How to Stay Positive When Everyone is Negative

Why didn’t you cook? 

When are you gonna get a job? 

I notice that you talk loud. 

This rice has no taste.

When are you gonna have kids so I can have grand kids?

Are you exercising?

You’re gaining weight.

This place is always a mess.

Just looking at these statements one may not think they are negative. Maybe they are simply facts. However, imagine hearing versions of this several times a day, every day with a positive quote or statement once every other day. 

We are bombarded by comments about our inadequacies, are problem areas and mistakes. On top of that, we beat ourselves up with negative thoughts that support outsiders’ comments.

I noticed even with myself that I haven’t been saying positive things as much as I used to. I still try to but it’s getting harder. 

Why should I always talk positive, express thankfulness and acknowledge the good that people do when they are quick to nitpick and point out my negatives?

I really don’t want to be cynical. But it’s hard when you have a family member complain that you don’t cook anymore. “Were’nt you all supposed to cook once or twice a week?”

Fact: I cook every single week! At least once. Sometimes I even cook twice a week! 

I have to admit that I’m supposed to cook twice a week and I’ve slacked. The reason being is that the other two family members don’t cook for the family every week! They cook for themselves and the church. Secondly, when I do cook, I may get a thank you but a load of criticism. Thirdly, I have to cook for 5 people who are of carribean decent and want some traditional meal that takes hours! And when I don’t cook an island dish, I could get heat for that. Finally, statements about not cooking is laced with the assumption that I’m being inconsiderate and lazy when in actuality, I’m doing something!

Why would I want to cook with all of these negatives?

Why can’t people be more positive? 

Thanks for cooking every week, I really appreciate it! 

Thanks for throwing out the garbage.

I know it’s rough in the job market but I know you’ll get something. You’re smart and have a great personality.

That outfit looks nice on you.

Just imagine if we lived in a world of positive affirmations. People would be so much happier and be willing to do better. I’d definitely do more if I had a lot of positive feedback rather than negative.

I’m not at all saying that we should ignore the negative but we should FOCUS on the positive.

Unfortunately, my family isn’t going to change over night or possibly ever change. Therefore, it is up to me to stay positive.

I have the choice to be easily sucked into criticism and nitpicking and I have the harder choice to continue to say positive things and focus on people’s best attributes and contributions.

I have the choice to not allow people and people’s comments dictate my behavior.

I know it seems unfair because everyone will still be negative but ultimately, I  truly believe I’d be happier focusing on the positive rather than on the negative.

I hope in your life, you always find the positive in people as well as express it.

-Esther 

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