Wednesday, January 11, 2012

thinking positively in a negative world

There's lots of funny emails and Facebook posts about the ways men and women interpret things differently. Or how kids say one thing and parents say another.

Today my grizzle - and yes I'm going to indulge in one - is about how often society (generalising here but I'm allowed cos it''s my blog...) prefers to take a negative view than a positive one.

e.g. I say I'm open and vulnerable. You say I'm needy.  I say she's intuitive.  They say she jumps to conclusions to quickly.   I say you're spiritually open.  Someone else would say you're a fruitcake.

Why do we do this? Why can't those ''soft'' characteristics be considered strengths not weaknesses?

Similarly the person who is discerning is labelled picky or intolerant.  The one with really strong boundaries is described as inflexible or judgmental.  High energy equals wired.  Low energy equals lazy.  Laid back is considered unmotivated.  Brave is too easily translated as foolhardy.   Can't win!

I've also heard it said that the negative way we describe others is usually more a reflection on what we think of ourselves than what we really feel about them.

Here's an idea...what if for 2012 we made a conscious effort to do less labelling and more accepting?  Would it change the way you felt about other people?  Would it change the way you feel about YOU?

Which words would you use to describe yourself... the positive ones or the negative ones? Why?


Broot said...

We're trained from very young to the negative - don't! Don't be this, don't do that, don't think that. I think it would take a major mental and cultural shift to get us all predominately thinking positively.

susan said...

it sure would...and is idealistic of me to even suggest it I know...but where can we start if not from ideals:)

Cardinal Cyn said...

our greatest strengths (e.g. trust) are also our greatest weakness used in the wrong way (e.g. trust used wrongly becomes gullibility). We all have strengths, and those strengths work well for us. But we rely on them in situations when those strengths are not the best use of our efforts. It is a mature and wise person who recognises this in themselves and steps outside their comfort zone to develop and learn new skills.