Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Handling Negativity

Handling negativity seems to be the theme for the week; I’ve come across it personally, with friends and with clients so it is definitely in the air!

In relationships it can be difficult to stay positive if your partner is down in the dumps especially as we have a tendency to take our relationships personally! However it is useful to remember that it is not about you but about them. I suggest that within relationships you devise a way of handling this seesaw situation before it hits. Discuss it and find out from your partner how they would best feel supported. Do they want cheering up or simply support? The tendency is to try to cheer someone up when they are down, but sometimes this is actually the worst thing you can do. For the one who is feeling negative just being heard is often all that needs to happen. However the one who is positive also needs to devise a way to stay positive in the face of negativity. This can be aided by not totally focussing on the ‘problem’ of the other (but ensuring that it is not ignored it either) but also keeping a clear focus on what is good. That may be immersing yourself in something that reminds you of the good stuff, listen to CD’s, watching inspiring films, talking to someone who is also feeling good or even simply taking some time out to stay in the happy place. When we feel negative it is not to bring the other down to our level, but sometimes it is hard to get out of the black hole. In those moments having a partner who demonstrates that there is an alternative (without trying to get their partner to be there too) can be very important.

We can also find ourselves in friendships that feel negative and toxic. Maybe we were once in that space of always seeing the world through a black cloth, but as we grow and evolve we can outgrow our friends. If you find yourself in this situation it can then become a choice. Does the friendship mean more to you than the down side? If so then know it is a choice to be in that energy and you can work to not let it seep into your life. If however the friendship is no longer nurturing then maybe it’s time for the hard question; do you still want this person in your life? I had a situation many years ago when I had to make this decision and saw that I no longer wanted the repetitive negative conversations. I talked about this with my friend and said I was happy to be a support to her but not as it was now, the focus needed to be different. In that way we both had a choice.

Negativity at work also raised its head this week. How to handle someone in the work place who can never see the good in something? That is a tricky one. Limit the amount of interaction if you can. If not, then do not enter in to the negative talk but constantly turn it round to solutions. In this way you mirror the behaviour you’d like to receive. If you have a good relationship with the person you could point out what they do, often people are not aware of their habits. And, one I like is to imagine yourself as a duck. Yep a duck! Ducks have totally waterproof coats, imagine yourself with a totally negative proof back – let it pour off you like water off a ducks back.

It doesn’t have to touch you and part of living life with a bigger picture focus is choosing your thoughts. Make them the good ones.


Blogger Jessica said...

Judy Said:

Problem: I judge Stu and feel impatient at him for not looking after his body, eating slowly, exercising, for not having energy – and for having physical challenges (pain in back and hips)

So, I contemplated, What do I need to learn about acceptance and love?

Here’s what came up for me…..

I had to be perfect, so he has to be perfect as well. Energy comes easy for me, so don’t have tolerance or understanding for him. He is just being himself, as I am being myself. Fear comes up – that I won’t be able to do what I need to do for me. Won’t be able to exercise, go hiking, do energetic things. Will get stuck looking after him. Fear that he will have disease, pain, and that will affect me. Want to shake him and make him do what I think is right re his body etc. See the selfishness in this.

I need to learn to support HIM in his journey, not try to manipulate him to be like me. He has his own challenges and lessons to learn. Let go of my expectations and my attachments. Love him as he is. Don’t expect it to get better. Don’t be a know it all. See how I am re sleeping…. How I don’t like getting “advice” from others. Don’t give advice. Teach by example. Look at the selfishness of my feelings – want it to work for ME, want it to be comfortable for ME. And I am not the one having the pain. Look at how he is when he has pain. He doesn’t complain. I need to learn to let go of my desire to control and to make him do it my way. TO open to a deeper level of acceptance and know that he is doing his best. – to give space for him to learn the lessons he is learning. I can make suggestions lightly – and completely without expectations. The opportunity for me is to let go into love, and to focus on my own sadhana and my own state. Set my focus on the goal of the path – that which doesn’t change. Accept the circumstances of my life and don’t get stuck in them. That’s the opportunity here. Learn how to love – to provide true support and comfort.

When I took this contemplation deeper, here’s what came up:

Practice gentleness – to me and to him. When I am harsh with myself, I will be harsh with him. When I accept and love him, I will accept and love myself. There’s such a freedom in gentleness and letting go in this way. This will bring true happiness. Don’t talk about this with him – put it into practice. Love him so well he will wonder at you – and where you get this strength. Be a star in how you love. Give generously of yourself. AND give generously to yourself. If you love him in this way, none of your fears will be an issue.

7:33 AM  

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