Monday, May 21, 2012

Negativity (Part One)

I've been pondering the whole idea of negativity lately for a variety of reasons that I won't bore you with. While I do recognize the "power" of positive thinking I am also pondering how often we use "negativity" as a term to describe lots of other things. Using the word negativity brings up...well a negative image...a belief that at least "part" of the problem is the person's negativity. And while sometimes this is very much the case...at other times labeling something "negativity" prevents us from really seeing the problem and addressing it. The issue suddenly becomes the person's negativity rather than whatever the person is negative about. A sort of misdirect that keeps everyone in a loop and prevents forward movement.

Yes we can view a glass as half full or half empty....yes the positive aspect would be to view what we have rather than what we have not....but the REALITY of the situation is that there is only half a glass. The glass example might not be the best in the world so let me ramble on a bit more. What if a person is discouraged because they have approached a problem several times but the REALITY is people do not listen, do not change how they are doing things and continue in the same manner as before. For that person to be upset...is that "negativity"? or is there a valid reason for being discouraged. Not that I would propose that one wallow in discouragement but when efforts to confront the situation are met with allegations of negativity then all it serves to do is close off further discussion.  Others have no reason to examine their own behavior because they fend off any complaints by asserting "negativity." 

This brings up another tendency...that is to label something as "your perception.".  As if somehow one's perception is skewed, or wrong, or not valid. While the whole idea of understanding how someone preceives something is a valuable tool and of course there are always multiple ways to view something. I fear the tendency is becoming to use this idea in the same way as people are using "negativity" and that is to shut down or invalidate people's perceptions. What if the complaining person's perception is 100% accurate! Saying things like .."I see how you might preceive it that way" or "Perception plays a big role here." or "That's your perception, I see it a different way." really do little to address the problem and bring into the conversation the underlying message that it is perception that is the problem rather than there being a very REAL and SOUND basis for the problem.

I have a lot more to say about negativity and perception...but I'm out of time this morning...Have a great day and don't let others distort your reality...if you feel discouraged, or ignored, or left out, or impatient....maybe you have a real reason for feeling like that...maybe you aren't "negative" ...maybe you are 100% right for feeling those things. You don't have to wallow in it but you can at least know that your reality is REAL...




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