No one wakes up in the morning saying they want to be a bitter pain. In general, we all have good intentions. But, unfortunately, that usually isn’t enough to stop us from doing things that bring others and ourselves down. If you suspect that this is happening to you, and are ready to improve your life with one easy tactic, read on. By using this simple strategy you’ll be able to shift your behavior and stop being negative.
Let me put you into context
Deep down, most of us have a pretty clear grasp of our realities. We know winter will come, every week has a Monday, and that Angela, our wacky cubicle mate, brings in a messy, stinky sandwich almost every day for lunch.
Even if we know for certain that these events will happen, we live in denial. We ignore the facts in
It’s as though we are overly optimistic about the facts. Maybe today there won’t be any traffic, or Angela will decide to have a salad.
We’ve now encountered the one time where optimism doesn’t benefit us.
Let me paint this picture with a bit more detail to make sure we’re on the same page about how this all goes down.
You know that your boss is always super slow at signing your expense reports. For some reason, it just always takes forever. This bugs you, A LOT. But instead of either just accepting the reality of her ways and planning accordingly or finding a way of dealing with the situation (talking to her about it, talking to HR or the finance department to see if a new process can be put into place, or if all else fails, looking for a new job) the common course of action is to just sit around bitching about it.
She is so horrible, what a witch! She doesn’t understand the horrible financial situation she puts me in by delaying signing the expense sheets, we comment daily to Angela.
This happens to us with everything: the traffic in the morning, our neighbour’s loud Saturday morning music, our partner’s endearing (and slightly irksome) habits, etc.
They are things we know will happen, but some reason when they do, we get pissed off as though we didn’t expect them. Pissed as though it was the first time we had to confront this goddam traffic jam.
News flash, it’s not! You get stuck in that traffic EVERY SINGLE DAY. So what’s the plan here? Allow yourself to get super pissed off about it every single day?
That’s a lot of negativity you’re giving away for free. As though there’s no consequences to bitching, complaining and getting irrationally pissed off.
Let me tell you, there are consequences. If you don’t learn to stop being negative and take control of these situations, the stress, anger and frustration will catch up to you.
Why you need to stop the negativity
Science has already proven that regular bursts of anger can have drastic effects on our health. Heart disease1, stroke2, increased anxiety3, better chances of depression and shorten life span4 are just some of the risks associated with excess negativity.
To make it worse, all that endless bitching doesn’t benefit us anyway.
After another rant or complaint sessions, you don’t ever feel relieved, more relaxed, satisfied or with a greater sense of serenity. In fact, we usually feel the exact opposite: more stressed, irritated, tense and empowered to feel as though our bitching is justified.
If you took a second to feel what your body is going through in these moments you’d surely notice that you have tension in the shoulders and neck, an upset stomach, you might feel light-headed or even have a headache.
Then to make it worst, the more you allow yourself to indulge in this type of behaviour, the harder it becomes to stop being negative. You become like a hamster running in his little wheel. The faster he runs, the harder it is to stop.
The same goes with the negativity outbursts. The more often you allow yourself to complain, get angry, get annoyed or get overly frustrated, the harder it becomes to stop the negativity in its tracks.
Admit that this is you
As cliché as this may sound, recognizing that you do this is the most important thing you can do to stop doing it.
Recognizing that continuously indulging in the negative behaviour only causes pain, suffering and misery to our own selves and those who surround us.
Think about it, who has to deal with your constant dissatisfaction about traffic,
It’s not the boss, the jerk who cut you off or that goddam Mother Nature. Nope, it’s the innocent people who just happen to be nearby.
Seeing the destructiveness of this behaviour is the key that opens the vault to help you solve this issue and improve your life.
And no, you aren’t a shitty person, a bad friend or a horrible member of society just become you admit that you mishandle negativity sometimes.
In fact, it’s the opposite. The fact that you can see this behaviour in yourself shows a great deal of self-awareness.
Although not every single person on the planet expresses negativity in this unbeneficial way, in general, we have become a quite impulsive society.
With our society’s constant change, speed and innovation, we have adapted by learning to do things quickly, impulsively and with an unfortunately small amount of awareness. We are distracted, disconnected and take zero responsibility for the things we do. Autopilot has become our default mode.
So, it would come as no surprise that we manage our annoyance the very same way; quickly, impulsively, and as though it has nothing to do with us.
How to deal with the negativity and improve your life
The way I see it is that when we’re confronted by things that annoy us, we have 2 choices:
- Do something about it.
- Accept it.
Unfortunately, many people go for option 3: Bitch about it endlessly any chance they get. Day in, day out, they bring up this aspect of dissatisfaction to be discussed in-depth AGAIN.
Option 3 is an issue for 2 reasons:
- Although this thing is bugging the hell out of you, bringing it up all the time just helps you duplicate the negativity. I’m not suggesting that you repress that anger. But irrationally talking about it constantly, also isn’t a viable solution.
- While stuck in the hamster wheel of complaints, it’s easy to lose sight of your ability to take responsibility for your life. Sure, you can’t do anything about Monday’s weekly appearances, but if Monday mornings really annoy the shit out of you, you could:
- Change how you feel about Mondays.
- Add an exciting activity to your Monday mornings routine.
- See if there’s anyway you could work short days on Monday.
- Work for yourself and take Mondays off.
- Figure out another creative solution to help you stop being negative about Mondays every, single week.
- Accept that Mondays exist. And they are the furthest in the horizon from the next weekend. Yes, it sucks! Discussing this constantly doesn’t make it suck any less.
I get it, accepting things that bug us tough. And if today, that doesn’t seem like a realistic option for you, then go with option 2. To improve your life, take control of the wheel and come up with creative solutions to solve or at least attempt to solve the
Or in the very least, if you’re gonna complain about Angela’s stinky sandwich all day, don’t be a jerk and complain about it to everyone except her. Tell her that her sandwich stinks or keep it to yourself. Telling everybody else doesn’t help you stop being negative. Speak your truth to the person that it’s about, or shut up!
If you’re not going to stop complaining for yourself, do it for your loved ones, your cubicle mates, your neighbors or any other kind folks that you share spaces with regularly. It’s easy to become toxic to them with your constant complaints and dissatisfactions.
Improve your life and theirs by taking control to stop being negative and find better and brighter solutions when you confront dissatisfactions in life.
Interested in reading about how to stop being negative and improve your life, but don’t have time right now? Pin it here!
1 Aha Journals, Janice E. Williams, Catherine C. Paton, Ilene C. Siegler, Marsha L. Eigenbrodt, F. Javier Nieto, and Herman A. Tyroler
2 NCBI, Eur Heart J.
3 Research Gate, Publisher: Taylor & Francis
4 Everyday Health, By Debbie Strong