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Why gratitude platitudes won’t fix your problems

Gratitude practices are correlated with increased satisfaction/happiness. The philosophy comes from a solid base of psychological research, but in the hands of women with a tendency of being submissive it can mean pasting a layer of gratitude over a deep well of trouble.

How many women are currently doing a gratitude practice? I’ll bet more woman than men.

Through history, women have been encouraged to be compliant, subservient, submissive, amenable, nice, pleasant, to know their place, to be no trouble, to be grateful for what they’re given.

Now the current crop of gratitude platitudes espoused by motivational speakers, gurus, and a million Instagram posts, could be inadvertently continuing this long tradition of keeping women in their box.  Women already primed to not make a fuss can jump on board a perfectly positioned philosophy. Then they can twist themselves in knots to be grateful, instead of looking with a clear-eyed pragmatism about their situation.

Whether unhappy in your job, unhappy with your relationship, unhappy with your living arrangements, unhappy with anything, it’s easier to convince yourself that if you can just develop a gratitude mindset, all will be well. To tell yourself that the problem is with your perspective or attitude, rather than confronting the situation.

If you’re unhappy in any context, as difficult as it may be, the whole situation needs to be analysed, not merely viewed through the lens of whether or not your mindset is set to ‘grateful’.

Sure, if Gratitude wants to buy you a drink after a hard day at the office, go for it, but if she offers to sit with you till closing and solve all your problems over a bottle of Tequila, I’d move down the bar.

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