WASHINGTON — Some people just don’t want to be cheered up. And putting on a happy face for someone who isn’t happy really doesn’t work.
According to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people who suffer from low self-esteem to begin with may find cheerful support not cheerful.
The study of 1,000 people, done at the University of Waterloo, in Canada, says people with good intentions always try to look on the bright side of life when a friend is miserable. But people with confidence issues “are simply more comfortable wallowing” in their misery, says Dr. Denise Marigold talking to Today.com.
People who are depressed do not want to hear that the glass is half-full. They would prefer you acknowledge that their feelings are normal, and appropriate to whatever situation they are in.
That validation may help them work out their issues themselves, the study says.
Researchers found that those providing that positive support to bummed out friends may actually end up feeling awful when their efforts fail.