March 24, 2009

The Magnitude of Negativity

When I went to Spain on a school trip a little more than a month ago, I got in trouble for making mischief and a few of the teachers on the trip weren't entirely pleased with me. To an extent, I lost a bit of their respect, and for me, that was a very, very big deal. It hit me hard to know that it was so much easier to lose respect than to gain it, so this was a really rough ordeal for me. The result? The entire night at dinner one night, I was quiet. I didn't really say a word. All I could think about was how much I blew it and how things weren't going to be the same because I made myself look stupid. A great friend of mine reminded me that everyone noticed my upset nature, and he told me, in a totally straightforward and respectable manner, that it was making it hard for him to enjoy the night. He had no reason to be upset, but my negativity was radiating -- the same negativity that was stemming from fear of what was the come in the future instead of simply accepting things as they are in the present (and that any respect I was to redeem after the incident would only come with my actions, not thought).

I spent about fifteen or so showers since then thinking about negativity and what its purpose was. There's only so many excuses one can make for being negative until he realizes that it really doesn't make sense. You can be negative, but that's not improving a situation. Action and thought about positives and potential solutions improves situations. Not only that, but I've noticed, unfortunately, that negativity radiates with greater strength than positivity. I wish I could say that positivity was stronger, but we have a natural tendency towards negativity (whether it be in the form of complaining, gossiping, pouting, etc.). That said, it's important to make a conscious effort to remind yourself of the positives of a situation.

At the time, I thought there was zero positive in my ordeal. Then I thought a little harder, and this was really one of the first challenges I've ever encountered in regaining something intangible that I lost. If I saw it as an unfortunate struggle, as I did for a while, yeah, it would've sucked. Now, the positive interactions I have with these teachers makes me that much more grateful that I have the relationships I do with them.

As much as I like to embrace diverse perspectives, the one thing I have trouble tolerating is people who radiate negativity excessively. I try my best to avoid people like this so I don't have to condemn myself to what I put the people around me through at the dinner table in Spain. It's not worth my time. It's not worth their time. Out of respect for the people around you, smile a little bit.


Totally dominating her negativity.

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