Does “Glass Half Full” Thinking Really Work?


I used to think enforced optimism was a pile of crap better suited to greeting cards than any actual form of interpersonal life. I always hated people who put on a smiley face and tried to spin something good out of smelly situations. I found them clueless and phony and way more of an energy drain than manic depressives who scream and cry all the time. But now I realize the grinning approach might actually be the only way to live!

I swear to you, I’m starting to think you CAN make yourself feel better by finding the good in things—not by inventing it out of thin air, but by really forcing yourself to locate the positive and emphasize it rather than wallow in what’s potentially displeasing about everything. Fine, put me on an infomercial, but I’m tired of always striving, always regretting, and never appreciating anything, as life floats by and my grimace doesn’t. I want to appreciate everything—and to do it the natural way, without any significant co-pays or side effects. I want to wake up in shit and be able to say “Well, at least it isn’t diarrhea.” I want to get struck by lightning and think, “Well, at least I have health insurance.” I want the serene glow of someone who’s always happy to be alive, like a Saint Bernadette or an Eva Mendes.

Do you think I can succeed as a sort of Ebenezer Musto, full of gratitude and good will? Or should I just stay a sort of squinty, jaded vamp like Angelina was? No, really. I need an answer! I’ve got half a glass of jizz. Before we toast: Is it half empty or half full?

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