Positive feedback isn’t always helpful; it’s how bosses get you to work longer than you want to, how girlfriends get you to do things that you don’t want to, and how cons work in general. Fortunately, if you practice mindfulness, you’re going to be less affected by positive feedback.
In a study published in Emotion, researchers from the University of Toronto showed that people who scored high on mindfulness show less neural response to positive feedback than people who are less mindful. Mindfulness is the ability to recognize thoughts or emotion without judgement; mindful people are better at letting go of feelings than others. Using electroencephalography (EEG), researchers measured the neural response of their subjects when presented with positive, negative, or neutral feedback. Individuals who scored high on a mindfulness test weren’t very receptive to positive feedback; in fact, their EEGs showed little difference between positive and neutral feedback.
Not an inherently mindful person? That’s okay; you can improve your mindfulness with meditation. Maybe then people won’t trick you into helping them move by telling you how strong you are. Or something.