Are you swimming in negativity?
The other day I was intrigued when I heard a list of questions* that indicate you might be swimming in negativity without even knowing it:
· Do you complain about negative people?
· Does it bother you when other people are negative?
· Do you get upset with other people and how they act?
· Are you easily offended?
· Do you think other people are doing their lives wrong?
· Do you think you are better than other people?
· Do you find other people “toxic”?
· Do you think people should be different than they are?
I find it so interesting that even though I usually see the good in other people and situations, when it comes to my kids it’s not as easy.
It doesn’t really bother me when other people are negative… unless it’s my child that cannot see anything positive.
I’m not easily offended, but when I am… it’s usually a situation that involves one of my kids.
I truly believe that how other people live their lives is completely up to them… unless that other person is my child; then there’s a right way and a wrong way.
I think you get the picture.
Swimming in negativity, even unconsciously, ensures you get to feel terrible and it breeds more negativity. (It even affects how you see yourself.)
So what can you do when you realize you’re more negative than you thought? There really is something you can do! Learn to separate the person from what you’re thinking about him. After you’ve had an encounter that leaves you feeling negative, consider how you could think about this situation in a way that wouldn’t be upsetting for you or in a way where you didn’t feel like you had to manage him or expect him to be better than he is. Think about how you could have approached the situation differently.
For example, my son came home one day and announced he had quit his job. He has bills to pay, so even though he wasn’t happy in his job, I thought he should at least keep his 40+hour/week, decent-income job until he had something else lined up. I found myself thinking, “He’s doing this all wrong.” I also found myself full of angst, worry, and frustration.
But then I remembered ~ this is his journey and he will figure it out; and, thinking about it this way gives me hope and assurance. This isn’t “white-knuckle hoping”; I really do believe it ~ even though “his journey” doesn’t look like I always imagined it would. Reminding myself of this also helps me remember that I don’t have to figure it out for him ~ and that really is a relief!
Notice the resistance that comes up for you when you think, “He should be different” or “She should be kinder” or “He should be more appropriate.” This kind of thinking gets you into a vicious cycle of blame, which will always leave you feeling powerless, which breeds more negativity, not less.
Tired of swimming in negativity? First, become aware that you are being negative and then decide whether or not you want to keep feeling that way. What you’re thinking is entirely up to you ~ not the situation you find yourself in.
(*If you’re interested in listening to the podcast that sparked this blog, you can listen to it at: https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/228/. Brooke Castillo is my mentor; I whole-heartedly believe in her tools and use her methods to teach my clients how to find peace in parenting so they can create the life they really want to live.)