your intuition exists for a reason.
Here are a few examples of how too much gratitude can negatively affect us in practical situations.
1. Career. People might begin to look at you as a pushover or dumb and naïve. You may not be taken seriously at work or considered for promotion, because supervisors may think you’re incapable of seeing the reality in situations. Coworkers already in a bully mindset, can become so jealous that they may begin to sabotage you. Sometimes the level of enlightenment you have achieved is (seemingly) so far beyond their reach that they will aim to do anything and everything to tear you down. This is why nice, smart, and valuable team members are most likely to become the target of bullying. Christine Comaford from Forbes.com, reported
“Research from Dr. Judy Blando (University of Phoenix) has proven that almost 75% of employees surveyed had been affected by workplace bullying, whether as a target or a witness.” This is huge, and some experts may argue that workplace bullying is on the rise.
Nice, smart, and valuable team members are most likely to become the target of workplace bullying.
2. Romantic relationships (new). Yep, having too much gratitude can hurt you there too. A potential partner may view you as being too perfect. Too perfect? I know right?! If you’re anything like me, I consider myself to be far from perfect and know full well it is an impossible goal to achieve. But someone who has not fully embraced gratitude and graciousness for their own shadows may begin to believe that you must not have any. They may begin to believe that you never experience a bad mood, sadness, or anger. They might even think that nothing bad has ever happened to you. People may be convinced that you must have been fed with a silver spoon. Because of course it is the attitude that you consistently present to the world, is precisely how you will be viewed. If you have repressed the negative too far, people may begin to wonder if you’re trustworthy or genuine. Usually this couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s something to be said for a person who has endured immense emotional trauma. Those who have removed themselves from victim mentality, usually do so to such a degree that most people will never know the pain that individual has endured. Resilience is not a trait that everyone inherently has.
“There must be something wrong with them, they seem desperate. No one is that nice.”
2.a. Romantic relationships (established). In some cases, if one partner moves too quickly in the area of personal growth and the other partner is left behind, insecurities in the relationship may develop. This is particularly true if the rapid growth is sustained for a long period or happens too quickly, overnight for example. The lagging partner may begin to think their partner may be having an affair, or has “just changed.” Familiar activities such as, “people-watching” and making fun of other people may not be enjoyable for both parties anymore. The partner who has grown faster, may begin to look at their partner with disappointment if they reject the positive changes they see in you. And we can become even more disappointed if they refuse to acknowledge that they could benefit from introspective work. Sometimes our loved ones are the least supportive of positive personal growth.
3. Friendships can suffer, and sometimes end. Friendships can be affected similarly to established romantic relationships. As I mentioned before, like-attracts-like. New friendly faces begin to appear before you and new friendships can blossom quickly. Friends that you had bonded with previously over low-vibrational activities, can begin to fall by the wayside causing old friends to become jealous. Some friends will want to know what you’re doing to make all of these positive changes and will feel inspired/encouraged. But everyone walks their own path, at their own pace. So in any relationship, you can only celebrate others embracing positive change when they are ready.
If you aren’t losing friends, you aren’t growing.
4. DANGER. Sometimes when we become so enlightened, we fail to see ourselves stepping into dangerous/compromising situations. People who are perceived as unlikely to fight back are targeted most by predators (very similar to targets of bullying). Always seeing the best in people can leave us vulnerable. Again, TRUST YOUR INTUITION!
So while practicing gratitude is important, we need to protect ourselves from those who mean us harm. It is equally important to remember that their negative actions stem from jealousy and insecurity. The hatred people spew onto others without justification, is merely a projection of the hatred they carry for themselves. When you can frame it in this context, you can understand and feel empathy for them. Sometimes we can feel empathy for people who are truly dangerous and we can end up in compromising situations. Setting and maintaining boundaries is an important skill to develop, but sometimes boundaries are not enough. Sometimes you need to remove yourself from these toxic people, and quickly.
There’s always a Yin and yang, there’s always light with dark, and you can never have good without evil. Understanding this and embracing it will help you stay grounded and feel more solid in your journey of growth and transformation.
For more information on workplace bullying: http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Research/Files/Bullying.pdf
Please feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comment box below. As always, peace, love and light.