Negativity

Sometimes I wonder if I sound as negative to other people as some people sound to me. You know — some folks are always criticizing something or other. I know I have my pet criticizables too. How to be honest about such things in such a way as to be gracious, and full of light and hope, and pleasant? And not the “let’s all just be nice and ignore all those elephants” way either.

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6 thoughts on “Negativity

  1. Well, I for one don’t think you are negative at all. Ignoring elephants isn’t helpful, but sometimes when we talk about them we can sound negative, even though that really isn’t the intent. I know that I truly wish my life was all light and hope and happiness, but sometimes it just isn’t. And, lying to myself and others accomplishes nothing. I try to be as positive as I can while still being honest. It is a hard line to walk.

  2. I’m less talking about being sad or anxious or struggling, but more about criticizing situations, institutions, methods, people, etc.

    It does seem that people who complain about the same stuff “you” complain about, either at or below the level you do, don’t feel as negative as either folks who complain more about it than you do, or about different things than you do.

  3. Well, in addition to being a whiner, I am a criticizer. My husband says if I look at a white wall, I will see the one spot and mention it. So I whine that the spot is there and I criticize whoever put it there! My two choice sinful responses to pain are to be a cynic or to play the victim, both of which involve criticism.

    I think it’s good to see what needs fixing, but maybe those who complain less and feel less negative have learned not to let what needs fixing get to them personally. Well, at least for me, when I feel I am being too negative, my sense is that the thing that I am “properly” critical of, also bugs the crap out of me, so I say too much or with too much emphasis. Does that make sense?

  4. I was thinking more about this last night. Let’s see if I can remember…

    I’m talking about the kind of thing that when you hear it you want to say “Big whoop. Just deal with it.” Or “Nothing’s good enough for you, is it?” Or “Oh no, not this again.”

    And I know I provoke all of those responses from time to time with certain topics. In some cases, it may be that I do need to be more gracious, more broad-minded, more flexible. In other cases, it may be that I am right to continue playing the gadfly — but perhaps again more grace may be needed in the attitude.

    What I especially hate is tones of ridicule — if you’re going to criticize, criticize the substance, with solid arguments, not with snide remarks, personal attacks, unsupported generalizations, etc. And speak the truth in love.

    And, Holiday, yes, I understand that!

  5. “And I know I provoke all of those responses from time to time with certain topics. In some cases, it may be that I do need to be more gracious, more broad-minded, more flexible.”

    Alternatively, find another cynic to talk to!!

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