From a woman’s perspective a negative thought could be in the form of a gloomy outlook, fatalistic attitude or catastrophising an issue to name a few but what does it mean for us men? Typically, I feel as though half the time I am not good enough in a certain situation be it arguing, learning, speaking in front of people. But why do we feel like this at times or why do feel overconfident and better than others? The feelings that present themselves to us on occasions are just that, feelings brought on by thoughts (in my opinion). For instance, in the case of myself, I have never been encouraged to take responsibility for making my own decisions whether right or wrong nor have I had the confidence to take on life’s challenges with the support of my family. It was not that they weren’t there, they were, it was because these values were never instilled in me from a young age to speak out if I didn’t like something. Now I’m not talking about not eating carrots or not being able to watch something on TV, but more of a feeling of not being able to speak my mind with rational thought. Growing up in the seventies was a brilliant time for me but it was always very much a case of ‘wait til your father gets home‘.
A particular time when I was feeling in a particularly negative frame of mind was when I was playing footy in the back garden and I hit the ball Jimmy Case style towards the goal where the kitchen window was, and as it flew through the air, it stopped as it reached the window and I immediately thought, ‘wait til your dad gets home!’ – the window shattered and Mum came out with the siblings behind her pointing and sniggering, and I immediately cried until he came home. He obviously thought I had suffered enough when he saw my upset face which had been crying for hours, and let me off!
The negativity was immense and I seemed to have carried this on throughout my adult life and it is one thing that I do not want to transmit to my son.
Dealing with negativity
How do we deal with the feeling of being negative? If the position you are in is hurting you mentally then you must change and the only person that can start the change is you, and you alone. A scary prospect but you’re not alone as I am sure that there are many men out there who feel just the same as you. The difficulty in turning the negative into a positive may come easy to the few, but for us mere mortals the process may be a long and winding road that we must follow.
I guess the first thing to ask yourself would be:
‘Is it me?’
In your lifetime you will come across many negative people who will drain the life out of you. Always complaining and never satisfied – the type of person that if they won the lottery, it wouldn’t be enough for them. But ask yourself if you want to be associated with that type of person. I’m not saying that they are the bane of everybody’s life as it’s thier choice to see life the way they do, but what if you feel suppressed by them and you start to see things the way they do? How will this affect you and those close to you? Initially they would rush to help but after time, it would be my thought that they would quickly remove themselves from the negativity that surrounds you as it would make them feel similar to you. Do you not think so?
Or is it that you see all the bad in this world and let it transmit to your daily life? When you watch the news on TV, how does it make you feel? For me, I have stopped watching the news as I find it predicatable that there are very few feel good items that are reported. I do however, like Russell Howard’s Good News and his amazing ability to say it as it is in relation to the headbangers that are in charge of every country on the planet; people who have self-interest at heart and not the well-being of thier countrymen. But Russell has a section regarding good news which is always a brilliant section in my opinion and it is definately a feel-good factor in such a darkened world.
How do I change my negativity?
My advice here is to accept who you are first and foremost. Understand that you are born equal to everybody else and it is society that can turn you to the dark side. We all have tendencies to be negative and am sure Russell Howard is no exception but here’s the thing, why not just try one thing that makes you happy during the day? Give money to a homeless person or a meal, smile at a random, make a cup of tea for everyone in the office, play a joke on somebody at work or home – something that can break the monotony of everyday life.
For example, when you’re in the countryside and you’re walking around, what is it that you notice apart from the obvious beauty of the surroundings? For me, it’s the people. They always say hello, or have got time for a quick chat and everything seems so relaxed and easy, as if they have forgotten their own lives for a moment. People smile and enjoy being away from whatever hangs on them and it makes a difference. But why just in the country, why not where you are?
Just try something you’re not used to – what have you got to lose?
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