Why it pays to be grumpy and bad tempered.

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Why it pays to be grumpy and bad tempered.

I have always thought righteous anger was a good thing for ones emotional health, it seems that it might not even have to be righteous.

The pressure to be positive has never been greater. Cultural forces have whipped up a frenzied pursuit of happiness, spawning billion-dollar book sales, a cottage industry in self-help and plastering inspirational quotes all over the internet.

Now you can hire a happiness expert, undertake training in ‘mindfulness’, or seek inner satisfaction via an app. The US army currently trains its soldiers – over a million people – in positive psychology and optimism is taught in UK schools. Meanwhile the ‘happiness index’ has become an indicator of national wellbeing to rival GDP.

The truth is, pondering the worst has some clear advantages. Cranks may be superior negotiators, more discerning decision-makers and cut their risk of having a heart attack. Cynics can expect more stable marriages, higher earnings and longer lives – though, of course, they’ll anticipate the opposite.

Good moods on the other hand come with substantial risks – sapping your drive, dimming attention to detail and making you simultaneously gullible and selfish. Positivity is also known to encourage binge drinking, overeating and unsafe sex.



That is interesting, in that the usual discourse is that depression and negativity induce binges (drinking, drugs, overeating etc).


 Pop psychology. Nothing there my grandmother couldn't have told me. 


Pondering wrote:

 Pop psychology. Nothing there my grandmother couldn't have told me. 

Your grandmother was a pop psychologist?  ;)


lol, I saw that one coming but was too lazy to avoid it.  I'm going to say, in a sense yes. Pop psychology is mostly built on common basic truths. For example, keeping a gratitude journal (write 3 things you are grateful for every morning) to increase happiness was big a couple of years ago. Being grateful for what you have in life isn't a new concept. 

From the article:

Over the course of the study, 20% experienced a major cardiac event and 9% percent died. Initially it looked like both anger and suppressed anger increased the likelihood of having a heart attack. But after controlling for other factors, the researchers realised anger had no impact – while suppressing it increased the chances of having a heart attack by nearly three-fold.

I'm pretty sure not getting angry to begin with is the healthiest option. I would also like to know how they measured whether or not people were getting angry and whether or not they supressed it. 

In the game, the first player is given some money and asked how they’d like to divide it between themselves and another player. Then the second player gets to decide whether or not to accept. If they agree, the money is split how the first player proposed. If not, neither player gets any money.

The ultimatum game is often used as a test of our sense of fairness by showing whether you expect to get a 50-50 share or whether you are happy for each person to be in it for themselves. Interestingly, all negative emotions led to more rejections by the second player, which might suggest that these feelings enhance our sense of fairness and the need for everyone to be treated equally.

Seems more like negative emotions cause people to cut of their nose to spite their face. They get nothing in their zeal for fairness. Life is very often not fair. 

The entire article is full of suppositions and assumptions; conclusions drawn on inadequate information. 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

lol...raging...it's what keeps me sane. I'm not grumpy, I'm a grouch.


Some of my best friends are Raging Grannies. Here is a do it yourself kit for older women seeking mutual compatible grumps to sing with.

WHAT WE ARE RAGING ABOUT - We are enraged about the conditions in which people are forced to endure their lives and about the state of the Earth we are leaving for our grandchildren.
We rage against a system that has allowed this to happen, and the institutions that perpetuate the atrocities against our planet: toxic waste dumps, landfills, nuclear facilities, gas, pipelines, and hydro towers.

SNEAKY TECHNIQUE - Comedy is a great way to catch people's attention,
and once their interest is sparked, a "message" can then be slipped in unobtrusively, yet effectively.
The audience swallows the pill and gets exposed to a different point of view quite painlessly.

STARTER KIT - You could start a Raging Grannies group easily in your region. Bring together a group of women.
Get a Raging Grannies Songbook. Find songs to sing, then pratice, practice, practice!
Being able to carry a tune helps, but a clear enunciation of the words is more important than being in the right key.



Raging Grannies are the opposite of pessimistic and negative.