I’m here to remind you to relax and take a breath. You don’t have control over other people.
You can complain about them, but what does that bring you?
- Commiseration from friends
- Advise from colleagues
- “Don’t take it personally!” from well meaning associates
- An entrenched judgment that change isn’t possible
Then there’s the negativity you direct towards yourself. Your own stinking thinking that consists of not measuring up.
There is a remedy! And it’s not hard; it just takes focus and practice.
First understand what negativity means to you when you use it to complain about another person or yourself. You may be using it as a catchword to describe what might be better reported as:
- Denial of a request
- Critical feedback
- Unresponsiveness about what’s important to you
Instead of labeling others or yourself as negative, practice these five methods:
- Consider another word to describe the “negative” person in your life. Like realist. What is a realist? A worrier about anything that doesn’t fit their picture of what is true. Find out what they’re worried about. It might have something to do with you or the requests you’re making. So get ready to listen carefully. Then you can decide if there’s any action to take or problem to solve, and also get clarity on expectations.
- Don’t defend your position, ideas, opinions, or points of view. This is very hard to do, because it can feel like you’re being weak. It takes great strength to listen and consider what someone else is telling you. Yes, it’s hard but it’s what you want when you’re complaining to another. You don’t just want someone to listen. You want others to actually consider the possibility of what you’re saying. You don’t want automatic agreement either; you want people to carefully consider the agreements they’re making with you. It’s not negative if they say no or don’t agree with you — it’s authentic!
- Slow down and listen to the micro-messages inherent in what you say. Words are just part of communication. What is hidden in what you say and how you say it? What do you want another person to walk away with? Something remarkable happens when people feel connected to you through your words. They walk away in action armed with what’s possible.
- Love others as they are today. Remember that every one of us is working through their ideas of reality, conditioned by years of parents, work, education, and friends. It will bring compassion to your dealings with other people even those that aggravate you on a daily basis.
- If the negativity is aimed at yourself, give yourself a break today, and remember that you are resourceful. Use methods 1-4. What is worrying you? Look at the reality of the situation. Don’t argue for negativity or for your limitations. Look for what’s possible. Be kind to yourself in your thoughts, words, and actions. Love yourself as you are today. Tell the truth with love. Clean up any outstanding promises that are not complete and are harassing your internal peace of mind. And remember, there’s no one out there doing anything to you or making you feel this way.
Negativity is a boomerang. The more you react with complaints, resistance, and judgment, the more it bounces back on you. In that moment of realization, you wake up and get with the idea in a new and powerful way that while you can’t control others, you do have control over your responses to what is said, and what you say!
One of my treasured responses when I start to go “negative” is to say thank you to the opportunity to learn. With this awareness the correction is made and a blessing happens.
Take the velocity out of negativity by replacing reaction with interest, gratitude, and love. Then you’ll find that love is a boomerang as well.
My love goes with you as you work with this Uplifting Idea.