5 WAYS TO COUNTERACT NEGATIVITY HEAD ON
So, the other day I was minding my own business, running around being a busy bee per usual when out of no where this comment was thrown at me: “You look like a line backer, you’ve got fat girl arms!” The deliverer of this lovely message went on to say something along the lines of I didn’t have a butt, so my outfit wasn’t very flattering.I was too busy to really process the words at that moment, so I just went about my day.
Then, once I got home I realized just how negative those words were. I’ve always been skinny, recently I’ve put on a couple of pounds. I actually like my weight, I’d just like to tone up a bit, but overall I feel better than ever.I experienced a similar incident almost 8 years ago. I was walking out of a McDonald’s and a lady I had never seen before said, “Ewww! You need to eat a burger, you’re too damn skinny!” At that time, I was depressed. I had just ended a 2 year relationship and I wasn’t handling the breakup too well. Her comment made me feel disgusting to look at.
Today, I am in a different place in my life. Those words don’t mean much to me. I could honestly care less what someone else has to say about my body, I know how much work I put into it and that’s all that really matters to me. The sad part is that both of the people who said these comments were women. I don’t know why women feel it’s OK to use such negative words towards each other, and sadly enough towards themselves. Regardless, it taught me a very valuable lesson: Negativity can creep it’s way into your life without warning.
Here’s a few tips on how to say, “Good Bye!” to those pesky negative vibes by taking control of YOUR life.
1. Love yourself: If you love yourself you will be kind to yourself. “How do I love myself?” you may be asking, well I’ve asked this same question. To answer that I made a list of the people I love. Then, I wrote down how I treated them, how I felt about them, and what I thought about them and compared it to how I am with myself. Right now at the top of my list is my baby niece. I love her so much and she’s absolutely perfect in my eyes, what others may consider as “imperfections” are what make her perfect to me. When she’s cranky, I swear it’s the cutest thing, what makes me see her like this? Love.
Love yourself, and you’ll start to see that the things that what once bothered you, won’t bother you so much. You’ll be a bit more patient with yourself. You’ll be kinder to yourself and when others try to tear you down, you will be able to counteract it with your very own self love.
2. Be Careful How You Talk to Yourself: The truth is we are sometimes pretty ruthless with ourselves. I mean would we really look at our best friend and tell them, “gosh! you look ugly in that outfit,” or “Geez, you look so fat,”? I am pretty sure most of us would not say that to our best friends. Also, there is power in our words! We have to be careful what we attract and what we tolerate. If we tolerate negative self talk, we will also tolerate others who will try to talk down to us.
The best way to counteract negativity is by not attracting or tolerating in our lives. This needs to start with how you talk to yourself. Instead of saying, “geez, you’re such a looser for still being stuck in the same place!” just say, “I am a work in progress.” I mean sources say it took Leonardo Da Vinci 4 years to complete the “Mona Lisa”… that’s a long time for a portrait.
3. Be your own cheerleader! In the morning, while I get ready I stand in front of the mirror and I cheer myself on. You can judge me if you want, but I am not going to wait for someone else to tell me I am beautiful or smart or strong. I will look at myself and tell myself first. I do this to make sure I start my day off on the right foot.
If I have a challenging task ahead, I declare that I will face it head on and succeed or fail, I am the boss of me – well, more like the manager… God’s the boss, but that’s besides the point! You don’t have to call yourself a boss (that might just work for me, haha!)
If experience has taught me something, it’s that sometimes you just have to pick yourself! That’s one thing I won’t leave up to someone else. My inner well-being is my responsibility, it’s called SELF-esteem for a reason.
4. Control what you see and what you listen to: Here’s the good news – You can control what you take in. I for one try to avoid reality T.V. I am not a fan. Watching mean girls be mean to each other just doesn’t really do much for me.
It may seem like an easy thing to fix, at first, but what if you are sharing space with negativity? Let’s say a room mate or co-worker? It’s sometimes harder to avoid what may be thrown your way, but you set your boundaries and remind yourself that you are in control of your life. No one else is. Remove yourself from the situation whenever possible and surround yourself by positive messages and remember you can shift the atmosphere with a good attitude, yes YOU are that powerful.
5. Free Yourself from Toxic Relationships. All relationships have the potential to be complicated. When two worlds collide, you are bound to have a difference in opinion, thought, feelings, goals, etc. but when a relationship starts to turn toxic, it’s our cue to leave.
I have people in my life that I know love me enough to tell me the truth, even when it’s a tough pill to swallow. However, these special people always speak from a place of love. When you talk to someone out of a place of love you build them up, you don’t tear them down.
Here’s an example, my sister was super worried about me when I went into deep depression. She noticed I wasn’t eating, so instead of commenting on how skinny I looked, she would bring me bowls of cereal and read the book of Psalms to me over and over again. Sometimes, I would fall asleep and when I’d wake up, she was right there reading. I’ll never forget how much she loved me during that tough time. Both her and the lady in McDonald’s were conveying similar messages, “Woman, you gotta eat!” But my sister’s tender touch healed my heart, meanwhile the stranger in McDonald’s took a stab at an open wound.
You can’t always control others from bringing negativity around you, but you can always counteract it your own power. God has given us all the power to use our faith and words to change the world around us. That means YOU and I both have the authority to stop negativity on it’s tracks and tell it, “Good Bye!”
Stay Blessed! 🙂