I have a background in psychology and have always had an interest in human nature, in personality, and growth and healing. In happiness, and in love. Why? I think being happy, and living ‘in love’ is the most important thing there is. It’s the most important thing in my life, to be happy and want those I love to be happy.
I often wonder how to deal with negativity in my life, that which springs from within and without. Over the years I’ve learned some things, developed some beliefs around personality, happiness, negativity, positivity, choices, and empowerment. Some of the things I’ve learned through formal study, but mostly, from practical application.
Here are some of my thoughts on the matter..
Being actively negative begets negativity.
Not complex, but often very true. If someone has a negative view of the world and tends to be a negative person, suffers from mistrust, dishonesty, disloyalty, jealousy, envy, anger, temper, etc, they will tend to attract other people with similar or complimentary issues. Also, the lens through which they view the world is one of ‘negativity’, distorted that everywhere they look, what is seen is a projection of their own negative qualities.
In order to change, people coming from a world view and personality that is negative, have to first realize that a big part of this is their own perspective and view of the world that is creating the negativity in their lives. This doesn’t often happen, as there is frequently a large proponent of laying ‘blame’ elsewhere, and/or such a cynical world view as to believe that their negative view of the world is true and valid, and not distorted at all.
In therapy, if someone is open to exploring that such negativity is indeed largely internal, about world view, and something changeable, growth and healing does become possible. Usually self-reflection is encouraged. It is amazing to see that often if people list the top negative qualities they commonly encounter in the people around them, and are honest with themselves, they will see negative qualities they themselves possess. These distorted world views can be corrected. Jealous people can learn to foster an attitude of abundance, and learn to empathize and feel genuinely good for the other peoples good fortune. These positive feelings can be used as motivations to improving ones own life. Disloyal people are encouraged to try standing up for others, once loyalty to someone or something outside of self is learned, they become closer to having loyalty over disloyalty be their default response. Dishonest people are encouraged towards honesty, through the knowledge that lies invariably lead to more lies and more dishonesty, and eventually trouble. Also, often people can tell when someone lies or is dishonest, often intuitively and will distrust dishonest people, though they may not voice their distrust, it is there.
Basically, people are encourage to discover their negative issues, challenge them, and do the opposite, and foster positive change. Difficult, but not impossible. Practice is important.. it takes more than just an attitude adjustment, it takes changing actions which in turn changes attitude.
Becoming a better person with better values usually results in more positives in life and the lives of those around you. Trust, empathy, honesty, etc, fosters love and friendship. Deepens the love and respect in relationships. I don’t know which is the better benefit, that you learn to love people more when you let go of negativity, or that they love you more.
When people change the psychological view through which they percieve the world. Focus on the positives and release the negatives, their experience of the world changes. People become able to see how positive the people in their life really are. The beauty, love, and positive in their homes, relationships, communities, grows and is encouraged.
Another element to negativity in life, is that being passive and not assertive in the face of negativity allows negativity to flourish.
There are people that allow others to take advantage of them, manipulate, bully or abuse them. If you are unable to actively resist and say no to people, then there are negative people who will take advantage of that. The more you allow it, the more it escalates. In order to evade negativity from being a passive participant is to become assertive and not allow it.
Mistrusting intuition can allow negativity in the back door.
Sometimes, despite logic, your ‘gut’ tells you something about someone. Listening to one’s own intuition is a big step in avoiding negatives. However, if you have looked honestly at yourself and are coming from a strong place of negativity yourself, you may be sensing a reflection of self.Â In general though, usually your intuition is right, trust yourself. If something or someone feels ‘negative’, you’re probably right on the money.
Negative people in your life.
Sometimes someone in your life, friend, partner, family member, may be influencing you negatively. Sometimes we can have a generally positive personality and outlook on life and mostly positive interpersonal relationships and experiences, but find ourselves enmeshed with one or two abusive, manipulative, degrading or otherwise negative people. If this is the case the most effective solution is to no longer interact with them. We can change ourselves, and our own negative world views, but we cannot change others. We can choose who we allow into our lives and to influence us. If you do have someone in your life in this role that you feel for whatever reason you cannot ‘cut out’ of your life, and choose to continue to interact with someone that is abusive, manipulative, degrading, or otherwise negative, then you need to always be aware of this negative influence. Do not let them take over your life or influence your thoughts and decisions. Don’t let them infect your own world view with their negativity. Find positive people to interact with. Learn to tune out their negativity and not let it affect you. Create space and spaces in your life where you do not tolerate negativity. You do not have to ‘consume’ negative material other people put out all the time, and if you choose to do so, deliberately recognizing it for what it is, and keeping positive through it is vital. You have control over how you frame it. The lens through which you see it.
Peoples thoughts, attitudes and behaviours are typically influenced by the people they spend the most time with.
The company people keep often reflects and influences our own attitudes and beliefs. Increasing positive, happy, uplifting people in our lives improves the quality of our lives, just as fostering positive qualities in ourselves improves the qualities of our interpersonal relationships.
Foster positive change in yourself. Surround yourself with positive people. Limit negative influences in your life. When confronted with negatives, be aware of them, and maintain your ‘positive’ self regardless.
To sum it up.
Live in Love.
It’s a choice, you have it.