No responses? I thought this was a really simple question
From Linear Algebra Done Right:
An operator T ∈ L(V ) is called positive if T is self-adjoint and ⟨T v , v ⟩ ≥ 0
for all v ∈ V. Note that if V is a complex vector space, then the condition that T be self-adjoint can be dropped from this definition (by 7.3)."
If V is a real vector space then <Tv,v>=<v,Tv> so T is automatically self-adjoint. Doesn't this mean that the condition that T is self-adjoint can be dropped whatever the situation?
In general, if with finite dimensional euclidean space, is basis of , is the Gram matrix with respect to and is the matrix of with respect to , is easy to prove that is self adjoint iff . Choosing for example orthonormal we have so, any non symmetric matrix represents a non self adjoint operator.