First I’m going to qualify this by saying at at a wider level I don’t believe in positive and negative, that’s sort of like saying I believe in east and west and consider them different things, but we can use the positive/negative concept in order to understand and improve our experience.
It’s a common lament. They are so negative. My husband is so negative. That is so negative. It’s more than just a lament…It is the hallmark of a mental and emotional orientation that keeps you stuck (it is impossible to actually move backwards, but we can approach the state of moving backwards such that we are effectively stuck).
Well, negative and positive are two ends of the same spectrum, so negative and positive all depends on where you are. And, you are the only person that can be where you are, you are the only person that has any hope of determining what is positive and negative for yourself, and that can be challenging enough. Presuming to be in another person’s shoes and determining what is positive and negative for them is a basically fruitless and often dysfunctional exercise.
For a person mired in depression, anger could be positive. An outside observer may say, “that anger is so negative”, and in a sense they are making a proper discrimination, but only in relationship to themselves. Something may be negative in comparison to where you are, but it is about you not them…You chose to focus on the aspect of their experience that is negative in relation to you. In fact, that person may put much less emphasis on that aspect of their experience than you want to place upon it.
I’ll also point out that to feel the need to observe and comment on the negativity of something, is in and of itself a focus on the negative! I could make that observation of myself right now, in fact!
What would happen if you regulary observed…They are so positive! My husband is so positive! That is so positive! And meant it? What if you found the things that were positive in any person and any scenario? What would that say about your orientation and expectations? Would that make you more or less likely to behave and exist in the manner you wish to? How might that change the way you judge yourself and your own life?
There is a way to focus on the positive, no matter what your observation point, whether from self, or from the viewpoint of others (which is in fact, a view of self disguised in the garb of “others”).
How do you know if you are focusing on the positive? It’s easy. It feels better.
Michele specializes in working with high performers desiring better, easier results and greater fulfillment.
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