I have a quote that I read each morning to remind me of a very simple concept:
“Negativity is never the optimum way of dealing with any situation.”
I don’t really remember where I read this, so I don’t know who to give credit to, but it is a powerful quote nonetheless. It’s simplicity is as direct as it is obvious. When did negativity ever help anything? Well, there is one time that negativity appears to “help”…but we will talk about that soon. First, are you generally a negative or positive person?
Is the glass half-empty or half-full?
I am sure we have all heard this question before. It is a classic as old as time. It was our test to see if someone is an optimist or a pessimist. Most of us want to be optimists…you know, having a positive outlook on things. At least, I always wanted to be an optimist. A pessimist, on the other hand, has a very negative outlook on things and just has a negative sound to it. For some reason, the word pessimist always reminded me of the word pest. Since both of these words have a negative connotation to them, I never wanted to be either of them. Though a pessimist and being a pest have nothing to do with each other, they are both negative sounding words and we want to stay as far from being labeled either as we can.
But being an optimist sounds awesome!!! Think of all the great words that have “optim” in them. You have “optimal”, “optimum”, and “optimise.” All of these words are positive in nature. Shoot…what’s the name of the greatest Autobot of all time??? “Optimus Prime!!!” Being an optimist is very positive and something we all should aim to be.
But Negativity Is Everywhere
Unfortunately, negativity is everywhere. You don’t have to go far to see someone being negative. You can go to a grocery store to see someone being impatient waiting in line to be checked out. You can hear it when many parents believe they are “correcting” their kids. You can also easily bring it on. Just drive the speed limit in the fast lane and see how quickly someone will give you the finger or a nasty look when they pass you in the slow lane. Sure, it’s everywhere, but adding to it doesn’t help.
Negativity can create a big fire!!!
Have you ever seen a situation that was negative made better by more negativity? I haven’t. Most of the time, fueling negativity with more negativity just adds fuel to a fire you don’t want. This is how mobs break out, how vandalism occurs, and how situations can get out of hand very quickly. If one person is being negative, and another joins in, negativity just gets stronger. It can make the situation seem a lot worse than it actually is. And once people let negativity and hate take over, it typically doesn’t end well.
There is one time negativity appears to “help”.
This is a shame to say, but I have seen negativity appear to “help” in one type of situation…to bring like-minded people together. You can put two complete strangers together in a room, like a waiting room at the doctor’s office or local clinic, and watch how they unite over sharing the plight of having to wait. The longer they have to wait, the more likely one will say something negative and the other soon joins in. I don’t mean to have a negative outlook on this, but I have seen it happen too many times. All it takes is for one person to complain, and then there is always someone who joins in. They seem to bond over the negativity. What a thing to have in common!!!
Sure, that negativity in that moment, may seem to bring two people closer, but what does it really do? It just allows two people to add to the fire of negativity, bringing down two people rather than just lifting two people up. You know how they say two minds can do the work of three. Well, two minds being negative can also do the work of three. And three minds focusing on negativity rarely ends well.
Do you really want a relationship built on negativity?
When you bond over negativity, you create more negativity. And any relationships built on negativity will never move your mind in the right direction. People want to be around others who are positive and up-lifting. Sure, you can build a strong relationship with someone because you both are negative by nature, but what a relationship to build. Imagine saying, “Yeah, me and Bob are best friends because we like to complain about the same kind of things and think life just sucks.” Is this really the relationship you want to be in???
No matter what the situation is, negativity never helps. When you wear the garb of negativity, you carry this stench with you that can ruin any positive relationship you have. Generally, people do not want to spend lots of time with people who are negative. No one wants to be in a good mood just to have someone else bring them down with negativity. Negativity can ruin relationships and create pain that people just can’t seem to let go.
If you want your relationships to build, improve, and grow stronger, then drop the negativity. If you hear someone being negative, don’t join in. Try to put a positive spin on the situation, or change the subject to something more positive. No matter the situation, negativity is NEVER the way!!!