Over recent years the notion of a ‘second wave’ of positive psychology has emerged. Although there are different ways of construing its nature, one way is in terms of research and theory that looks critically at the very notion of the ‘positive.’ For instance, sometimes positively-valenced emotions may ultimately negatively affect wellbeing, and vice versa. This talk will summarise this paradigm by elucidating various dialectical principles at its heart. However, the talk also steps back to consider the wave metaphor itself. Rather than implying step-wise discontinuity, it will be argued that this new paradigm is a fluid and organic development, and constitutes a natural progression of the field. That means, for instance, that rather than superseding previous work, the second wave is more a case of making explicit certain ideas and nuances that previously needed to remain only implicit. The talk concludes with suggestions for possible third wave developments that may indeed already be gathering pace as ripples within the field.