Yes, Humans CAN Be Grumpy and Grateful at the Same Time

Molly Miller
New Writers Welcome
4 min readDec 4, 2023

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They’re called “mixed feelings” for a reason

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays upon us, the current season involves a lot of focus on gratitude. So, naturally, the topic of my work’s monthly leadership luncheon a couple of weeks ago aligned with this sentiment. We all shared at the table what we were grateful for (finally recovering from COVID and having good health insurance) and it was generally a very feel-good time.

Despite the positive vibes of the day, I can’t stop thinking about something that was said during the meeting that made me cringe: “You can’t be in a bad mood and be grateful at the same time.”

This meeting wasn’t the first time I had heard this sentiment expressed. It’s one of those statements that’s repeated over and over in self-help and entrepreneurship books. While I agree that it’s a lot harder to be grumpy or sad or angry when you are in the habit of practicing gratitude regularly, I think it’s problematic to say that negative and positive feelings can’t exist at the same time for a variety of reasons.

Human emotions are complicated

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Molly Miller
New Writers Welcome

Public health practitioner| Former educator| Multi-passionate| Open to freelance writing opportunities - mollymillerfreelance@gmail.com