Destroy your life with negativity? This is not a very positive title, I’ll fully admit it!
As you may already know, I like to write about ways to enhance your happiness and get in touch with your higher self. However, life is always about choice, and we can always choose to go the opposite way if we want. Sometimes we climb into the light, but other times we choose to explore the dark.
Going to the dark side…
Today, I’m going to switch things up. Instead of exploring how we have the ability to climb into the light, I’m going to talk about choices we make that take us in to the dark.
I speak from experience. Not only have I seen the behaviors below in some of the most miserable, unhappy people I’ve ever met, but I myself have had the experience of having a miserable life due to these behaviors.
Behaviors and choices like the ones below sent me in to a tailspin in my early twenties. I lived in a constant flux between anger, anxiety and depression. My life wasn’t all bad, but compared with today, it was a real nightmare.
In retrospect, it was all my own damn fault.
So, since I’m so well-acquainted with what makes up a negative, unhappy life, I figured I’d share what I’ve learned about it with you. To be perfectly clear, I’m still human, and like most people, I still make negative choices sometimes. However, making choices to consciously let go of these behaviors regularly has made my life a LOT better.
Now as this article is inherently much more negative than my average article, I will create a positive takeaway for each item in the list. We’ll try to leave each point on a positive note. There is always, after all, a positive lesson in every dark corner, if we’re willing to look for it!
1. Spending more time complaining than appreciating.
You could look at anything from a positive perspective or a negative one.
For example, a pitbull could be seen as good or bad. So could a job, or even a lost job. So could abortion, drugs or guns for that matter.
Anything we choose to think about can be viewed from it’s potential to make life better or worse.
Choosing to complain routinely is choosing to look at people, situations and events in a negative way on a regular basis. It’s choosing to view our world as ugly, hateful, wicked and intolerant.
Life doesn’t have to be bad, and the world doesn’t have to be a terrible place, but when we complain more than we appreciate, it will absolutely seem that way.
Positive takeaway- Look for the good in your life every day and appreciate it like it’s your job.
2. Valuing other people’s opinions over your own.
Worrying about what other people think is a one-way ticket to unhappiness.
Everyone out there is already worried about their own damn lives. Every person you know has a lot on his or her mind besides you.
They each have their own families, friends, jobs, interests, problems and health to worry about. They are each trying to do the best that they can from their own perspective, and they really don’t have the time or the ability to validate your experience and make you feel good about your life and how you are handling it.
Waiting for someone else’s stamp of approval is like waiting for a toddler to clean your house for you. It’s your house, and you’re the only one in it who has the ability to get it in order the way you want it. The toddler has a whole other set of concerns and objectives that have absolutely nothing to do with keeping your world nice and tidy.
Leave it up to the toddler, and don’t be surprised when crayons get on the wall and your precious collectables end up smashed on the floor.
Positive takeaway- Be your own biggest supporter and cheerleader. Even further, understand that other people need the time and space to be the same for themselves.
3. Settling for things you know you don’t want.
Many of us believe in a “life after death,” but ultimately, we don’t know what happens for sure when we die. Who knows what’s coming next, or what chances you’ll have in the future?
All we know is that we have this life right now, and it’s slipping through our fingers as we speak. Are you just getting by or are you embracing it?
What do you have to lose? What are you waiting for?
Positive takeaway-When you feel pulled to make a change, answer the call.
4. Expecting higher standards for other people’s behavior than your own.
Have you ever noticed how people with road rage are often the worst drivers on the road?
It makes sense, when you think about it. Having unrealistic expectations leaves us wide open for being angry when other people don’t meet them. When we’re angry, we’re not usually operating at our highest level.
So cut people some slack. The driver in front of you might be sick, hurt or grieving. Your rude neighbor might have just lost his job or separated from his wife. Your angry coworker might have been raped or tortured as a child.
You never know why people are misbehaving out there, but often it’s because they are in pain or overwhelmed by issues far greater than getting cut off in traffic, rude people or missed deadlines.
There’s no sense in being angry at everyone because they aren’t perfect. News flash- none of us are.
Positive takeaway- Give other people the benefit of the doubt, they may need it a lot more than you realize.
5. Spewing messages of hate and intolerance.
I personally believe that words are just words, and a word like “fuck” isn’t inherently any worse than a word like “tree.” However, the way we use our words makes a dramatic impact on the message we’re sending out into the universe.
In other words, saying “fuck yeah” is a lot different than “go fuck yourself” or “I fucking hate my job.” The words aren’t that important, but the underlying message certainly is.
So is your underlying message ordinarily one of love or hate?
We get what we put out there in life, so when you’re regularly pumping a message of hate out into the world, don’t be surprised when you end up seriously hating your life.
Positive takeaway- Remember, you reap what you sow. Let your life message be one that benefits you in the highest way possible.
6. Blaming other people for your own negativity.
We can complain all we want about the “negative people” in our life but when we make the choice to sit down with them and get into the drama, that negativity is just as much ours as it is their’s.
Negativity isn’t something outside of yourself that inserts itself into your experience. Negativity is something that lives inside of us, and when it’s reflected in our realities it’s because we personally choose to experience it.
So, if you’re experiencing massive amounts of drama and negativity, understand that it hasn’t chosen you, you’ve chosen it.
Taking responsibility for your own negativity benefits you highly. After all, how are you supposed to create a positive life experience when you believe you are being attacked by negativity against your will?
Take control of your experience, and take responsibility for your own negativity.
It’s ok to have a negative moment, and it’s ok to make mistakes. Just know that when you own them, you make it much easier on yourself to make more positive choices in the future.
Positive takeaway- Always remember you’re in charge of your own life.
7. Refusing to forgive and forget.
Yes, I said forgive and forget.
Saying “I’ll forgive, but I’m not going to forget” is the same as saying “I’m gonna let this go, but I’m not really going to let this go.” If this is your motto when it comes to forgiveness, don’t be surprised if the anger and the pain linger on forever.
Forgive, forget and get on with your life. No one owes you any favors, explanations or apologies. It would be nice, but no one is required to do any of that and oftentimes they won’t. If you wait for other people to change before you move on with your life, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get over your anger.
Again, none of us is perfect. We all make mistakes and we can all be selfish assholes sometimes. There are people laying in your wake of destruction too, and it’s highly unlikely they all got formal apologies.
Positive takeaway- Choose to let go for the sake of your own sanity, and if you must modify anyone’s behavior, let it be your own.
One last observation…
Writing this article has been cathartic, but it’s also been very telling about negativity! In focusing almost entirely on negative traits, I’ve noticed I’ve become much more accusatory and hostile in this blog post than usual.
This was completely unintentional, as the words just kind of spilled onto the page like this.
The message I take from this? Focusing on the negative makes you feel more negative. Period. Take from that what you will.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, despite its brutally honest approach. If you have any thoughts or feelings about this post, feel free to give me a shout below in the comments!