Never Underestimate The Power Of Negativity
I used to be one who was all about the positive vibez, positive thoughts, and even worse, I used to dish it out on other people. Then I understood something even deeper, and even more significant, about the power of negativity; IT IS NECESSARY! It’s important to remember that, like anything else, negativity is relative and what may seem negative to some, may be something totally different to others.
When was the last time you came across someone who was, perhaps just having a bad day, or they were going through a bit of a bad patch, and they were being negative and having a bit of a rant? Was your first reaction to throw some positive spin on all their situations? Did you pay attention to how they reacted? Did it benefit them? Or did they go the opposite way, and the more you threw positivity at them, the more they became negative?
Just because someone is being negative it doesn’t mean that they need a dose of positivity. In fact that is sometimes the worst thing you can do. It will often do more damage, especially if they have a polar personality type. It may reinforce their own negativity and they may even search for more reasons to be negative.
What works better is being negative with them. Allow them to be negative and share in that space with them. If someone tells me they’re pissed off, and I’ve already ascertained that they react in a polar way, then I say to them ‘good, be pissed off, how dare those bastards!’ and watch as they automatically start to feel better. The is the power of negativity and the benefit it can have.
The Power Of Negativity As Motivation
In a previous post I talked about my experience when I went to inspire young people. I mentioned, at the end, about one of the students who was motivated by the criticism he received because it gave him even greater incentive to do better.
I’ve also been chastised in the past about many things, and more often than not, it’s served me in wonderful way in that it’s made me try harder and want to do better. In the past I’ve been out running and I’ve heard people shout from their cars ‘move that ass fat boy’ and when I hear that it doesn’t upset me. I actually laugh and it also makes me push myself that little bit harder; beyond my comfort zone.
When Others Try And Bring You Down
I was at a dinner party a while back and the friend who invited me over, like me, is a life coach. I was talking with one of her friends and I couldn’t get over how negative she was. I was telling her about what I do. People would describe me as a bubbly, positive person and she assumed that my life must be quite easy. It’s been anything but and all those negative experiences have contributed to who I’ve chosen to be now.
In her case she had taken all of her negative experiences and decided that, for her, life would always dump on her and she had to look out for herself. She’d decided that she needed to protect herself from more negative things happening. Rather than trying to escape negativity and challenges, I say, bring them on! They’ve shaped me into a better person and I will always be grateful for them.
Dealing With Your Own Negativity
Your own negativity is essential but don’t let it get the better of you. It will always be part of you but don’t let it overpower you. I’ve always believed that we are capable or good or evil but we are inherently neither. That is, and will always be, determined by the choices we make; moment to moment.
If you want more help dealing with your own negativity then I found this kick ass post by lifehacker on dealing with those pesky negative thoughts. Negativity isn’t a bad thing. It’s how you choose to respond to it that makes it what it is.
So what do you think about the power of negativity? Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below.
You are right, negativity is necessary and sometimes we just have to embrace that negative period that we are in. It would be crazy to believe that there are people who do not experience negative thoughts or negative attitude from others. It’s not realistic. If a person says that he/she is always happy and positive then I would think that they are just showing off.
You have to be careful though and not to let negative thinking take over your life. Negativity is like salt in life. A dish without it is tasteless, but a dish with too much of it is inedible.
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I love your final sentiment there and I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for leaving your comments! 🙂
Nice post Amit. The problem with a lot of people is that they try to be 100% positive. Being negative during the times when you “are” negative reinforces that we are human being, that we are being genuine to ourselves. The faster we can accept this, the easier it becomes to turn a negative state into a more positive one.
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Hi Amit…get what you are saying, although on one point I disagree. It is not necessary to get down there and wallow and be negative with someone else. If you are a positive person, there is no need to sacrifice your positive energy to meet someone at their level. Nor is it necessary (or sometimes possible) to pep them up with your positivity. However, if you can show empathy to someone who is being negative, that will let them feel heard in a way that empowers them to get themselves out of the rut…and the good thing is that you don’t have to step down to that yourself.
I think your on to something. I find often that embracing my negativity and just going with it helps me eventually getting over things. I have occasional negativity session when if you could here my internal dialog, you might think I’m about to commit suicide. It’s therapeutic. Many people try to deny or bury their negativity on deny it. I don’t think that works very well.
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@Tristan, it’s true. It’s like trying to convince yourself out of negativity only it makes you feel worse. It’s always been my experience that whenever I go with it, the quicker I come out of it. 🙂
@Jen. Thanks for commenting. I don’t mean that you have to get down and dirty and wallow with them. I think I could have phrased it better by saying that it’s like communicating positive messages to them using negative language. It hasn’t failed me yet.
Thank you so much for commenting! 🙂
@Eduard – So true my friend and that’s been my experience, especially over the last 2 years or so. It’s like, if I fight it, it fights back. If I let it be, it lets me be.
Hey Amit, thats a great post.
Taking your thoughts forward, to come out of negativity there is a good idea that I often recommend. Its no use searching for solace once you are already broken. Hence whenever a person is in good mood he should definitely jot down some lines about how he is feeling, why is he great and how he will fight back in tough times. Reading this material which is self written when you feel broken helps us to easily regain the confidence.
I hope this helped. Also thanks for such a detailed post
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That’s a great idea and great practise for the good times. It’s great to get into the practise of, whilst in the good times, that you are there and so you method coupled with that would be an awesome idea!
Thanks so much for the comments! 🙂
As a normal human being, we’re not perfect. That’s life
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Thanks for checking out the site and leaving comments! 🙂
I loved this post Amit, especially-“It will always be part of you but donâ€™t let it overpower you.” Lots of wisdom in this words.
You have a really good angle on living with, and learning from, all our emotions and experiences- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Great read 🙂
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I think it’s important to recognise the opportunities in adversity! Thanks for commenting! 🙂
i like this article! its hard to go through life all positive all the time when we all have ups and downs! but at least we can see all the negativity we go through as motivation in helping us become who we’re supposed to be!! 🙂
You said it R, use those times to inspire you to do better things! 🙂