I prefer to surround myself with people who inspire me and uplift how I feel about myself and my world. I know that I feel better around people who see the world through lenses that are speckled with gratitude, abundance, kindness, happiness and beauty. I consciously choose that’s that see the world from a positive perspective, and enjoy spending time with others who feel the same.
However much of the world has been socially conditioned to find problems to complain about. Our media is filled with negative-Nancy’s and our neighbors more often than not, tend to be whining whinge-pants.
But what do you if you partner (or best friend, or sister) is one of those who like to spend their days complaining about all that’s wrong in their world, when actually they have it very, very good?
This question came to me the other day when I was feeling utterly exasperated with my guy, who likes to hang out on the pessimists end of the spectrum, was complaining for the 7th time since we’d woken up, about how hot it is. I was thiiiiiiiiiis close to telling him to move to frickin’ Alaska if he’s not happy with the choices he’s made in his life.
I know that the partners (and sisters, and best friends) we choose in life are our polarities; they are different to us and we need that; they bring a certain balance into our worlds. If they were the same as us, they would probably drive us crazy (or crazier than they already do).
So this is what I do:
Focus On Myself
We are not here to change others. The only person we can change is ourselves. My lesson here is to practice equanimity and not react to his negativity. He has his thoughts, reactions and beliefs – I have mine. That’s the way it is, the world over. I choose to be positive because I know that it makes me feel good, and when I feel good, wonderful, magical things happen in my world. He either chooses to be negative because that’s the way he sees the world, or he hasn’t learnt that he has the power to choose his thoughts and create his own world through them. Either way, it’s his journey. I have my own lessons and journey to focus on.
Share My Beliefs
Many people think that being positive is just something that either you are naturally born with. Or not. Pessimists especially, have preconceived ideas that they are just the way they are, and cannot change. One day soon, I’m planning to sit down and explain to him, why I choose to focus on the positive aspects of life. And just why I’m so blindly determined to do so: because I know that I create my entire world through the thoughts and beliefs that I repeat and focus on. (Or, I might just quietly send him the blog post… Maybe you could try that too!)
People who are consistently negative have to live with themselves and their constant negative thoughts whirring through their heads. That negative energy that we feel, and sometimes absorb a little, they have to live with all the frickin’ time! I’m sure that can’t be easy. Instead of reacting to his negative statements I listen with compassion, and then move the conversation onto a different topic, or focus on something that is important to me.
All negativity and complaining comes from a sense of fear. Fear is deeply inbred into many of us, and takes time and consistent working through to tackle. The most common fears that negativity stem from are: the fear of not being respected, the fear of not being loved, and the fear that the world is a dangerous place. All of these fears create a strong sense of insecurity and the expression of that is finding problems outside of themselves, that bolster their self-importance and make them feel more powerful. More often than not, our partners (or best friend, or sister) are unable to see their negativity as their problem, but rather view it as a real problem at large. Understanding negativity means that we can learn not to respond to it, or be affected by it, because it doesn’t align with our own beliefs.
And here is the very clever conduit: while we are busily complaining about our partners’ negative demeanor, are we not falling into exactly the same trap that we are despising? Our lovers, friends and family are such excellent mirrors for ourselves and the lessons that we are learning.
No one is responsible for how we feel and experience life, except ourselves. Not even someone close to you, whom you love dearly, has the power to change your state of mind, unless you allow them to.
This is where I’ve learnt to take a breath, step back, and shut my mouth. To look within instead of without, and smile at the hilarity of the human contrasts and conditions.