1). Cool your responses and take your time
It’s never been easier. Most of us, let’s be honest, communicate via text and email. There’s no need to rush a response over and tap that “send” thingy asap. Even in urgency there’s no need for an immediate absolutely to-the-second response. With no tone or facial expressions, these faulty written communications have gotten us all reading more into most words than perhaps ever before. I’ve done it. Judged that I was being judged subsequently got annoyed so I wrote this well-worded response that would most certainly show the other person who he/she was dealing with and…… no one was happier because of it. Then I started to take my time. Once all that passion subsides, I can read it again and refocus the question/comment to the general picture of the conversation. Then I cooly respond. It’s been wonderful. If anything, it has made unwanted communication “go away” more quickly, because things actually get resolved and puff*** it’s GONE.
2). Let us not feed our negativity
Nobody likes to hear that they’re negative. We certainly never think of ourselves as a “negative person”. So where is the negativity coming from? How can it be that we’re up to the neck in it and yet, everyone is peachy and pleasant? It just doesn’t add up. Because it isn’t true. We all do it. Yes, there are levels of downerism, but look closely in one single day at everything you say and do and share and spread and you will find it *there*. Negativity is the stuff that isn’t helping anyone, simply put. It’s the stuff that we’re sharing because misery loves company and we all like to have friends. Stop. Don’t forward that nasty text to your bff, in hopes she/he will commiserate with you. Don’t forward that email to a bunch of friends because you want to “warn them” that so and so and… Don’t post something awful to a Facebook group you’re a part of just because you can. Let it stop with you. I’ve done it too, all of those things. I know. Frustration builds and you want a shoulder to bitch on. Just stop. It’s a habit, it’ll go away with time and retraining.
3). The above doesn’t mean suddenly you’re happy-pants person all the time
Before we go any further, let me clarify. Stopping the negativity from rolling about as you roll in it like a pig in mud doesn't mean suddenly you’re the Pollyanna of our time. The world needs realistic observations of *actual* reality and people who are willing to take strong action when needed. The constant positivity flow isn’t sustainable (we’re human!) and it may make you wrongly assess the gravity of a situation; it may even flex your conformist muscle to a point where you take it all and change nothing. That is NOT what I’m advising. I’m saying don’t perpetuate negativity where nothing can be changed and no other being will benefit from your, well, essentially gossiping. Ask yourself if not behind the keyboard or in the seclusion of a space/group/conversation you would be saying what you’re about to say. Would you? If the answer is no, don’t do it. You will learn to identify mindless gossiping and venting from an actual moral code you stand by by noticing that which you defend and say in front of no matter whom, where, or what.
4). Solutions, not only problems
Use your creativity. If you see a problem, can you also see a solution? Can you implement the solution yourself, in your OWN life? If so, do it. Then tell others about it. Inspire those around you because you are living what you preach, putting your money where your mouth is, insert here other hackneyed saying that tells you yeah, you’re DOING it! Action is everything, even small. Propose a change where you don’t have the power to implement one. Create a group of like-minded folks in your community, or virtually even. Have a big idea that would help many others? Find an investor. Go to your elected official. Call them on the phone. Write a well thought-out email. The point is, ADD to the ongoing conversation that is humanity and all its tiny little works-in-progress, these beings we are. Contribute as well as you can, with your unique skills and experience. Let us stop simply being critical by constantly pointing out what’s wrong while we change nothing; let us stop being overly compliant where we just accept that “it’s always been this way”. We’re here to make it better. First we need to be better, and I suggest we start immediately. Have fun in the process - you will end up learning a whole lot about yourself!
Feel free to leave your comments below! :)