Coping with Positivity

Does that title sound a bit strange to you?  It would to me if I hadn’t had some of the recent experiences I have encountered.

I have spent several months being much more positive and less tolerant of negativity.  We all have some negative things going on, but we spend a great deal of time and energy (2 valuable resources) on what is going wrong in our lives or with other people.  And all this use of valuable resources seems to just perpetuate the negativity.

As I insist on being more positive, many of those around me are either:  A) being more negative or B) avoiding me.  I recently noticed that conversations that used to last for hours are now barely lasting an hour.  People are pushing negative comments toward me that should be sent to the people they are aimed at, but no, they are sharing their anger and frustration with (I should say at) me. ( I have been told it is because they needed to vent and I can handle it in a positive way.  I noted some sarcasm there!)

It is amazing to me how people complain about others being negative or the world being so negative and yet, when given the opportunity to try to change things or even being around people trying to change that dynamic, those same people either push back toward negativity or simply avoid the discussion altogether.  I have truly been amazed by this interesting turn of events.

It has raised a new question for me to ponder and ask you and others; why are people so determined to stay negative?  It doesn’t feel good.  I doesn’t look good.  It zaps our energy.  It makes life way less fun and enjoyable. I believe it makes us old before our time.

Oh, yeah!  Here are some  of the biggest things I’ve been hearing:

“Life is supposed to be hard.”  “We aren’t supposed to enjoy it.”  “We aren’t supposed to be happy all the time.”  “We aren’t supposed to do what we want to do.”  Any of these sound familiar to you?  They are all very familiar to me.  I have heard them from childhood on and I have made a conscious and deliberate choice to change that direction.  I have no intention of insisting that anyone else should change anything, and yet, the fact that I have made these choices as created some interesting ripples.

A good friend of mine started the positivity challenge and put up a sign in her work area saying that and shared with me that she got some interesting responses to that, including people starting to avoid her work area.  I am grateful she shared that because I was starting to think it was just me!

Clearly there is some fear about this being positive thing.  What are we afraid of?  That we might be happy?  That life might get better and be really great? I have learned that we are not socialized to be happy and positive and this socialization is a powerful thing!  I have also learned that we can be more powerful than this training if we decide to be.  We can cope with being positive if we do it long enough to allow feeling good to feel as normal as feeling bad does because we are so used to it.  I still slide back from time to time, but I am happy to report I don’t stay there long!

Being positive may not be for everyone.  If it is scary or feels wrong in some way, then don’t do it.  I am not sure I will ever completely understand why we choose to stay in a place that doesn’t really feel good, it’s only what we’re used to, so we’ll stay there.  I lived in that place of negative and fear for a long time and I really didn’t like it, but I didn’t realize I could change it.  Once I started making some changes, it got easier and easier because I really liked how I was feeling.  And I didn’t do it all by myself, I have had some coaching along the way and support from others.

Think it over.  If you tend to be somewhat negative, maybe you could give being positive a try and see how it feels, if you stick with it long enough to get used to it!  If you are already pretty positive, congratulations!  You know where I am coming from.  Whatever your choice is, I wish you peace and happiness!

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