Can We Counteract the Negativity?

While I do spend a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram, they aren’t my only source of information. I see so much negativity everywhere these days that it gets exhausting. And I get it: there’s a lot to be negative about, and lots of it’s legit! But, I’m wondering if maybe, just maybe, we could conspire together to cut our fellow humans some slack, not just the faceless “they” we’re all upset with, but also the people in our extended social circle – friends, family, acquaintances.

This is about as perfect as folks I know get!

I shared my passive-aggressive Facebook memes post again on Facebook yesterday, when I realized I was getting overwhelmed with people saying how others should defriend them if they don’t agree with their politics or religious beliefs, if they make certain kinds of mistakes, etc. And some of the things are just so judgmental of others. It hurts me, even if I don’t think the judgment is about me (I guess I figure there but for the grace of God…).

I know most of my circle of friends and acquaintances are messed up people. I’m absolutely sure of it. I know they have done things they regret. I know they’ve treated others unkindly. I know they’ve been snippy or rude. I know they fail to meet the expectations of others. How do I know that? Because they’re all fallible human beings, just like me, and it’s just human to screw up or disappoint others.

My plan is what I said earlier today on Facebook.

I can do it, yes I can. Maybe. I’ll try.

There is just SO MUCH going on right now. No one is at their best. We are all short-tempered, anxious, confused, fearful, angry, exhausted, or some combination of those. We are going to say and do things that don’t reflect our highest selves sometimes. I know I have, and I hope I’ve apologized to all the right people!

Life is hard, and it’s gonna stay that way for a while. Actually, life is rarely easy for most of us. That’s how it goes!

You take the good, you take the bad,
You take them both and there you have
the facts of life, the facts of life.

Ancient television sitcom theme

And on a less silly note, a Facebook friend reminded me of The Four Agreements, which is worth reading and applying to your life, if you haven’t. I can usually tell when a colleague or friend keeps these principles in mind:

Stuff to think about. And if you realize you aren’t good at some of this stuff, it’s okay, just keep trying. I know I’m working on 2c and 3b – I can really say things in unclear ways, to my own regret!

You can’t change the behavior of others, but you CAN change your own behavior. I’m going to keep trying to assume the people around me are doing the best they can, even if they piss me off, are mean to me (that’s for my sister), or otherwise screw up/disappoint me. How about you? Ready to rise above the negativity?

PS: I know it’s hard. Oh boy, do I know it’s hard!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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