Just a few weeks ago I was watching an awards show on television. At the same time I happened to also be browsing on Facebook. While on Facebook one of the groups I “liked” began commenting on the same show I was watching. I very quickly noticed that all of the comments being made in the group were negative. They all centered around how unflattering they felt someone looked.
I didn’t think much of it at first, but then it really got me scratching my head. The things I was thinking were very different then the comments they were making. I wondered why this group was so negative and what could be done to change their perceptions.
I made a promise to myself that I would go out of my way to only write comments that were positive and only respond to comments that were positive. Now don’t get me wrong, that does not mean that I didn’t periodically have unpleasant personal opinions about the things I saw and heard. But knowing personally how detrimental, painful, and infectious negativity is in our society today; it was simply my plan to balance the negativity that was being spread with more positivity.
How on earth, I thought, are we going to change the views of society if we continue to perpetuate the very negativity that we complain about?
As a child therapist, I often share with parents and teachers that they need to provide 10 times the positive reinforcement to each negative comment or reaction. This is considered balanced due to the heavy influence negativity has on people. I found myself offering the same advice to adult leaders. When evaluating their staff, it is much more productive to provide some positive feedback before offering the negative criticism. Again Balance.
Somehow balance was not in this group. What I saw was quite the contrary and it got me feeling really discouraged. Asking myself, how is this helping? Who is this helping?
What was designed to be a very uplifting and inspirational awards show was being beaten down with criticism and ridicule. What I saw was average sized women choosing not to wear spanx, showing their love for who they are (I mean that is what the awards show was all about wasn’t it?). What I read over and over again was, “that dress is not flattering”, “is she pregnant?” “Is it just me or is there something wrong with her midsection?”, and “what is up with her hair?” I was hurt as if it were me personally they were criticizing. But the reality is, it was me they were criticizing. I mean I looked just like some of those women.
Not feeling so good about the discouragement I was feeling, I committed myself to restoring the balance by being positive. Unfortunately I am but one of many million, but it only starts with one right? So, here I am again challenging you. For just 30 days focus on displaying positivity. Think twice before you type that Facebook or Twitter post. Is it something you would want someone to say to you? Is it something that will be hurtful? Is there something else you could say that would make someone smile? Go out of your way to look for the positive aspects of life and share them.
If the negative thoughts are just that overwhelming and you must say them, write them down and then throw them in the trash. For the next 30 days Be Positive. Can you do it? Are you in this with me? Will it help? What do you think? Share your thoughts. I’m curious.
Change your mindset, Change the world.