February 6, 2013

Banish Negativity


I am not a Pollyanna. I have bad days. I have days where the only living thing I like is my dog. I don’t walk around with a permanent smile on my face. And in case you hadn’t noticed, I have lots of opinions, and not all of them are positive. All of that being said, I am not a Nancy Negative either. I believed my mother when she said no one wants to be around someone who is miserable, so I try to stay upbeat. I try to see the best in people, always. And I truly believe that no one is all bad. Now that we have all of that out-of-the-way, I can ask the question: What are people thinking?!?!?

I firmly do NOT believe in tearing someone down just because you can. Words have power, so think before you speak. Funny thing–another lesson from my mother–once you put words out there, you can’t take them back, so choose them wisely. Recently, I found out someone I know was going on a job interview in CA (we’re in MD). My first words, “How exciting!!! Good luck!!!.” I shared this information (which was sanctioned) with someone else, her first words, “It’s expensive out there.” My response, “Yes, but I’m sure he’ll get a salary commensurate with the cost of living.” I’m not saying that my response was right and hers was wrong, I’m just saying that mine was positive and hers was, well, not. Why immediately point out the negative?

A few days ago, I was tweeting during the Super Bowl. One of the people I follow–though I’m strongly reconsidering that–tweeted, repeatedly, how the whole event was bad. The game was bad. Beyoncé wasn’t singing enough and Prince was the best halftime show ever. The power outage was ruining the game. All I could think was, TURN THE CHANNEL!?!? Or do some people really just enjoy having something to complain about? Is it fun to be overly critical and harsh in order to make yourself feel more superior? (And let me say, the Super Bowl complainer works in PR for a living!)

As the years go on, I find that my tolerance level for negativity has reached an all time low. I’m not saying if you have nothing to say, don’t say anything–though often, that philosophy should be employed. But I am saying, BEFORE you speak–consider what you’re saying, how you’re saying it, and how the person you’re saying it to might feel. And trust me, those that know me will say I’m forward, blunt, and direct–but none would say I’m rude, inconsiderate, or mean-spirited. Recently, I had one of my really good friends tell me that I would never be happy in my house, never be happy in MD, and never be happy at my job and I just needed to move once and for all. Wow. I was so floored I didn’t know how to respond. And then I decided I wouldn’t feed into the negativity and refused to respond. No one can make those kinds of decisions for me. And as such, no one should say things like that to me. So what happens if I don’t move? Or it takes me the next 1+ years to find the job of my dreams? Does that mean I have nothing but misery to look forward to until I move on? There’s something to look forward to…

All I’m saying is this:

  • Words have power
  • Think before you speak
  • Speak to others, the way you would want them to speak to you
  • It’s ok to keep your opinions to yourself (blogging might be the one exception to that rule)
  • And remember, once you put words out in the universe, you can’t take them back–so use them wisely (and for good whenever possible)

Stop negativity, it hurts.

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