This blog post deals with professions and excessive negativity: which professions are most problematic to be in, in terms of being exposed to negativity?
Keywords: crisis services, danger, hotline, jobs, negativity, occupations, professions, psychiatrists, psychologists.
All Blog Posts
In this blog post I am going to talk about jobs and people: which jobs are “delivering” the most negativity to those who are working there?
Protecting Our Positivity
We must always “protect” our positivity. For anyone who has gone “the long road” from being a negative person (say a “medium negative” N2 or a “weakly negative” N1) to becoming a positive person (say a “weakly positive” P1, or a “medium positive” P2), knows that positivity is something that one builds.
Positivity is something that must be accumulated. And the only way not to achieve more positivity is not to continue to build it.
This may, of course, be of little consequence to a person who is, say, a “medium positive” P2. For he is already on a very stable positive level.
But he is already so used to the idea of being in a nice positive mood that he almost automatically continues to practise all, or most of, the positivity-raising habits that he has getting used to.
However, for negative persons, the case is different. Negative persons normally do not have any “methods” or “habits” they practise to build their positivity. They simply “live their lives”.
The result of this is that they are more susceptible to “bad influences” and “bad environments” and “bad situations”. Since they have not infused themselves with extra positivity, they may be severely affected by external happenings.
Thus, negative persons, as a whole, are more prone to “picking up” any bad vibes that are coming from other people, or interpret events in general as a negative thing. So one could argue that there is a definite risk that they are not building positivity, but building negativity.
Talking about Jobs
So, for negative people, environment and association is very important. And since the overwhelming majority of the population (in the Western countries, at least) are currently in the N2 and N1 categories, almost everyone should be careful about being in the right environment, associating with as much positive people as they can.
But since the overwhelming majority of the population is negative, it is not so easy locating these people. In effect, this “advice” is not always very easy to follow. For most people, at most jobs, are not very positive.
So if we take the process of deciding what one’s job “niche”, or “type of job”, in general should be, there are some general things one might want to look into. For I believe that certain niches or “types of jobs” are more dangerous, as a whole, to one’s level of positivity.
But note: There are of course also more particular concerns about jobs, such as “Should I accept this particular job offer?” However, I will not talk about such “particular” questions in this blog post.
There are many types of “dangerous” jobs out there. Some are physically dangerous, some are dangerous to one’s health. Some such jobs may be oil rig workers and divers (physically dangerous), and nuclear reactor workers (health).
But even more fundamentally dangerous than these, I claim, are those jobs in which one’s positivity is tested and challenged. In these jobs, on average, one will not be able to thrive without having an excess positivity to start with.
One of these “high-risk” types of jobs is the “counselling” jobs that are found in various clinics in the health business. Among these, I believe, practicing psychologists and psychiatrists are typical examples. Also, certain nurses and physicians may be in the “risk zone”, as well as those who are working in various “hotline” or crisis centers (suicide, rape, domestic problems, etc.) or social service centers.
The common denominator here is that of a practitioner being approached by clients who have various types of problems. Those problems may include health problems, relationship problems, financial problems, etc.
The important thing here to remember is that these jobs are jobs, not casual once-a-month meetings with a personal friend in trouble. These jobs are full-time occupations where the practitioner repeatedly, several hours a day, will have to listen to people complaining about various aspects of their lives.
And as if that wasn’t enough, they have to accept repeated visits by the same persons, if that person becomes “a regular”. In such a case, the very same person returns multiple times to the same practitioner, continuing to talk about his many problems in life.
So there are several problems here. First that the same problems tend to be recurring, being talked about time and time again. This repeated exposure to a certain problem “hammers in” the problem into the practitioner’s consciousness, and thereby affect his own positivity, as well as his own manifestations.
Another problem for the practitioner is that there is, many times, little hope for the future for the client visitor. Since the person in question probably is an N2 (or N3), there is little hope that he (or she) will actually be capable of doing anything about his situation.
In fact, the whole idea with classic psychotherapy seems to be that it is more or less about “venting”, rather than “curing”. Thus, Martin Seligman observes in his Flourish book that “traditional psychotherapy is not designed to produce well-being, it is designed just to curtail misery” (Seligman 2011, p. 183).
So one might say that there is a sort of “hopelessness” built in into the whole job description. Who can maintain, or build, positivity in a profession, or type of job, where there is an in-built “hopelessness”?
And this, I gather, may also found in professions such as when doctors are dealing with patients suffering from terminal diseases. So my point is simply that one cannot be a witness to unlimited suffering, and especially suffering that cannot be substantially improved, without also taking a beating oneself.
Unless one is already a person in a stable positive mood (N2), one is potentially vulnerable to negative influences in a job environment.
And some jobs and professions are more dangerous in this sense. Typical examples would be practicing psychologists and psychiatrists, or people working at various hotline or crisis centers or social service centers.
Therefore, by carefully selecting one’s “niche” in terms of which job one wants, one can, to a certain degree, also select one’s own future level of positivity (or negativity).